UK wax museum puts guard next to Hitler figure

Security is increased at Madame Tussauds after visitors make Nazi salutes next to waxwork of Hitler.

By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
September 2, 2011 02:17
2 minute read.
Hitler figure at Madame Tussauds museum

hitler wax figure 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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LONDON – The British capital’s famous waxwork museum Madame Tussauds has been forced to employ a guard to stop visitors making Nazi salutes next to a waxwork of Hitler.

It comes after the museum was forced to apologize to an Israeli family who contacted them last month to express their dismay after seeing visitors performing Nazi salutes for photos with the wax model.

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“My grandfather was in a concentration camp and all his family were murdered there,” the Israeli mother said at the time. “It’s very personal to us. I thought about my grandfather and how he would feel.”

Following the incident, Madame Tussauds spokeswoman Liz Edwards said it encourages guests to interact with the models. It is not a museum, she said, and hence the models are out in the open.

“We have apologized to the family and have clarified that if we had seen that gesture taking place we would have asked the guests to stop. Madame Tussauds has always had members of staff placed throughout the attraction to help with guest inquiries and have never placed a guard on any of our figures,” she said.

“Madame Tussauds’ whole ethos is based on the fact that we are not a museum and we do not put our figures behind ropes and barriers. We allow visitors to interact with the figures but again we defend the right of our visitors to make such choices for themselves, as long as they behave responsibly,” Edwards added.

However on Tuesday, the museum took the decision to assign a guard to patrol the section of the museum where Hitler’s waxwork model is placed.



“There is a person in that area to ensure this does not happen.

We will probably put the model in an area where guests can’t physically stand next to him and interact with him,” Edwards said.

However this week the Evening Standard newspaper reported the move had failed after it emerged that visitors had still been able to make the Nazi gestures next to the waxwork.

Edwards told the Standard the staff member on duty at the time had been “distracted.”

“If we see someone doing this we will stop it but guests always have to take responsibility.

It comes down to their own judgement and own parental responsibility,” she told the Standard.

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