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Martin Zet poster asking Germans to drop off copies of a controversial book for recycling
Martin Zet’s poster asking Germans to drop off copies of a controversial book for recycling


Jan. 12, 2012

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Czech artist Martin Zet is waging war against the 2010 best-selling book Germany is Destroying Itself by German author Thilo Sarrazin. For an installation at the seventh annual Berlin Biennale, Apr. 27-July 1, 2012, Zet is amassing as many copies of the anti-immigrant book as he can find -- ideally 60,000, or about 5 percent of the total print order -- after which he plans to have the anti-immigrant screed pulped.

Sarrazin has been a lightning rod for controversy at least since 2010, when he was fired from the board of Germany’s central bank for saying that Muslims were a blight on the nation’s intelligence and economy and that “all Jews share a particular gene.”

Though the Berlin Biennale is still several months off, Zet has already opened a dozen book drop-off locations around Berlin and eight more elsewhere in Germany, with others planned for the future. Updates on newly added locations will be listed on the biennale’s website.

“From a certain moment it is not important what the quality or real intention of the book is, but rather how it affects the German society,” Zet has said. “The book woke up and fed the anti-immigrant and mainly anti-Turkish tendencies in this country. I suggest using the book as an instrument enabling people to privately manifest their personal position.”

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