Hitler bell in German village church can stay, court rules

Appeals court rules that swastika church bell can remain with an explanatory plaque

The protestant church in Herxheim am Berg containing the Hitler bell (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
The protestant church in Herxheim am Berg containing the Hitler bell
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
A German appeals court ruled on Wednesday that a bell dedicated to Hitler in the church of a small village does not have to be removed.
According to German media reports, the Koblenz appeals court ruled that the bell can remain in place as a historical reminder of Germany's Nazi past.
The bell - emblazoned with a swastika and the words "All for the Fatherland - Adolf Hitler" - has been on display at a Protestant church in Herxheim am Berg since 1934.
Last year, after complaints, the village council voted to keep the bell and hang a plaque nearby explaining the historical significance. The plaque has yet to be affixed.
But a suit in a lower court and in the appeal to the Koblenz state court, both ruled in favor of keeping the bell in place, adding a plaque. The court ruled, according to German media reports, that keeping the bell does not endorse or downplay the suffering of the Jews, nor does it make a "mockery of the victims of Hitler's terror and the Holocaust," as the suit claimed.
For months the bell has not been rung by the church, after its discovery sparked an outcry among citizens. It was not clear if the bell will return to daily use after the court ruling.