A town council in Bavaria has voted unanimously to revoke Adolf Hitler’s honorary citizenship bestowed upon him 80 years ago.
The vote comes after an outcry last week following an initial decision not to strip the Nazi leader of citizenship of the small Bavarian town Dietramszell.
The debate arose after documents disclosed the Nazi leader – along with the president who appointed him Paul von Hindenburg – was granted honorary citizenship in 1933.
This became standard practice in Germany after Hitler rose to power in 1933, when thousands of German villages and towns gave the Fuhrer honorary residency and sent him gifts to show their alliance. Communities across Germany are still constantly finding evidence of the dictator’s connection to them in their archives.
Sixty-eight years after the Nazi leader’s death – he shot himself in his bunker on April 30 1945 – councillors in Dietramszell were deadlocked on this subject last week with eight voting for the motion and eight voting against it.
One council member argued that to revoke Hitler’s honorary citizenship would be nonsensical.
“It would be a distortion of history, the whole debate is laughable,” Traudi Fröst said.
But the council’s failure to come to a conclusion was met with horror amongst others in Dietramszell. The head of the local criminal court said the news was “deeply distressing”. He said there had been a rise in neoNazi violence in Germany which must be quashed and it was the duty of the council to send a clear message condemning Hitler.
Town administrator Thomas Gerg eventually called a full council vote on Wednesday after hearing a powerful testimony from a woman who lost family in the Holocaust.
The second vote was unanimous – 21-0 to adopt the resolution, denounce the 1933 decision and strip Hitler and von Hindenburg of their honorary citizenship.