German hard rock band Rammstein sparked outrage Thursday among Jewish groups and politicians with a video promoting its new single “Deutschland” – featuring its members dressed as concentration camp prisoners standing on gallows.
Critics blasted the Berlin-based group for what they consider a sick publicity stunt using Nazi-era imagery to generate media hype and views for their song online.
“With this video, the band has crossed a line,” Holocaust survivor Charlotte Knobloch, the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the German daily Bild.
“The instrumentalization and trivialization of the Holocaust, as shown in the images, is irresponsible,” she added about the video, in which the band members are wearing striped uniforms and have nooses around their necks.
“Rammstein is misusing the suffering and murder of millions for entertainment purposes in a frivolous and repulsive way,” she said.
Felix Klein, the German government’s commissioner for anti-Semitism, said that if the video was simply meant to promote sales, “I think it is a tasteless exploitation of artistic freedom.”
Rammstein, which was launched in 1995, is no stranger to controversy – with its albums touching on such subjects as sadomasochism, homosexuality, incest, abuse, necrophilia, pyromania, cannibalism and sexual violence.
In a 1998 video, it used footage from Leni Riefenstahl’s 1936 Nazi propaganda film “Olympia.”
In 2009, Germany banned its hit album “Liebe ist Fuer Alle Da” (“Love is For All”) from public display in stores because of its depictions of sadomasochism.
In 2006, frontman Till Lindemann was asked whether the band would again employ Nazi themes, according to Agence France-Presse.
“No, because I am fed up with allegations of being a right-wing band,” he said.
In the promotional clip, in which “Deutschland” appears in Gothic letters — he is shown bleeding from a facial wound and guitarist Paul Landers wears a Star of David.
With Post Wires