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Hitler's rise to power remembered 80 years on
Photo: DPA

Hitler's rise to power remembered 80 years on

Published: 30 Jan 2013 07:43 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Jan 2013 07:43 GMT+01:00

Germany on Wednesday marks Adolf Hitler's rise to power 80 years ago, with exhibitions exploring what Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the country's "everlasting responsibility" for crimes committed by the Nazis.

In a black-and-white photo, visitors can make out the Führer 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 on Wednesday, 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.

According to Nachama, the exhibition shows the "daily erosion of democratic institutions" as the Nazi regime began to build up steam, eventually leading to World War II and the deaths of 40 to 60 million people, including six million Jews.

The 80th anniversary has sparked much interest in Germany - a novel that imagines Hitler's return to modern-day Berlin entitled "He's Back" (Er Ist Wieder Da) has become a bestseller here.

Another two exhibitions are also due to open - one on Berlin and the Nazis at the German Historical Museum and the other offering a thematic tour of Berlin's symbolic sites from the Third Reich.

Just ahead of the anniversary, Merkel said in her weekly podcast that Germany had "an everlasting responsibility for the crimes of National Socialism, for the victims of World War II, and above all, for the Holocaust".

"We're facing our history, we're not hiding anything, we're not repressing anything. We must confront this to make sure we are a good and trustworthy partner in the future, as we already are today, thankfully," Merkel said.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:50 January 30, 2013 by Sastry.M
Also it is an everlasting responsibility of all humanity to note that daily events are reported in news media as created presently in destitution and distress by human beings struggling to earn daily bread for a living and becomes a subject matter of history to posterity to be studied in comfort to acquire educational qualifications.

Crimes committed in the past can only be redeemed by inculcating virtue and righteous conduct among the people who committed atrocities against humanity according to sacred scriptural injunctions proclaimed by Religious Faith and Divine Order. There followed the ¦#39;de-Nazification programs¦#39; instituted by allied victors among German population immediately after ww2. If this has instilled democratic virtues impressed by the ¦#39;programs¦#39; resulting in the miraculous economic recovery and reconstruction of Germany, although a former enemy, glory be to God, Christianity and human Victory to the virtuous Allies.

Is it worth the while all along 67years up to the present, even after the atrocious Nazi period which began 80 years ago and lasted a brief 12 years resonantly rising high and resulted in ruins of rubble, to create monuments of remembrance, institutions of study and recollection of the ghastly crimes assiduously in a religious manner and causing greatest embarrassment of shame as well as stirring up feelings of retaliation even among the progeny of grand children?

One molecule of the deadly poison of ¦#39;hate¦#39; with a space created to store it in heart can destroy the whole of humanity within a period of a few decades what it took God to wait for many million years to create one virtuous human being.
14:52 January 30, 2013 by tdog1964
When will it end for Germany. Stalin killed millions , but the Ruusians do not have any guilt. Germay is allied with Israel . They belong to NATO . They seem to have the strongest economy in Europe. Let the past fade away.
17:51 January 30, 2013 by Reader75
Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it. - - Edmund Burke
23:53 January 30, 2013 by RainerL
I agree with tdog. I amongst many also think this> Lets not forget the British, the French, the Turks, the Romans, Russians, Chinese Americans > Shall I go on??? Yes! Why don't we have aniversaries for of them too and remember THEIR cruelties? I guess Germans are greatly singled out. Lets move on and stop justifying all in keeping a Nazi stgma going in order to keep any German freedom of speech. Perhaps it is an ongoing punishment and FEAR that drives this? Lets move on!!!!
00:10 January 31, 2013 by pedro-777
Easy answer tdog1964, nowadays all the media is owned by jews.
19:36 January 31, 2013 by guliver
pedro

I wish it was the situation if it was true people like you would not be able to expose their racial hate on this Media.
12:22 February 1, 2013 by zeddriver
The rise of Hitler was one of the rare events in the rise of a dictator that was fully documented from within and outside of the subject country.(Germany in this case) Even in so far as to go all the way back to the treaties of WWI to see how the good people of Germany could have mistakenly seen Hitler as a savior of Germany. And that is why it is looked at so much. In other countries similar situations were not so well documented. And thus the true nature of how such things can happen are then lost or are misinterpreted.

In the USA we do not shy away from or pretend that slavery did not exist in our past. We look at it to learn and remind ourselves to never let that happen again.
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