Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Germany: 'Hitler bell' mayor won't repeat 'Nazi-jargon' about Jews

Via DW:
Georg Welker, the independent mayor of southern German town Herxheim am Berg, has promised that he will never again make statements that draw distinctions between Jewish and German victims of Nazi crimes.

During an appearance on the German public television show Kontraste, Welker spoke about a controversial Nazi-era church bell in Herxheim. Welker argued that the bell, which is emblazoned with the words, "Everything for the Fatherland – Adolf Hitler," should be kept as a monument to those who suffered under the Nazis. He said that when the bell rings: "I hear the victims, these were German citizens, not just Jews."

Welker was immediately sued by a city resident after making the statement, and was sharply criticized by Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
Schuster accused the mayor of ridiculing victims with his words, saying that Welker was espousing Nazi ideology by drawing distinctions between Jews and Germans. Welker denied that he sought to make such a distinction, adding that he was simply thinking of all of the people that he had buried during his time as a pastor in Herxheim. Welker said many of those people had been the victims of Nazi crimes as well.

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