German mayor slammed for publishing Nazi-era memorial notice | News | DW | 25.02.2019
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German mayor slammed for publishing Nazi-era memorial notice

The mayor of a central German town has apologized after a Nazi-era advertisement appeared without comment in an official gazette. It even announced a speech by dictator Adolf Hitler.

Several German political parties have called for the resignation of the mayor of the central town of Hildburghausen after a municipal notice commemorating an Allied bombing raid on the town in World War II was found to include a Nazi-era advertisement calling the bombardment a "terror attack."

Left Party politician Bodo Ramelow, the premier of the state of Thuringia, where Hildburghausen is situated, described the publication of the Nazi material as "simply unbearable." Criticism also came from Social Democrat and Green lawmakers.

Green politician Madeleine Henfling tweeted the offending page from the town's gazette above her call for the mayor, Holger Obst, to step down.

Read more: Germany's confusing rules on swastikas and Nazi symbols

'A speech by the Fuhrer'

Obst, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, apologized on Monday on the town's website, saying it had been a mistake to publish the advertisement without comment in the official notice commemorating the bombardment on February 23, 1945.

Obst said, however, he had by no means intended to downplay the Nazi dictatorship, and told the dpa news agency that he considered the calls for him to resign to be a step too far.

The Nazi material announces a memorial ceremony for victims of the bombing raid, with "a speech by the Fuhrer" being one of the items on the program. It was printed without any explanation below the town's statement recalling the raids and commemorating those who died in them.

Far-right groups often try to portray Germans as victims of the war by pointing to major Allied bombing raids in which many civilians died.

Hildburghausen has been host to neo-Nazi concerts in the past.

Read more: Germany: Church sued over Nazi bells in Thuringia 

tj/jm (AP, dpa)

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