Nazi church for sale

Elizabeth Press
Elizabeth Press - [email protected] • 30 Jan, 2008 Updated Wed 30 Jan 2008 15:21 CEST

A church filled with Nazi symbols in the Berlin district of Mariendorf has gone public with its search for an investor. The protestant church, which was built between 1933 and 1935, has door arches adorned with images of SS officers, soldiers on the alter and Hitler youth as decoration, and is in need or renovation.

“And the Christ in the church is very untypical, he does not suffer, rather it is a hero-Christ,” Father Hans-Martin Brehm explained to Berliner Morgenpost.

The Martin-Luther Remembrance Church’s Nazi past is not as apparent as one might think. During the past decades, the local community has tried to surround it with themes of remembrance. “They linked the church with the peace movement and tried to achieve thoughtfulness,” explained the minister.

With an ailing steeple, the church must be closed due to severe damages. Sunday services take place in another church. The renovations would cost €3.5 million and the congregation barely has the €40,000 necessary to repair the scaffolding. The community is now looking for an investor to come up with a good use for the building.

“We are looking for a project developer who can concern themselves with the financing and renovation of the church,” Isolde Böhm, superintendent of the Church district, told Berliner Morgenpost. A church board will decide who gets the church. The organizers of this project want to avoid buyers such as Neo-Nazi groups.

“My dream is that an endowment assumes ownership of the church and can act in place of the community,” said Brehm. “We all want to do that which serves the preservation of the Martin-Luther Remembrance Church.”



Elizabeth Press 2008/01/30 15:21

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