Axel Springer brings artwork to Berlin: China fears this pillar | Politics

“The old cannot kill the young forever” – that’s what the “Pillar of Shame” says. It is a work of art commemorating the brutal repression of the Chinese pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong for 24 years – and was later confiscated by Beijing.

In 1989, a million people demonstrated for freedom and democracy in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, “Tiananmen Square”. On June 3 and 4, 1989, the Chinese regime crushed peaceful demonstrators with its tanks. Estimates of the immediate death toll range from a few hundred to 3,000.

The “Pillar of Shame” by Danish sculptor Jens Kalchiot commemorates this horrific massacre, but also the courage of the demonstrators.

His pillar has been a thorn in the side of those in power in Beijing for 27 years – but since 1997 the pillar has been in Hong Kong, they have no way to stop it. However, in 2021, democracy and freedom of speech were abolished in Hong Kong with the “Security Act”, and the Chinese regime now enforced its rule in Hong Kong – and banned the hated pillar from the public.

Professor Dr. Taiwan’s representative to Germany, Ji-Wei Shi, speaks at the opening ceremony in front of the Axel Springer skyscraper in Berlin.

Photo: Dennis Yenmes

die Axel Springer Independent Foundation (ASFF) therefore decided: the column must go to Berlin!

After the announcement that an exact replica would be displayed in Berlin, the Chinese regime struck back in Hong Kong: the column there was confiscated and is now said to be “evidence” in the next program trial against opposition figures.

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Antje Schippmann, Managing Director of the Axel Springer Freedom Foundation, at the opening speech for the Pillar of Shame in Berlin

Antje Schippmann, Managing Director of the Axel Springer Freedom Foundation, at the opening speech for the Pillar of Shame in Berlin

Photo: Dennis Yenmes

The Pillar in Berlin

“The Axel Springer Freedom Foundation wants to be a role model today – for courageous dissidents, opposition members, and the politically persecuted persecuted by the Chinese regime,” explained ASFF Executive Director Antje Shipman. Axel Springer CEO Matthias Toepfner.

The place was deliberately chosen for the death row column of the GDR regime – a place of hope and reminder that regimes in Moscow, Tehran, Minsk, Havana and Beijing would sooner or later be established and people were shot because they wanted freedom. According to Shipman, come to a glorious conclusion.

In his speech, Tenzin Zochbauer, managing director of the Tibet Initiative Germany eV, warned against underestimating the Chinese regime's influence in Germany.

Tenzyn Zöchbauer, Managing Director Tibet Initiative Germany eV, In his speech he warned against underestimating the influence of the Chinese regime in Germany

Photo: Hannes P Albert/dpa

Prof. Dr. Jay-way Shih, Taiwan’s representative in Germany, criticized the Chinese regime for handling the memory of the massacre: “Instead of hiding their face from shame, they want to hide the memory of their actions and save face.” Not only the struggle for freedom. A Western problem, Shih said. “There are no Western values, but there are universal values.”

This tells us when a work of art is confiscated because of ridiculous charges Ray WongCo-Founder Freedom for Hong Kong eV “It shows how insecure the regime feels.”

Artist Jens Galschiøt welcomes publisher Fried Springer and Hong Kong activist Samuel Xu

Artist Jens Galschiøt welcomes publisher Fried Springer and Hong Kong activist Samuel Xu

Photo: Dennis Yenmes

Haiuier Querban, head of the Berlin office of the World Uyghur Congress, recalled the persecution of Uyghurs, millions of whom were deported to labor camps using slave labor to produce goods for the Western market. “But democracy is like water,” said Gurban. “She always finds a way, even if it’s a small gap.”

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The pillar’s story represents the nature of Chinese rule, he said Tenzyn ZöchbauerAdministrative director Tibet Initiative Germany Registered Association: “This is a story of people being shot, ideas suppressed and history destroyed.”

The Communist Party will not stop at China’s borders, Zöchbauer warned: “The central government must fundamentally change the way it deals with Beijing, a real breakthrough is needed.”

After all, Zöchbauer called for tough economic sanctions against those responsible for human rights crimes in China, and in Germany, more action than ever against China’s influence – instead, the opposite is currently happening, parts sales Hamburg to Beijing scenarios.

Freedom for Hong Kong, Freedom for East Turkestan: Activists demonstrate against Chinese regime repression at the unveiling of the Pillar of Shame in Berlin

Freedom for Hong Kong, freedom for East Turkestan: Activists demonstrate against Chinese regime oppression as “Pillar of Shame” unveils in Berlin

Photo: Dennis Yenmes

According to the Chinese student, the pillar today also stands for the solidarity of those persecuted by the Chinese regime. Ruchen Tian. It is beyond China’s borders.

Finally invited the artistsGens Calchiot Invite visitors to a tradition: painting the statue orange – this is how Hong Kong commemorates the anniversary of the massacre.

The column is open to the public in front of the Axel-Springer-Haus (Axel-Springer-Str. 65, 10969 Berlin) until June 22nd.

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