'Hitler' put out on streetin Berlin waxworks protest
6 May 2004 ,
6 May 2004
BERLIN - Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin were put out on the street in Berlin - literally so - in protest at the forced relocation of a waxworks museum.
The wax dummies stared glassily at passersby on busy Friedrich Strasse near former Checkpoint Charlie in the heart of the German capital in silent protest at their eviction from a fourth-floor display room nearby, reported Berliner Morgenpost newspaper.
A private Berlin waxworks museum announced Tuesday it had returned an effigy of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler to the main exhibit hall despite international protests that had prompted its temporary removal from display last month.
Inna Vollstaedt, owner of the Galerie Artel in downtown Berlin, said she was victim of a political vendetta by the building's owners, who evicted her in the wake of controversy over the Hitler's figure's presence in the exhibition.
"And even before I was forced out, the landlord took down all the signs, so that virtually no tourists could find my museum," she said.
The museum opened in January, but after press reports of the Hitler wax dummy in March a controversy erupted.
Complaints poured in from Britain, France, Israel and other countries.
The Nazi dictator stood near a window, and could be glimpsed from the street below. Amid the furore over the "fuehrer", Vollstaedt moved the wax Hitler to a back room where it shared space - and moustache styles - with a wax image of Charlie Chaplin.
But the publicity had generated an influx of tourists and the hitherto obscure museum suddenly found itself on guided tours of the city's attractions. Thus, she decided to return Hitler to his perch in a diorama featuring Churchill and Stalin.
The landlord then served her with an eviction notice.
"This has been a nightmare," Vollstaedt said. "I've done absolutely nothing illegal. Another wax museum in Germany has had a Hitler figure for years and nobody has ever batted an eye."
She said she would re-open her museum in new quarters around the corner in the Zimmer Strasse.
Subject: German news