German Town to Strip Hitler of Honorary Citizenship
A town in central Germany has announced plans to strip Nazi leader Adolf Hitler of his honorary citizenship, 68 years after his death.
The Associated Press reports that the town assembly of Goslar in Lower Saxony state has set in motion a procedure that would formally remove the title next month.
The German dpa news agency reported Wednesday that officials previously argued the move was unnecessary because the honor technically expired when Hitler committed suicide days before the end of World War II.
Some councilors had nevertheless pressed for the symbolic move. Others argued that it was a pointless attempt to reverse a historical mistake, according to AP.
Hitler had some 4,000 honorary citizenships during his lifetime, but many erased his name from their list immediately after the fall of the Third Reich in 1945.
Other towns, like Goslar, kept Hitler’s name on the books, either through oversight or a belief that what happened in the past cannot be changed.
GlobalPost reported that one of the opponents to the Goslar council’s decision is Social Democratic Party head Sigmar Gabriel, who was born in the town in Lower Saxony state.
Gabriel said he believes Hitler’s name should be left on the list because removing it "is an attempt to whitewash something that can't be whitewashed."
The decision must be confirmed by the town’s administrative council on October 29.