Dozens of priceless works of art are deliberately damaged. What do conspiracy theories have to do with it, representing Attila Hildmann, among others?

The police are investigating in all directions after the attacks on works of art and antiques on Museum Island in Berlin. But there is one question in the room: Have the absurd conspiracy ideologies of the QAnon movement led unknown people to express hatred for historical works of art? The name Attila Hildmann appears, and the former TV chef has already jumped on it. After the attacks became known, he posted numerous archive texts on Wednesday. They are apparently intended as proof that Berlin is a stronghold of Satanism.

Visible spots on 70 objects

Hildmann is part of a scene that apparently views artworks on Museum Island as places of worship of the Satanists to be fought. In no contribution did he distance himself from damage to works, some of which were thousands of years old. Apparently, about 70 objects in the Pergamon Museum, New Museum, Old National Gallery and other locations were sprayed with an oily liquid on October 3. It left visible stains.

Hildmann had written in recent weeks, among other things: ‘Here they perform their human sacrifices at night and profane children. The former TV chef isn’t alone in making absurd assumptions about the importance of the cultural treasures.

In the QAnon movement, the assumption that the altar plays a central role for supposed satanic elites has solidified in recent months. In early April, there were calls on German channels to learn more about the Pergamon Altar. A 2006 n-TV article “Satan Lives in Berlin” was the first impetus.

Pergamon altar as an entrance to the underworld

For example, it was now distributed as the so-called “throne of Satan” in the Revelation of John, the altar is the entrance to underground passages. QAnons are obsessed with the idea that a global elite is locking children underground for their rituals. “That thing has to go,” wrote a user in April.

Pergamon Altar: The reconstruction with the original friezes in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin is an object of hatred for parts of the QAnon scene, they see it as a central place of a worldwide satanic movement. (Source: Image Images)

This is the Pergamon Altar
The Pergamon Altar is one of the most important legacies of Ancient Greece. Eumenes II had it built in the 2nd century BC as king of Pergamon (in present-day Turkey). Rediscovered remains of the altar were brought to Berlin in the 19th century. The Pergamon Museum has been built especially for this purpose on Museum Island. For example, the famous high relief shows how the Greek gods fight against the giants. Contrary to conspiracy theories suggest, the purpose of the Pergamon Altar was not for human sacrifice.

Hildmann is not the origin of the hatred of the thousands of years old cultural evidence, but merely absorbed and passed it on. Nor is it the only prominent amplifier. Xavier Naidoo called the Pergamon Museum the “Embassy of Hell” on the day of the second major misfit demo on August 29 and called it without further comment along with the Russian and US embassies. In front of the US and Russian embassies, citizens of the Reich and supporters of QAnon had demonstrated and asked for “help”.

Hildmann himself had recorded a video on the Museum Island on August 27: “The international satanist scene converges in Berlin.” Days earlier, he had circulated a screenshot of a message suggesting he would lead people to the “Baal Temple” and destroy it. That has now been removed.

Due to renovation and expansion, the Pergamon Altar will not be open to the public until 2023, but for Hildmann this was only an indication.

“Destroy Legacies Forever”

T-online was unable to find detailed calls to attack the artworks in QAnon channels. But Facebook, for example, has removed large QAnon pages and groups in recent weeks. On Friday, before the attack on the artworks became known, a QAnon channel posted on Telegram, “The Satanists are now being completely exterminated and their legacies like the Pergamon Shrine and the countless obelisks worldwide will be destroyed forever.”

That’s not far from the fanatical will to destroy the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (IS) – and there are points of contact too. One example is the World Cultural Heritage image that was blown up by “IS” in the ancient destroyed city of Palmyra. After demolition, there were plans to rebuild a 15-meter high arch of New York’s temple of Baal in Times Square. The OCG cult broadcaster Sender criticized them: it could actually be a “manifestation of Satanism in the Christian West.” The 2016 article re-appeared in QAnon channels many times this year, although plans to replicate it were abandoned.

QAnon supporters burst into the pizzeria armed

The proximity of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s apartment to the Pergamon Museum was also presented in the scene as evidence of Merkel’s role in a Satanist elite. It was initially said that the former US presidential candidate was Hillary Clinton. A supporter of QAnon who was in Washington, D.C. in December 2016, also burst into a pizza parlor where Clinton’s team had ordered food. He believed that children were being held there. The disproved theory has come to be known as the “Pizzagate”.

There have been other instances where QAnon supporters took action based on absurd ideas. In the United States, the FBI has classified them as a terrorist organization. Even the Hanau shooter held on to the absurd QAnon belief that adrenochrome, a kind of fountain of youth elixir for an elite, could be extracted from children. Adrenochrome can be easily made in the laboratory. A link between QAnons and the incidents in the museums has so far been speculation, only the hatred of the supposed symbols of Satanism has been proven.

Hildmann himself says he received a so-called threat approach from the police at the beginning of September because of a stay in front of the museum and near Merkel’s apartment. Hildmann had held several meetings on the steps of the Altes Museum. As a result, the museum responded with a banner “For cosmopolitanism and democratic values. Against racism, anti-Semitism, nationalism and agitation.”

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