Man fined over wax Hitler
Berlin - A German court fined an
unemployed man €900 on Tuesday for knocking the
head off a waxwork figure of Adolf Hitler in a Berlin museum.
Minutes after the Madame Tussauds museum opened in the
German capital in July 2008, the 42-year-old pushed past security
staff ripped off its head.
The man, an ex-policeman, said he
found it inappropriate to display an exhibit showing the Nazi
leader only some 500 meters from Berlin's Holocaust memorial.
The waxwork of a glum-looking Hitler in a mock bunker
stirred debate in Germany even before it went on display.
Critics argued it was tasteless to display a replica of the man
who unleashed World War II and ordered the extermination of
Madame Tussauds said the museum avoided politics, arguing
Hitler stood for a significant part of German history and his
waxwork therefore had a legitimate part in the exhibition.
The restored figure was returned to the museum in September
and is now displayed behind a glass wall.
About 25 workers spent about four months on the original
waxwork, using more than 2 000 pictures and pieces of archive
material and also guided by a model of the Fuehrer in the
London branch of Madame Tussauds.
The wax figure has been cited as the latest in a gradual
breaking down of taboos about Hitler in Germany more than 60
years after the end of the war and the Holocaust in which some
six million Jews were killed.
The 2004 film Downfall provoked controversy as it
portrayed the leader in a human light during the last days of
his life. In 2007, a satire about Hitler by Swiss-born Jewish
director Dani Levy was released in Germany.
It is illegal in Germany to show Nazi symbols and art