Daily Israel Report

Investigation against Swedish 'Artist' who used Jews' Ashes

Police launched investigation after a citizen said the "artist" was “disturbing the peace of the dead.”
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/8/2012, 10:48 PM

Holocaust memorial
Holocaust memorial
Flash 90

A Swedish artist who created a painting out of what he said are Holocaust victims’ ashes is being investigated and a decision will then be made if charges will be filed.

The investigation was launched against artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff only after a complaint was filed by a private citizen claiming that von Hausswolff’s work, which is on display in the town of Lund, was “disturbing the peace of the dead.” The offense is punishable by up to two years' imprisonment.

A Holocaust survivor and respected member of Lund’s Jewish community, Salomon Schulman, wrote in a local newspaper that he found the artwork “disgusting” and “a desecration of Jewish bodies."

“Nowhere was the Third Reich more popular than among the educated academics," he added. "Today, the Holocaust and racism are still part of their salon talks.”

"It is possible that some of the ashes that Hausswolff used are what remained of my family," wrote Schulman. "This 'artist' and his 'art' reflect a sickening necrophiliac obsession."

Shalom Life USA reported that as part of the gallery display, von Hausswolff is quoted as saying: “The ash has followed me, always been there ... as if the ash contains energies or memories or souls of people ... people tortured, tormented and murdered by other people in one of the 19th century’s most ruthless wars.”

The directorate of the museum at Majdanek is angered by the art published a statement condemning von Hausswolff. "We are deeply shocked and outraged by the information that the painting allegedly was made with the ashes of Majdanek victims. This action is an artistic provocation deserving only to be condemned," the statement said.

Meanwhile, von Hausswolff has received the support of Martin Bryder, the owner of an art gallery in Lund, who told Sverige Radio that he “sees no moral problem or flaw with exhibiting” the painting which was made from the ashes of victims from the Majdanek extermination camp.