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'Nazi-era' names cause climber consternation

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'Nazi-era' names cause climber consternation
13:05 CEST+02:00
A popular climbing spot in Järfälla in Stockholm has prompted controversy after the crag's climbing routes were given names from Hitler's Germany such as "Kristallnacht" and "The Crematorium".

Swedish historian and sport climber Cordelia Hess discovered that several of the names used for the crag in Gåseborg bore names with a Nazi theme such as "3rd Reich", "Swastika" and "Himmler", according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter daily.

"I was there with my friends and doing a bit of climbing, and I thought it felt rather unpleasant to climb through the 'Crematorium' or say that 'now I am going to do Kristallnacht'," Hess told the newspaper.

Cordelia Hess argued to the newspaper that the names trivialise the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust.

But the names are set to stay in place for the time being as it is accepted climbing praxis for the first climbers who tackle and conquer a route to be given the right to name it.

"It is up to the first climber who makes it to name a route," Stockholm climber Erik Djerf told The Local on Thursday. "It is thus that climber, or perhaps the publisher of a local climbing guidebook, who would then be able to change it".

Djerf told The Local that while there is no formal body that approves or rejects names of climbing routes, sites are registered by the Swedish Climbing Association for reasons concerning the public right of access (allemansrätten) and nature conservation.

"There is no board or committee that gives the yay or nay, but perhaps if the names would cause a great deal of offence...The names are in any case often chosen to be deliberately provocative," he said.

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