Berlin police chief sorry for Holocaust memorial press-ups

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FILE – General view of the Memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, the so called Holocaust Memorial in central Berlin, Germany, June 17, 2011. Berlin’s police chief apologized Monday for an incident in which officers were seen practising press-ups at the German capital’s memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

BERLIN (AP) — Berlin’s police chief apologized Monday for an incident in which officers were pictured practicing press-ups on a part of the German capital’s memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust.

Pictures published by Berlin’s B.Z. tabloid showed uniformed policemen leaning on one of the slabs that makes up the Holocaust memorial to practice press-ups. The newspaper said they were stills from a video apparently taken by the officers themselves on a cellphone during a holiday weekend in May when they were deployed to the area because of demonstrations.

The memorial, a field of 2,700 gray concrete slabs near the Brandenburg Gate that opened in 2005, is open around the clock and isn’t surrounded by any barriers. Visitors are supposed to refrain from activities such as running and jumping from one slab to another.

Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik said the service would examine the incident internally.

“The colleagues’ behavior disrespects what this memorial stands for” and also offends the memory of those who were murdered, Slowik said.

The GdP union, which represents police officers, also apologized and condemned the “tastelessness” of the officers’ actions, adding that there must be “consequences” for those involved. “The Holocaust memorial is not an adventure playground,” it said.

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