Saxony: Siegfried Reiprich, head of the memorial, exempted after NS comparison

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The Saxon Memorials Foundation releases its controversial managing director Siegfried Reiprich “irrevocably with immediate effect”. The board of trustees disapproved of its statements on Twitter in a special private meeting in Dresden. These clearly contradict the meaning of the memorial work, said culture minister Barbara Klepsch (CDU) as chair of the committee.
Reiprich’s tasks will initially be taken over by his deputy Sven Riesel, a commission is to determine a successor.

The 65-year-old Reiprich compared the riots in Stuttgart with the Nazi pogrom in 1938 on Twitter: “Was it a Bundeskristallnacht or ‘just’ a southwest German Scherbennachtle?” This caused outrage nationwide.

Organized attacks against Jewish people on November 9, 1938 were called “Reichskristallnacht” during the Nazi era, and today these events are mostly referred to as the Reich Pogrom Night. State MPs from the SPD, Left and Greens had asked Reiprich to resign promptly because of his Nazi settlement.
After the criticism, Reiprich distanced himself from the tweet and said that his statement was “awkward and a mistake”. “It was an ironic question that was also dangerously provocative. I wouldn’t write it like that again.”

He hadn’t only seen the reason for the outrage with himself. “I underestimated how great the arousal potential and need for scandal is and how intolerant the climate of opinion,” he said. “To stand in the right corner is absurd.”

Reiprich is now leaving at the end of November

According to Klepsch, the decision to release Reiprich was made unanimously. At the same time, Reiprich’s application to terminate the employment relationship prematurely for health reasons was granted at the end of November. Until then, his earnings continue to run. The Foundation Council thanked the 65-year-old for his services and ten years of service.

In the past few years, the foundation had repeatedly made headlines in Saxony because of him. Victim groups complained that they were more concerned with the crimes of the GDR dictatorship than with the Nazi era. Recently, Reiprich had come under increasing pressure, there had been several demands for resignation.
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