Monday, May 09, 2005

Does a Mezuzah belong in Auschwitz?

Fascinating debate in Ha'aretz over whether Sharon was right to affix a mezuzah to one of the barracks (the one now used to commemorate the murdered Jews) at Auschwitz last week.
Apart from the halachic question of whether one is really necessary in such a place, it seems strange to me from a spiritual, symbolic and emotional perspective as well. Putting a mezuzah on the door of a room seems to me to convey some sense of spiritual ownership and belonging. Whilst millions of Jews may have lived and died in Auschwitz, and it means a lot to us in many different ways, we certainly don't belong there and it's not a place we should want to 'own' in this sense. Auschwitz is not ours and is not a Jewish place, and certainly 60 years after the fact there's something incongruous about a Mezuzah on one of the barracks there.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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