A Swastika on a Church Bell: A Village Splits on How to Confront Nazi Past

3Source: New York Times

HERXHEIM AM BERG, Germany — After she found out there was a swastika on the church bell, Sigrid Peters refused to continue playing the organ during services.

Shielded from public view, high up a rickety wooden staircase inside the yellow church tower, the bell is still suspended where it was first hung in 1934 by an enthusiastic Nazi mayor in Herxheim am Berg, a hilltop village of 750 people in Germany’s southwestern wine country.

It is smaller than the two other bells flanking it and is covered in pigeon droppings. But the swastika is clearly discernible and so is the inscription: “Everything for the Fatherland — Adolf Hitler.”

“People have been getting married under the swastika and they didn’t even know it,” Ms. Peters said.

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