German town votes to keep church bell dedicated to Hitler

A German town has voted to keep ringing a church bell dedicated to Adolf Hitler, supposedly as a memorial to spark dialogue about violence and injustice.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

A small town in southwestern Germany has decided to keep a church bell dedicated to Adolf Hitler ringing, but as a memorial to spark dialogue about violence and injustice.

The dpa news agency reported Tuesday the Herxheim am Berg council voted 10-3 to preserve the bell, which carries the inscription “Everything for the Fatherland – Adolf Hitler” above a Nazi swastika, as a memorial in its Protestant church.

State church authorities had offered to fund replacing the bell, which were widespread during the Nazi era but mostly removed after the war.

But a study had concluded removing it would be akin to “fleeing from an appropriate culture of remembrance” and recommended either leaving it in place with an explanatory plaque, or putting it in a museum.

The “Hitler bell” debate has been raging for months.

In September, the town’s mayor resigned following outrage over comments he made suggesting that the Nazi period wasn’t all bad.

The mayor also sparked outrage by saying he was proud of the bell and quoting a 95-year-old resident who felt the period of Nazi rule had included “good things.”