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European Jewish group calls for Goebbels mansion to be centre to combat hate propaganda

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Berlin’s government is offering to give away a villa once owned by Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister. “Turning the mansion of the worst of all consciousness engineers in human history into a centre for political psychology, communication, and combating hate speech would be an important moral victory.  EJA is ready to examine the possibility of promoting the idea and realising it,” says European Jewish Association Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin in a letter to Berlin Finance Minister. 

Berlin’s government is offering to give away a villa once owned by Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, hoping to end a decades-long debate on whether to repurpose or bulldoze a sprawling disused site in the countryside north of the German capital.

“I offer to anyone who would like to take over the site, to take it over as a gift from the state of Berlin,” Berlin’s Finance Minister, Stefan Evers, told the state parliament on Thursday, dpa reported.

In the wake of this call, the chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA),  Rabbi Menachem Margolin, said that his organisation, which is representing hundreds of Jewish communities across Europe, is interested in exploring the possibility of turning the estate of the most terrible consciousness engineer in human history into a centre for the study of political psychology, communication and the fight against hate speech. He wrote an official letter to the Berlin minister in which he expressed willingness to examine this possibility.

Rabbi Margolin noted: “91 years since the Nazis came to power and the free world is once again facing waves of hatred that are motivated by consciousness engineering of poisonous propaganda, mass enframement and the creation of virtual reality with the sole purpose of sowing destruction and violence.’’

He added: ‘’It is precisely these days that Dr. Goebbels’ estate should not be demolished, but rather that it should be turned into a centre of combating hate speech that will protect the free world from the dangerous trends that are repeating themselves in the entire Western world and in Germany in particular.”

“We are interested in implement the matter together with the Berlin government,” he wrote.

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“In a chilling resemblance to what is happening now in another place where the Jewish people are being sought to be destroyed, this week marked exactly 79 years since Goebbels poisoned his six children and committed suicide in his tunnel.’’

‘’Let us make the estate of spreading absolute evil a source of spreading good. It would be an important moral victory,’’ concluded Rabbi Margolin.

The European Jewish Association initiates and coordinates the activities of dozens of Jewish organisations to combat anti-Semitism and for freedom of religion and worship in Europe.

The organisation, which defines itself as the “Jewish voice of Europe,” holds conferences to raise awareness of the Holocaust and its lessons for EU leaders and leaders of countries, hosts delegations to extermination camps and promotes legislation against hate speech and the trade in Nazi memorabilia.

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