Since a call to attend the Central Council of Jews' rally in Berlin on 22 October was published on this Facebook page which condemned groups that had celebrated in Berlin after the terrorist attack on 7 October became known, the Festival and I have been subjected to criticism and confronted with a message to the international film community to distance themselves from the festival and my person. The post condemned the events of 7 October and the anti-Semitic reactions to them. My intention was not to stigmatise the Palestinian population in general, neither in Germany nor abroad. I regret that this impression was created. It was a spontaneous appeal which articulated grief, empathy, horror and anger about the terror of 7 October. Our Festival remains a place of free thought and discussion, from which no one should feel excluded because of their political views or cultural background. Racist, anti-Semitic and war-glorifying attitudes have no place here. We hope that the dialogue will continue.
Lars Henrik Gass
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen