German town revokes Hitler’s honorary citizenship

This May 1, 1933 photo shows German President Paul von Hindenburg, left, and Adolf Hitler, in a car during a labour day celebration in Berlin. A Bavarian town has voted to strip Adolf Hitler of honorary citizenship bestowed upon him 80 years ago after an outcry prompted by their decision last week not to adopt a resolution denouncing the 1933 decision.  

A German town has stripped Adolf Hitler of honorary citizenship bestowed upon the Nazi leader 80 years ago.

A Bavarian town council decided to strip Hitler of his honorary citizenship, a week after attracting international attention when a vote to distance itself from the dictator failed.

The council of Dietramszell, in southern Germany, passed the motion in a special meeting on Wednesday, which confirmed that Hitler lost his honorary citizenship with his death and recognised that the town had been associated with Hitler, the Local reported.

“It was never our intention to trivialise the crimes of Adolf Hitler. We underestimated that our voting behaviour could be understood in such a way,” the council said.

An archivist found Hitler was made an honorary citizen of Dietramszell in March 1933 sparking the vote led by the mayor, which was expected to be a formality.

But members of Dietramszell’s council failed to pass the motion last Tuesday distancing themselves from Hitler. The council was split with eight votes for and eight votes against.

Normally motions to strip Hitler of the honour in the thousands of German towns who granted him citizenship pass without opposition.

And the failure of the motion attracted widespread criticism and international media attention.

The second vote passed unanimously.

The council members also stripped Reich President, Paul von Hindenburg, who appointed Hitler, of his honorary citizenship.

A town official said the testimony of a woman who had lost her family in the Holocaust had helped sway those who had originally opposed the move.

Over 4,000 cities, towns and communities awarded honorary titles to Hitler during his time in power, many to mark his 44th birthday in 1933. Some towns also awarded the same honour to Paul von Hindenburg.

But following the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, many towns and cities immediately rescinded the title.

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Printable version | Apr 13, 2021 6:45:23 PM |

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