80 yrs since Adolf Hitler's rise: Everlasting responsibility for Nazi crimes vests with Germany, says Angela Merkel

Adolf Hitler

Berlin today commemorates Adolf Hitler's rise to power 80 years ago, with exhibitions exploring what Chancellor Angela Merkel has called Germany's 'everlasting responsibility' for crimes committed by the Nazis.

In a black-and-white photo, visitors can make out the Fuehrer saluting the crowd from the chancellery window on the evening of January 30, 1933, after earlier having been made chancellor and been charged by president Paul von Hindenburg with forming a new government.

The picture is on display at "Berlin 1933. On the Path to Dictatorship", due to be opened by Merkel in the German capital today, on a site charged with history as the former headquarters of the Gestapo, the secret police of the Nazi regime. It now houses The Topography of Terror, an open-air documentation centre whose exhibition will trace Hitler's first months in power through photos, newspapers and posters.

"The hour has come! We are at Wilhelmstrasse (the site of the chancellery at the time). Hitler is chancellor of the Reich. Like in a fairytale," wrote Joseph Goebbels, who was to become Nazi propaganda chief, in his diary on January 31, 1933.

Posters go on to show images of the Reichstag going up in flames the following month and then the first measures taken against the Jews on April 1, with the start of a boycott of Jewish shops, doctors and lawyers.

"Germans, defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews," a poster states.

Andreas Nachama, director of The Topography of Terror, said the arrival of the failed painter from Austria at the helm of power in Germany was an "incision" in history, although nobody at the time thought he would last.

However the parliamentary system of the Weimar Republic failed to find a stable majority and Hitler, on the back of over-simplified themes, rallied millions of unemployed and people who had lost everything in the economic crisis.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views, opinions and comments posted are your, and are not endorsed by this website. You shall be solely responsible for the comment posted here. The website reserves the right to delete, reject, or otherwise remove any views, opinions and comments posted or part thereof. You shall ensure that the comment is not inflammatory, abusive, derogatory, defamatory &/or obscene, or contain pornographic matter and/or does not constitute hate mail, or violate privacy of any person (s) or breach confidentiality or otherwise is illegal, immoral or contrary to public policy. Nor should it contain anything infringing copyright &/or intellectual property rights of any person(s).
comments powered by Disqus