Two restoration projects are raising fears that the idea of ‘tradition’ is being hijacked
In 1991 Max Klaar, a retired German lieutenant-colonel, presented the municipality of Potsdam with a replica of a famous carillon, which from 1797 to 1945 had played themes by Bach and Mozart (Papageno’s Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen from The Magic Flute) from the tower of the city’s Garrison church. Both the tower and bells had been wrecked in an air raid – the ruins finally being removed by the East German government in 1968. The carillon, paid for by private donors, was a step in the hoped-for reconstruction of the church.
How very charming, you might think, except that Klaar had an agenda: he was a Nazi apologist. If you look on the internet (but please don’t), you will find him, for example, endorsing the thoroughly debunked lie that General Eisenhower had a million German prisoners of war killed in death camps.
Why exactly, of all the treasures lost in the war, is it so important to rebuild this particular church?Continue reading...