Uproar at plans to make Terezin 'porn film'

r_2100x1400_radio_praha.png

Over the last few weeks the Czech papers have been full of a man called Robert Rosenberg, and a rather unusual film project. Rosenberg is a porn star turned producer, and two weeks ago the Czech tabloid Super claimed he was planning to make a hard-core sex film in the former Terezin concentration camp. The paper even superimposed images of people indulging in graphic sex acts over pictures of the fortress's grim red-brick walls, to help those readers with little or no imagination. Unsurprisingly the report caused uproar - around 140,000 Jews from across Europe were herded into the Terezin ghetto, thousands died there, and almost 90,000 were later sent to Auschwitz.

Over the last few weeks the Czech papers have been full of a man called Robert Rosenberg, and a rather unusual film project. Rosenberg is a porn star turned producer, and two weeks ago the Czech tabloid Super claimed he was planning to make a hard-core sex film in the former Terezin concentration camp. The paper even superimposed images of people indulging in graphic sex acts over pictures of the fortress's grim red-brick walls, to help those readers with little or no imagination. Unsurprisingly the report caused uproar - around 140,000 Jews from across Europe were herded into the Terezin ghetto, thousands died there, and almost 90,000 were later sent to Auschwitz.

Terezin, and Rosenberg quickly found themselves at the centre of a media storm, with Bild, the New York Times and even CNN picking up the story. The director of the Terezin Memorial Jan Munk issued strenuous denials that he or anyone of his colleagues had given permission for such a film to be made at Terezin, and held talks with the Culture Minister to discuss protecting the memorial from abuse. Signs sprung up around the camp - "Video cameras strictly banned".

Rosenberg, for his part, also sought to clear up the "misunderstanding", as he calls it. The star of more than 1,000 porn films, he says it was never his intention to film sex scenes at Terezin, although he admits taking video footage as a regular tourist. He says he's working on a private project, a historical film detailing - among other things - how SS officers raped inmates at Terezin. He plans to make several versions of the same documentary, including an "adult" version.

Rosenberg was asked by the serious news weekly Tyden whether he felt like Larry Flynt, the founder and publisher of Hustler and other sex magazines. "No," he replied. "I feel like an idiot." But perhaps he's just being modest. In show business, after all, there's no such thing as bad publicity. And that's surely something Robert Rosenberg knows better than anyone.