Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Sivan 5768 - June 19, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Jewish Communal Leader in Berlin Favors Publishing Mein Kampf and Displaying Hitler in Wax Museum

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The chairman of the Jewish community in Berlin, Lala Susskind, issued a surprising call to publish Mein Kampf ("My Battle"), Adolph Hitler's infamous work, arguing that it would reveal the Nazi leader's intentions to the masses. "The book is evidence of what the public should have known at the time," she said.

The 782-page book, which is banned in Germany and in Israel, was written while Hitler yemach shmo was serving a prison sentence in the early 1920s and was first published in 1925. It refers to Jews as subhuman, destructive leeches and enemies of the Aryan race, and forecasts the course of German history from 1933, the year of Hitler's rise to power, until 1942, when his plans started to go awry. Experts say the book shows Hitler did not do proper fact-checking and was inconsistent in his stances, but it appears that nobody outside of Germany studied him closely, even after he became dictator. Today certain figures have shown an interest in republishing the book, not in support of neo-Nazism or antisemitism, but based on the need to study history.

Susskind speaks of another issue causing a debate in Germany: displaying a wax figure of Hitler in the wax museum scheduled to open in Berlin next month. "It's better for his image to be in the wax museum than in the minds of many people," she said. The plan to include a wax figure of Hitler has sparked fierce controversy. Opponents say putting his image on display in such a matter would be in poor taste, and could draw numerous neo-Nazis and youths wanting to take pictures alongside him.

The museum rejected criticism of its decision to put an image of the infamous Nazi alongside those of other contemporary leaders. "It doesn't make much sense to overlook the role the Nazi dictator played in German history," reads the museum's statement. The museum's spokeswoman says Hitler will be depicted as a broken man, in a gloomy setting, with lighting resembling a bunker and written information on him. The spokeswoman noted visitors would be unable to pose for pictures with the likeness because it will be in a glass case with video cameras monitoring the area at all times.

Earlier Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit urged the museum to carefully consider whether an image of Hitler should be on display at all, and if so to ensure he's not presented as a cult personality. Exhibiting artwork that pays tribute to Hitler is illegal in Germany.


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