MUNICH (Jul. 24)
The crematorium of the infamous Dachau concentration camp should be closed to the public “so as to forestall pernicious propaganda” the governmental administrator of Dachau county, Heinrich Junker, urges in a petition to the Bavarian Government and Parliament.
Junker, the most important public figure in the Dachau area, is also a Christian Social Union deputy in the Bavarian Landtag. His petition is the latest move in a long-standing campaign by the Dachau city and county authorities to wipe out all mementoes of Hitler’s oldest and best-known concentration camp. Thus the camp museum with its “Never Again!” memorial exhibition, was shut down from one day to the next two years ago without notification to the organizations of Nazi victims. Last year, the grim “hangman’s fir tree”, on the branches of which many inmates were publicly hanged, was cut down. The official explanation is that it was infested by bark beetles.
The “pernicious propaganda” referred to by Junkers is the reminder that more than ten thousand Nazi victims were burned in the crematorium ovens. Thousands of one-time inmates, delegations and sightseers pass through its doors each year. This stream of visitors embarrasses many Germans, in the Dachau area and beyond, who consider Dachau an irksome reminder of things they would like to forget.