Eternal Flame

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was once invited to attend a solemn ceremony at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Schroeder, as a symbolic gesture, was to turn a handle to boost the flame commemorating the German Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust.

To the mortification of Schroeder and scores of onlookers, the Chancellor promptly turned the handle in the wrong direction -- and extinguished the so-called "eternal flame"!

[Though Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak stepped forward to help, it took a technician (with a butane lighter) to bring the flame to life again.]

[A scandal erupted in 2003 when it was learned that Degussa, the German company commissioned to produce an anti-graffiti coating (Protectosil) for the 2,751 huge concrete slabs comprising Berlin's Holocaust monument, had once owned Degesch -- the firm which produced the Zyklon B used to gas Jews in concentration camps! (The use of Protectosil was halted and another product promptly found.)]

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