The title is important: Hitler and the German People. The first ever big exhibition in a major German museum to focus on Hitler is not just about him but about his relationship with the people.
And that, of course, makes for discomfort. After all, the people who come to the German Historical Museum in Berlin are the grandchildren and, occasionally, the children of those who participated in the poisonous relationship in the 1930s and early 40s. This is not an exhibition where the visitors view coolly from outside. It is one where they look into themselves, too.
What they will find as they walk the rooms is that Hitler and the Nazis permeated ordinary German life. There are tiny toys depicting him, children’s models of him in uniform with his arm outstretched in salute.
There is a quilt where the inhabitants of a village have depicted their homes in delicate needle-craft – alongside the Nazi symbols also stitched with great care. There is a cup and saucer with a swastika, and a lamp shade with the same symbol. There is a deck of playing cards showing Hitler and other Nazis. There is a gravestone from 1938 with a swastika.
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