January 6, 2011 / 2:54 PM / in 7 years

Hitler exhibit in Berlin extended due to popularity

BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Germany’s first postwar exhibition devoted to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler has been extended by three weeks due to popular demand, the German Historical Museum (DHM) said on Thursday.

Over the past three months, more than 170,000 visitors have flocked to “Hitler and the Germans”, which explores the links between German society and Hitler’s rise to power in 1933.

“There has been great interest among Germans and also international tourists,” museum spokesman Rudolf Trabold said. “There have been lots of visitors from all over Europe.”

The exhibition will now run to February 27, the DHM said.

The museum was especially pleased with the visitor turnout given that the exhibit probes Germany’s legacy under the Nazis, including World War II and the Holocaust.

“Hitler, Nazis, war and their relationship with German society is not a nice Christmas theme,” Trabold added.

There had been widespread concern in German media that the exhibition could prove popular among neo-Nazis who idolize Hitler, but no problems have been reported.

While lots of memorabilia is on show, from SS and Gestapo uniforms to a sideboard from Hitler’s office, the exhibition shows how all levels of German society -- media, industry, the church, schools -- built up the Hitler cult in the 1930s and clung to it through World War Two until defeat was imminent.

“In no way do I consider it a glorification”, Stephan J. Kramer, secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told Reuters.

“It’s an important contribution, but it still doesn’t ask the question of how could someone like Hitler come to power.”

Reporting by Eric Kelsey, editing by Paul Casciato

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