German Jews angry at plan for sausage museum on site of former Nazi camp

A woman grilling sausages at a street stand in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A woman grilling sausages at a street stand in Buenos Aires, Argentina.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN (REUTERS) - Germany's Jewish community is angry at plans to build a museum celebrating a local sausage delicacy on the site of a facility where the Nazis held Jews before sending them to the Buchenwald concentration camp in the eastern state of Thuringia.

Friends of the Thuringian Sausage, an association that runs a museum in honour of the delicacy named after the region, want to move to a new building to be located on land where the Nazis held prisoners in a so-called subcamp in World War II.

"We are shocked and irritated by the total lack of sensitivity," said Reinhard Schramm, head of the Jewish community in Thuringia, home to some 800 Jews.

"We are in talks with city officials and hope we can find a solution that honours the victims."

The site of the former subcamp lies on the outskirts of the city of Muehlhausen, some 80km north-west of Buchenwald, on a patch of land that a private investor bought from the government in 2008.

The investor now wants to build a theatre, a hotel and a building to house the new sausage museum - a project that has received the backing of the city.

The Muehlhausen city council held a meeting on Thursday attended by representatives of the Jewish community to find a solution, Schramm said.

One idea being considered is to ensure that the new project includes some kind of memorial to the victims of the Nazis.

A spokesman for the First German Sausage Museum, currently located in Holzhausen, 60km south of Muehlhausen, did not respond to an email asking for comment.

The museum announced on Wednesday its plans to move to Muehlhausen, saying the new site would give it more seating capacity and allow it to include new attractions.

Thuringian sausages, usually made with pork mince, caraway, marjoram, and garlic, are one of the most famous of the more than 1,500 sausage varieties made in Germany.