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German embassies to remove portraits of Nazi ambassadors

The Local · 24 Nov 2010, 11:22

Published: 24 Nov 2010 11:22 GMT+01:00

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The order says that only portraits of "ambassadors appointed since the creation of the German Federal Republic's Foreign Ministry in 1951 can be displayed," a spokesman said late Tuesday.

Portraits of ambassadors named since 1951 but who had links to the 1933-1945 Nazi regime will be accompanied by an "explanatory text explicitly mentioning this" the spokesman added.

The instruction follows the publication of an official report in October which exposed active complicity by Nazi Germany's foreign ministry in the systematic slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust.

"Holocaust survivors welcome the removal of these portraits as a symbolic signal of modern Germany's moral and political maturity," the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants said.

"This additional step demonstrates that present-day Germany is serious in its efforts to painfully and honestly confront its dark past.

"It is gratifying that Germany is in a sober and serious manner acknowledging the moral account it has with the Jewish people and humanity as a whole."

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:26 November 24, 2010 by adipk
does it effect anyway. Its a history, You cant change it even removing portraits. What about the nazi era "success story Films" which you can watch daily on TV. Always there documentary movies about German role, their success and their triumphs during WWII.

Who will stop that?
16:10 November 24, 2010 by robmar7
Ridiculous!! It is not hiding History that we learn to improve.
16:29 November 24, 2010 by jamano
I get the impression that Germany works only for the comfort and well-being of the jewish community.
18:21 November 24, 2010 by jesey07843
i am an American born an Esser, then later adopted... i believe that the Nazis are nothing to hide, as in the above comments it is true that without remembering history we are doomed to repeat it...

the Jewish community has never tried to abolish the Egyptians who also made the same kinds of atrocities to their people, this is all absurd....

this happened and its not a proud moment in history but must be part of us as human beings (not only Germans) and acknowledged for the world as a whole.... this could have happened anywhere at any time... and has.

we as human beings need to look at the new enemy, the extreme Islamic culture who by their own "bible" must have one way of life, one belief, left on this earth at any cost.
19:41 November 24, 2010 by bmck
Why would it take an "official report" to declare the Nazi foriegn ministry was

complicit "in the systematic slaughter of Jews [and other groups] in the Holocaust.?"

I could have told them that...
20:33 November 24, 2010 by tiranga
How innocent ;)?? Somehow the allies have been successful in making Germans feel guilty for a long time!!! In the name of holocaust, US/UK still keeping military basis in Germany. How about the crimes being committed in the name of democracy under US and its allies??? And the treatment of local Arabs in Israel?

I feel like double standards!!!!!
21:17 November 24, 2010 by tianju
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
22:21 November 24, 2010 by hanskarl
Reading this story reminds me of the phrase, "Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it."

If you remove that which tells a countries history, even if this history is being presented in an indirect method through photographs of individuals that most people wouldn't know from Adam, does it really help people to learn and remember the truth.

One must ask why are they trying to hide that which is so clearly evident in textbooks. It seems to me the PC weenies are at it again. Arghhhh
03:45 November 25, 2010 by wood artist
I'm not certain this move changes anything. For example, if I were to visit an embassy and see a series of pictures showing the ambassador to "my country" from the beginning to current day, it is relatively obvious that the man who served from 1933 through 1945 would have been representing Nazi Germany. Taking down his picture doesn't change that.

I think it's wonderful that Germany has tried valiantly to deal with the Nazi era. They have done much more than other countries with similar periods. Stalinist Russia comes to mind as but one example.

Removing the pictures does nothing. As I recall from my last visit, in the first floor gallery of Humboldt University there are pictures and/or drawings of "famous students" many of whom won Nobel Prizes. I'm not sure there were any, but should a picture of such a person be removed because they won the prize during that era? Is their work any less? Were they less deserving of the prize?

I think history needs to be studied, and objectively analyzed. We need to remember, lest we forget.

03:49 November 25, 2010 by JAMessersmith
The ancient Romans used to scrape the faces off of portraits and statues of disgraced politicians.

Maybe if all references to Hitler are removed from German history books, people will forget WWII ever happened?

Or we can just blame Austria...
12:47 November 26, 2010 by mixxim
Of course it is the fault of the Kaiser. If he had not fled germany after the disaster of the 14-18 war, Hitler would never have come to power.
01:29 November 27, 2010 by Wise Up!
Wanna see pictures of Nazis - go to a museum where they belong! They should no longer be honored and supported by the diplomatic core. Kudos to the Germans for finally waking up.
19:14 November 30, 2010 by Bildad
If anyone thinks this next round of grovelling and self-hating will earn Absolution from the Jewish community, forget about it. Time to move on people.
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