Letter to Hotelier in Belgrade: Hitler Portrait Should Go
January 28, 2008
Mr. Dušan Zabunović
Hotel Mr. President
Dear Mr. Zabunovic,
I appreciated your prompt reply to my letter and was interested to learn of your commitment to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and of your father’s contribution to the fight against fascism in World War II.
Since you clearly recognize the horrors of the crimes committed by Hitler and the Nazis, it is even more disturbing that you remain committed to justifying your use of his picture in your hotel by pointing out that these images are also displayed in legitimate settings. There is simply no basis for the comparison.
Holocaust museums around the world display photographs of Hitler, but together with photographs that show piles of the burned, emaciated bodies of Hitler’s victims. With the photos of Hitler are explanations of his genocidal madness and the ideology of hatred of his Nazi regime. Their purpose is to commemorate and to educate.
Your portrait of Hitler is set in the context of the hospitality of your hotel and totally inappropriate.
As for Madame Toussauds wax statue of Hitler, it is in their “Chamber of Horrors,” and deliberately not among their collection of world leaders. Again, context, Mr. Zabunovic.
Yesterday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I hope you will mark that occasion by announcing today your decision to remove the Hitler portrait.