“Adolf Hitler Platz” made a brief comeback last week – with the Berlin square formerly named for the Nazi dictator listed with that name on Google Maps. Now the street has returned on the map to its current correct name - Theodor Heuss Platz – and Google has apologized for the gaffe, after getting thousands of complaints.
In an email to NBC over the weekend, Google apologized for the listing. “We were made aware of a wrong and inappropriate Berlin street name on Google Maps and have corrected this as quickly as possible,” Google said. Google did not say how long the square bore the inappropriate name, but users quoted in the media said that it had been up for as long as a day.
It's also not clear who made the change, but the method for change was most likely Google's Map Maker, which lets users edit maps, updating place names and landmarks in order to make its maps more accurate. According to the email, Google is investigating the matter.
The square was constructed between 1904 and 1908 and was named Reichskanzlerplatz. It was renamed Adolf Hitler Platz after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, a name it bore until the end of World War II, when it was renamed Reichskanzlerplatz. When Theodor Heuss Platz, the first President of post-war West Germany, died in 1963, it was named for him.