Preserving Austria's Nazi cultural heritage

The "Hitler Room" at Vienna Volkstheater has been awarded cultural heritage status as part of offical project to protect Third Reich architecture.

The Austrian Federal Office for the Care of Monuments (BDA) ordered the room, which was specially erected for a planned visit to the Theatre by Hitler in 1938, to be rebuilt after theatre director Michael Schottenberg had dismantled it to use it as stage props.

Schottenberg justified his action by saying that he had dismantled the room "for moral and ethical reasons and because of my political conscience".

But now that it has been rebuilt, he has said he wants to use it for readings, lectures and discussions about Austrian history.

The BDA had justified its original decision by citing the room's "cultural and historic importance" that required that it be protected.

The room was constructed in honour of Hitler, and in 1939 the theatre was turned into a place for loyal Nazis to enjoy plays as part of the party's 'Kraft—durch—Freude' (Strength—through—Joy) programme. It is uncertain whether Hitler ever saw the room, though.

Vienna's city council has ordered a survey of all buildings dating back to the Nazi period, ranging from those that Hitler ordered built to the homeless hostel where he once lived as a struggling artist. It will then use the survey to select those it deems worthy of receiving protected status.

I have to wonder if part of the Nazi tourism boom is a way to get Iranian leaders to tour and spend in Europe.

Ed Lasky   10 06 06

The "Hitler Room" at Vienna Volkstheater has been awarded cultural heritage status as part of offical project to protect Third Reich architecture.

The Austrian Federal Office for the Care of Monuments (BDA) ordered the room, which was specially erected for a planned visit to the Theatre by Hitler in 1938, to be rebuilt after theatre director Michael Schottenberg had dismantled it to use it as stage props.

Schottenberg justified his action by saying that he had dismantled the room "for moral and ethical reasons and because of my political conscience".

But now that it has been rebuilt, he has said he wants to use it for readings, lectures and discussions about Austrian history.

The BDA had justified its original decision by citing the room's "cultural and historic importance" that required that it be protected.

The room was constructed in honour of Hitler, and in 1939 the theatre was turned into a place for loyal Nazis to enjoy plays as part of the party's 'Kraft—durch—Freude' (Strength—through—Joy) programme. It is uncertain whether Hitler ever saw the room, though.

Vienna's city council has ordered a survey of all buildings dating back to the Nazi period, ranging from those that Hitler ordered built to the homeless hostel where he once lived as a struggling artist. It will then use the survey to select those it deems worthy of receiving protected status.

I have to wonder if part of the Nazi tourism boom is a way to get Iranian leaders to tour and spend in Europe.

Ed Lasky   10 06 06