Berlin museum brings back monuments from Germany’s darkest hour
By María Garrido
Berlin, Jun 20 (EFE).- A Berlin museum will breathe new life — of sorts — into a series of monuments concealed from public view for years, with the hope of opening a critical discussion about what they stood for and how they came to be.
The exhibition includes monuments from the Nazi Germany era, between 1933 and 1945, as well as from the Soviet occupation of East Germany, in 1949-1990.
Shortly after the end of World War II, the allied forces occupying Berlin the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the USSR ordered the disposal of monuments related with the Nazi regime.
Many of them are now displayed at the Unveiled expo in the Spandau Citadel, a 16th century fortress to the West of the German capital, employed by the Nazi army to test chemical weapons during WWII.
One of the highlights of the exhibition is a set of monuments celebrating old kings and princes and originally stood at both sides of the formerly called Siegesallee, an avenue that traversed the Tiergarten park.
“I think it is very important not to forget,” said the museum director Urte Evert to Efe, but recognizing it was understandable to lock the monuments up away from public spaces.
If they are destroyed, however, people might forget the darkest hour of German history, risking a repeat of the mistakes of the past, she said.
The severed head of an 18.6 meters high Lenin statue is amongst the most controversial items shown at the Citadel, according to Evert.
Some visitors consider the head an homage to the communist leader. Others instead find it to be a symbol of how the reunification of Germany came to wipe out any memory of the extinct German Democratic Republic.