A German museum is facing right-wing backlash after creating a designated time for non-white visitors to view an exhibition about colonialism, the Washington Post reported last week. Police remain stationed at the museum.
The Zeche Zollern Museum in Dortmund dedicated four hours each Saturday as a safe space for BIPOC attendees to visit the show “This Is Colonial” with the purpose of being “considerate of people who are more affected by the topic of colonialism than others,” the director of local industrial museums Kirsten Baumann said on Facebook.
Visitors who arrive during that time, however, are not monitored.
The museum received international visibility when a TikTok video of two white men confronting staff about the time slot went viral. In it, the men accuse the museum of discrimination against white people.
The two white men were not asked or forced to leave the premises. But museum employees who were filmed without their consent are reportedly taking legal action for defamation.
Despite the fact that white visitors are not prevented from viewing the show during this allotted time, the museum has continued to face backlash. In response to threats made against staff, police were sent to the museum and are expected to remain there until the exhibition closes next month.
The show includes workshops and interactive performances on the history of German colonialism both locally and abroad.
Germany’s colonial-era discretions include genocide in Namibia, wherein members of the German army killed at least 75,000 people. The German government first acknowledged these war crimes in 2021, following more than five years of negotiations between the two countries.