Controversial Hitler Museum Exhibit Opens in Berlin

Posted Oct 14th 2010 03:55 PMUpdated Oct 14th 2010 04:48 PM

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Deutsches Historisches Museum

A major new exhibition in Berlin displays bronze busts of Hitler, various items with swastikas and even toys modeled on the Fuehrer. But officials of the German Historical Museum say the controversial show is not about the dictator but rather about the society that created him.

"We don't want to focus on Hitler as a personality," Hans-Ulrich Thamer, curator of the exhibition, "Hitler and the Germans – Nature and Crime," told reporters at a media preview.

"We want to look at the rise of the regime, how it operated in power and how it fell, and the tremendous destructive potential that National Socialism unleashed," he said.

The show comes more than 75 years after the Nazis took control of the country.

It is housed in a modern annex behind the main museum, on a street named for its linden trees, which Hitler himself ordered torn down. There are no advertisements for the exhibit because German law forbids the display of Nazi symbols.

But inside there is, as The Associated Press describes it, "a world of propaganda" that even includes cigarette packets with swastikas and collectible Nazi cards.

Controversial Hitler Museum Exhibit Opens in Berlin

Deutsches Historisches Museum

The exhibit shows the construction of the Nazi state, including "folksy" celebrations of Hitler, with displays reflecting "growing racial hatred and discrimination," AP says.

Museum-goers move on to displays of the yellow stars the Nazis forced Jews to wear and striped concentration camp uniforms worn by some of the 6 million Jews who died in the Holocaust, including a child's uniform.

The show also chronicles Hitler's downfall. And then its gets into a post-war discussion of Nazism in German society, including a mention of the fascination of neo-Nazis with Hitler memorabilia.

Asked whether the museum expected the exhibit to attract neo-Nazis, an official said those sorts of people don't go to museums.

Such an exhibit would have been inconceivable a few years ago, says Reuters. But Germany has become more comfortable about confronting its Nazi past -- with a spate of films, exhibits and plays on the subject in recent years.

Even so, museum head Hans Ottoemyer admits even now, "displaying Hitler is viewed as delicate."

More items from the exhibit:
Controversial Hitler Museum Exhibit Opens in Berlin

Deutsches Historisches Museum

Controversial Hitler Museum Exhibit Opens in Berlin

Deutsches Historisches Museum

Controversial Hitler Museum Exhibit Opens in Berlin

Deutsches Historisches Museum

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John Kryten

No German will ever forget the role of their country in WWII. They learn about it every year in school the same way we learn about Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross. Americans should put away the hype book and follow their lead - instead we celebrate Thanksgiving and Wall Streeters think they can get away with murder.

November 08 2010 at 11:59 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jr

ernesto you are to stupid to realize it is the dems that are leading by the nose i.e govt healthcare. as they ruin our country. why did they dislike the jew you might go further to understand the germans found out at the treaty of versailles they were sold out by their german jew elites as in the rothchilds . If rothchild could get the us for england the brits would give them a homeland-- isreal which they controlled. they found out their own countrymen jew elite swung favor of us to england and they were devastated. after finding this out i thought i would hate jews too. no wonder do you blame them? it was fuel for the fire caused by the jews that produced megalomaniac murderer hitler

October 16 2010 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jr's comment
majorg1000

Are you ever wrong. Go back on your medication.

April 02 2012 at 11:56 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
volatile22

Truth is truth.

The world can not erase the atrocities of the past. The best way to not repeat the past is to learn it, teach it, and stop it!

If we we ignore the past we are doomed to repeat it. There are many similar horrible occurrences throughout history.

1975-1978. Cambodia, South East Asia. Pol Pot lead the Khmer Rouge, killing somewhere between 2 and4 Million Cambodians. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_Rouge )

I know be cause my Wife was There...she was lucky her family was able to escape before the mass murders occurred. ( http://hubpages.com/hub/Cambodia-Srok-Khmer )

As long as the "Hitler" Museum in Berlin, Germany is promoting History and not Hate, I think that it is important for it to be open so that people from around the world can see and learn about the past.

October 16 2010 at 8:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Robert Habsberg-Guise

I think the issue with Germany (for those that lived it and were there) is that for such an operation to take place (death factories and the dehumanization of millions) it had to take almost everyone in the country of Germany (80,000,000-90,000,000). The fact is just about everyone in Germany ws doing their part for what they viewed as "the cause". Generations of never talking about what happened followed. You know, what happened and the manner it happened really wasn't just a NAZI/Hitler thing. This/the agenda was defined and the vision was developed decades and years before the NAZI's and Hitler. Would it have been possible for such organization and such plans to be developed in the short period of the NAZI's in Germany. No, I don't think so. I think Hitler and NAZI's were just a small piece of a long range long term vision that was developed but never talked about. This was a vision of the ruling circles of Germany and Prussia and not and agenda even known by most Germans. Hitler and the NAZI's (in my opinion) were just a small piece of long term and long range objectives that were only known by a ruling class and not the product of a free press or free communication.

October 16 2010 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zannansarah

Of course we should not forget! But do they really need to sell toys modeled after Hitler or cigarettes and playing cards based on such a horrid group?

October 16 2010 at 7:58 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Robyn

While Hitler - the man, the leader - is abhorrent in every sense of the word; it's important to preserve the history of his rise and fall as the leader of Germany. It's important to understand how a man like Hilter can come into power and change the basic moral and ethical values of a country. This includes preserving 'memoribilia' and political 'marketing' so that future generations can see and compare the course of history can be changed by such simple means.

BTW - the NAZI regime brutalized not just Jews - they persecuted, murdered, experimented on, and worked to death the handicapped, aged, sick, prisoners of war, forced laborers, camp inmates, critics, homosexuals, specific Christian groups, Gypsies, Slavs, Serbs, Germans, Czechs, Italians, Poles, French, Ukrainians, and many others. Among them 1,000,000 were children under eighteen years of age. The NAZI's were a scourge against ALL humanity - period.

October 16 2010 at 7:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
dev

Stop the Debt and the hyperinflated Weimar Republic that gave rise to Hitler. Vote for a Republican Congress.

October 16 2010 at 7:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to dev's comment
Terry

I believe some who think its controversial are saying its Upsetting which it surely is as should be that something like this ever happened and could very well happen again in this society the way government is with some things. My late father in the US Army helped to liberate the Dachau Camp. I can totally understand wanting to forget something like this but please may we never forget and help others to know what went on.

October 16 2010 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

Sosad

October 16 2010 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jackie

it is absurd the people did not know what was going on how dumb are we suppose to be they wanted the world and almost got it

October 16 2010 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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