German hard rock band Rammstein has provoked outrage among Jewish groups and politicians with a video advertising its new album in which band members appear dressed as concentration camp prisoners.
In the short video, available online, band members appear dressed in the striped uniforms of concentration camp prisoners with nooses around their necks.
“With this video, the band has crossed a line,” Charlotte Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor and former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told mass-selling daily Bild.
“The instrumentalization and trivialization of the Holocaust, as shown in the images, is irresponsible.”
Felix Klein, the government’s commissioner for anti-semitism, said if the video was simply to promote sales, “I think it is a tasteless exploitation of artistic freedom.”
Rammstein are no strangers to controversy.
Since launching in Berlin in 1995, the band has courted controversy with its albums, which have touched on such subjects as sadomasochism, homosexuality, incest, abuse, necrophilia, pyromania, cannibalism and sexual violence.
In 2009, the government banned Rammstein’s hit album “Liebe ist Fuer Alle Da” (“Love is For All”) from public display in stores because of its depictions of sado-masochism.
Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Hugh Lawson