Saturday, September 23, 2017

Wading Pool News

On several occasions, Red Baron has reported about the new Square of the Old Synagogue. The alleged abuse of the commemorative water basin patterned on the ground plan of the destroyed synagogue still excites the mind of many a citizen. For them, the water surface has degenerated into a Planschbecken (wading pool) not only for pre-school children but for dogs and adults as well.

Hand-written information in German and English.
Note the boy standing on the submerged commemorative plate (©BZ/Michael Bamberger)
There is a consensus that the commemorative plate submerged in the water is barely visible and that its text is rather general. Passers-by will need concise information about the history and the significance of the site.

Freiburg’s Social Democrats have already rushed forward, proposing a giant banner partly covering the front of Collegiate Building II that will undergo renovation during the next two years. In the meantime, the municipal council has decided to set up a working group including the Jewish community to work out a common explanatory text.

Coming back to the abuse of the water basin. Many citizens including moderate Jews regard splashing children as a way to fill the square with new life. With the consent of the parents, a friend of mine took the following photo.

Two splashing children yes, but naked? Is this a new dimension?

The scene reminds me of a song made popular by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder:

Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh Lord, why don't we?

Yes, why don’t we?

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