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German band Rammstein blasted for wearing concentration camp garb in promo video

The German rockband Rammstein pose with their Echo award received in the category "Best Video National" at the "Echo" music awards in Berlin on March 24, 2011. | JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

BERLIN — German hard rock group Rammstein is being criticized for a video promoting the release of its new single “Deutschland” that features band members dressed as concentration camp inmates standing on a gallows.

Jewish groups and others called the video tasteless and unacceptable, while the government’s anti-Semitism official, Felix Klein, told Bild newspaper in comments published Thursday that the band had “crossed a red line.”

Klein says “it’s a tasteless exploitation of artistic freedom.”

The band and its label refused to comment on the 35-second clip, and it’s not clear what message it is intended to convey, nor how the lyrics of the unreleased song tie in with it.

The clip itself only has instrumental audio, and ends with the word “Deutschland” in old Germanic lettering.

UPDATE: The official video for “Deutschland” was released Thursday afternoon. It comes complete with a pre-viewing warning: “This video may be inappropriate for some users.”