Roxy Music frontman and current male model for high street retailer Marks & Spencer Bryan Ferry has provoked anger by revealing he has love and appreciation for Nazi art, mass parades and propaganda filmmaking.
Speaking to German magazine Welt am Sonntag, the 61-year-old chart-topper, who has recently released an album of Bob Dylan covers, said: “My dear gentlemen, the Nazis knew how to put themselves in the limelight and present themselves. Leni Riefenstahl’s movies and Albert Speer’s buildings and the mass parades and the flags – just amazing. Really beautiful.”
But his comments have stunned Jewish leaders.
“It is deeply offensive when people think they can joke about the Nazis,” said Labour Peer Lord Janner. “Riefenstahl was part of the Nazi movement and the Nazis were murderers – and the mass parades he refers to make me vomit.”
During the interview, Ferry also indicated that his West London recording studio is nicknamed the “fuhrerbunker”.
Lord Janner also called on Marks & Spencer to consider dropping Ferry.
“Marks & Spencer should have a serious rethink about employing him. This man should stick to singing and stay away from making offensive comments of this sort. Any praise of the Nazis is not acceptable in the Jewish world.”
Ferry’s manager Steven Howard, played down the comments and the reaction to them. “To take offence here is to confuse the aesthetic with the ideological. To suggest that a certain appreciation of art and architecture that happens to be associated with the Nazi regime means condoning the actions of that regime is illogical.”
A Marks & Spencer spokesman said it was the retailer’s policy not to comment on views its models may have.
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