The House of History (Haus der Geschichte) in Bonn said it has not yet decided whether to take in the truck used by Isis terrorist Anis Amri to kill 12 people at a Berlin Christmas market on December 19th.
“It is too early to give a final decision,” said Hans Walter Hütter, president of the foundation for the Haus der Geschichte, in an interview with DPA on Wednesday.
In order to come to the right decision, Hütter said they would need to allow some time to pass after the attack.
“Immediately after the act, it is always difficult for all relatives and those affected,” Hütter said. “One must wait, with respect, for the right time. But then you must act as a museum person, who is responsible for passing down the material legacy of the past - and indeed always with the necessary sense proportion.”
“If a theme is socially relevant - which this case is - then it belongs to our history, whether we want it to or not,” he added
Hütter also noted that the museum already displays items related to left- and right-wing terrorist attacks and groups in Germany - like from the far-left Red Army Faction (RAF), which killed dozens of people over three decades, or from the neo-Nazi NSU terror cell. The museum also has parts from New York’s Twin Towers.
“These things represent the human suffering from these terrorist acts. In what form Isis terror in Germany will be integrated into the collection is still to be discussed.”
But in no way should a potential exhibit in the future show what happened from the perspective of the attacker, Hütter explained.
“Different aspects must be considered: the act itself, the attackers, the tool used in the attack, the victims, their relatives, and the social ramifications. You need a whole lot of informative objects, documents, photos, sound and video contributions.”
He also noted that having the whole truck would be too big for any potential exhibit, and it would be better to consider just a part of it.
Hütter also mentioned how the gun used to shoot Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 is on display in a museum in Vienna.
“To have the original before your eyes is powerful when you think about how the deed carried out with this weapon triggered the First World War. Certainly an exhibit must always establish the context. Otherwise it is just a weapon.”