A cinema in the West German town of Hachenburg will mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 with a screening of Steven Spielberg’s world-acclaimed film Schindler’s List. Viewers will be asked to pay €7 admission, but for those who show their Alternative for Germany (AfD) party membership card, entrance will be free.
The unusual offer by the Hachenburg Cinexximmediately evoked controversy and protests from AfD members. “We find the fact that the AfD is being linked to the Holocaust, the industrial mass extermination of people of the Jewish faith, to be an unspeakable error,” party representatives in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate told German public broadcaster SWR.
A threatening YouTube video, mentioning the use of explosive devices, was also posted online and spread in the right-wing scene, triggering a police investigation.
“I know it’s a provocation,” the cinema’s director Karin Leicher told SWR. She reported receiving “an extremely large number of positive and also some critical feedback.”
In a statement published on its website, the cinema’s management explained that they view themselves as a meeting place and films as reflection of social discussions, and therefore seek to offer a place for debate.
An open discussion would be possible after the screening, assured the management.