Hitler Still an Honorary Citizen of Many German Towns

Hitler shoveling shit in a photo op for the construction of a new section of the autobahn. Long identified with Hitler and the Nazis, the construction of autobahns in Germany began before Hitler and the Nazis took power. In fact, the Nazis denounced the construction of autobahns before they took power by saying these roadways would “only benefit rich aristocrats and big Jewish capitalists and their interests.” The man in the upper left appears to be wearing the uniform of RAD or Reich Labor Service.

A number of small German towns still carry Adolf Hitler on their books as an honorary citizen, according to Der Spiegel. It seems that during the Third Reich, every city and burg in Nazi Germany tripped over themselves to make the Führer an honorary citizen. Der Spiegel reports:

A total of around 4,000 German cities, towns, and communities honored Hitler during the 12 years of Nazi rule. Most, however, removed his name immediately after Nazi Germany collapsed.

Unfortunately, a handful of smaller towns forgot to do this after his suicide and the collapse of the Third Reich. In fact, the Inter-Allied Berlin Declaration, established the 5th of June, 1945, abolished the German state. Perhaps that’s why some local officials didn’t remove Adolf from their citizenship roster. They were waiting for the official government of Germany, which no longer existed, to order them to do it.

While the Allies allowed local governments to function as long as they were purged of Nazis, each of these governing bodies were under the control of various military governing authorities. In the American Zone, this entity was known as OMGUS — Office of the Military Government of the United States. Local officials were hesitant to bring the matter to the attention of Allied military governments and it left a sticky situation.

After the departure of the Allied Military governments and the reorganization of an official German state, a lot of local officials forgot about Hitler being an honorary citizen. This is proving awkward to many small towns these days and I don’t know why. Surely it was an oversight to leave the name of one of history’s most evil mass murderers on their citizenship lists.

Over the years, some local officials have refused to remove Hitler’s name from their roster of citizens and have given the most hilarious explanations. Once again from Der Spiegel:

In 2008, the Bavarian town of Nittendorf-Etterzhausen likewise declined to remove the Nazi leader … the mayor at the time, Max Knott, said simply he couldn’t send Hitler a letter informing him of the revocation, implying that without such a step, the Führer would have to remain on the honorary citizen list.

This is following rules to an absurd extreme, even for Germans.

[Source: Der Spiegel. Image courtesy of Axis History Forum.]

Hitler Almost Assassinated: German Bomb Explodes in Munich in 1939 – Part 1

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Nazi Party event in the Bürgerbräukeller in Munich, circa 1923. Photo courtesy of the German National Archive.

In this beer hall, a gathering place for Nazi Party hoodlums, Hitler launched his infamous and short lived Beer Hall Putsch on 8 November 1923. Under the Third Reich it became a shrine to National Socialism. Hitler spoke to his Alte Kameraden (old comrades) in this beer hall each year on the anniversary of the event. On 8 November 1939, Hitler gave his speech earlier in the evening than he normally did. Only thirty minutes after he gave his speech and left the Bürgerbräukeller, a bomb went off next to the speaker’s platform, killing six or seven Alte Kameraden and wounding dozens of others. Had Hitler given his speech as the usual time he would have been killed. It is a great misfortune to mankind that he left early.

[Image courtesy of Wikipedia.]

The “Radio Priest” and the Nazis

Father Coughlin, a Catholic clergyman known as the “radio priest” in the United States, had an audience of tens of millions in the 1930s and 1940s although it dwindled as the war went on. The good father spent much of his air time attacking the Jews and the Roosevelt Administration. In November 1938 he broadcast,

Nazism was conceived as a political defense mechanism against Jewish Communism and was ushered into existence as a result of the same.

Several years later, Father Coughlin gave a speech in New York City and during that speech he gave the stiff armed Nazi salute and bellowed,

When we get through with the Jews in America, they’ll think the treatment they received in Germany was nothing.

(Source: American Swastika: The Shocking Story of Nazi Collaborators in Our Midst from 1933 to the Present Day by Charles Higham and FatherCoughlin.org)