Documenta 15 ends in just under two weeks. Even before it opened, it was suspected of being anti-Semitic. Shortly before the end, a racism scandal of a special kind follows. What is happening here cannot be dismissed as a one-off case of stupidity.

You have to be grateful to Documenta 15. The art show, which likes to call itself the most important in the world, has shown what is possible in Germany today – at taxpayer expense, by the way. For example, that artists can claim with impunity that anyone who calls anti-Jewish art anti-Semitic is a racist.

What happened? Propaganda films are shown in an endless loop on a large screen, which are not only one-sidedly pro-Palestinian, but also portray Israel as a fascist state and therefore glorify terrorism directed against this country.

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The compilation of the concoctions from the 60s to 80s is called “Tokyo Reels Film Festival”. According to the Documenta website, the Japanese Masao Adachi played an important role in its genesis. Adachi was a member of the Japanese Red Army and worked with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Both terrorist organizations have carried out attacks against Israeli and other civilians, including the 1972 Lod Airport massacre in which 26 people were killed. This is what it says in a statement by an eight-member scientific committee that demanded the immediate stop of the film screening.

Artists, including the curators, the Indonesian artist collective Ruangrupa, have now responded to this statement by the scientists – led by the conflict researcher Nicole Deitelhoff, and also present: the respected constitutional lawyer Christoph Möllers.

This answer is telling. The artists recognize a “racist tendency” and a “structure of censorship” in the judgment of the scientists.

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But that’s not all: Don’t allow yourself to be “defined, inspected and re-colonized by another institution”. And: “We reject Eurocentric – and in this case specifically German-centric – superiority as a form of disciplining, management and taming.”

This means three things are said:

First: Art can put everything, including Jews, on the same level as Nazis.

Second: Whoever criticizes this is a racist who…

Third: wants to colonize the “Global South” anew.

One can only say: the artists want to free themselves from criticism by branding the motives of the criticism as an attempt at suppression by the “white” global North.

Attempts to suppress criticism in the name of a higher morality – anti-colonization – are familiar from dictatorships. This method of self-immunization with the means of demonization is totalitarian. In this specific case: left-totalitarian.

Now art may be free, at least up to the red line set by criminal law. But even free art cannot claim to be exhibited.

Which brings us to the Documenta itself, which made it possible to show clearly anti-Semitic “art” in Germany. The event that is obviously so important for Germany that it will be opened by the Federal President.

Documenta 15 – thank God it ends in just under two weeks – was suspected of being anti-Semitic even before it opened. A number of artists are close to the BDS movement, which calls for a boycott of Israel worldwide.

The scandal surrounding the anti-Jewish, inflammatory picture “People’s Justice”, which has since been removed after loud protests, was not even the sad highlight of this Documenta. Those are – but who knows what’s to come? – now the Tokyo Reels”. The German scientists classify them bluntly as “dangerous”.

If things were right, this kind of agitation, which comes in the guise of art, would be a case for the police and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. But sadly she isn’t. This documenta is hopeless, it has damaged Germany’s reputation as a cultural nation in the world.

This morning, Olaf Zimmermann, who represents the “German Cultural Council” as the umbrella organization, spoke on the radio about the Documenta as a “place of irresponsibility”.

What was meant by this was that federal politicians in the form of Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth from the Greens, and the shareholders, the black-green governed state of Hesse and the social-democratic governed city of Kassel, pushed the responsibility on themselves until they were no longer there – the responsibility.

A brief comment on all of this:

The fact that in Germany, despite all the Sunday speeches about Israel’s right to exist as an alleged reason of state, a top cultural event is possible at which, paid for by German taxpayers, anti-Semites slobber around and then insult their critics as racist, should not be seen as a one-off case of dismiss stupidity.

Where has the defensive democracy gone? Is it already in the graveyard, buried by the cancel culture? And where is the Federal President when you need him?