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Hitler wax figure raises hackles

Political and popular sentiment about an Adolf Hitler model at the unopened Madame Tussaud’s wax museum in Berlin appears to be divided.

The museum is due to open in July in the Unter den Linden – the historic center of the city.

Politicians and historians are arguing that the figure should be melted down. According to news reports, Berlin politicians across the spectrum – and the director of the Holocaust memorial only steps away from Madame Tussaud’s – have described the plans for a Hitler model as”tasteless.”

But an unscientific, interactive survey in the Berlin Tagesspiegel daily newspaper showed that 57 percent of about 1,400 readers agree that “Hitler is an historical figure, thus belongs in the show,” while 43 percent said “Hitler should stay where he belongs – in history books.”

A museum spokeswoman, Natalie Ruoss, told the Reuters news agency that “surveys show people want to see [Hitler] because he belongs to Germany’s past.” Madame Tussaud’s expects average
tourists and not right-wing extremists to show up.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit has asked the museum to be sure the figure is accompanied by information about the crimes committed by Hitler and his National Socialist regime.

Ruoss said the display would include explanatory panels about the Nazi dictator and depict him in his waning years. Hitler committed suicide 63 years ago, during the last days of World War II, only a short walk away from Unter den Linden.

Museum directors say the model will be surrounded by glass with video cameras trained on it.

 

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