German Town Names Street After Nazi
Town of Coburg announces move hours after Germany appoints two Jews to panel examining anti-Semitism.
A Bavarian town named a street after a prominent Nazi businessman on Friday, despite protests from the town’s Jewish organizations and local historians.
The central German town of Coburg has named the street after Max Brose, a wealthy businessman who was also a Nazi party member honored by the Third Reich as a “military industry leader,” according to the Financial Times.
The move follows a long campaign in local government by Brose’s grandson, Michael Stoschek, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brose’s mega-company and largest local employer, Brose. The name was passed in a 26-11 vote.
Stoschek had apparently been campaigning since as far back as 2004 to have his grandfather honored on a street sign, and redacted almost all of the company’s charitable funding to Coburg when the name was rejected nearly ten years ago. Coburg has denied being put under financial pressure in accepting the name.
Historian Florian Dierl noted to the Times that Coburg was also the first town in Germany to elect a Nazi mayor in 1931, and warned that it should, if anything, be “particularly careful about its past.”
Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, condemned the naming as “irresponsible.”
The naming comes at a sensitive time in Germany, which announced Thursday night that it is adding two Jews to its panel examining anti-Semitism in the country.
Anti-Semitic violence has been on the rise in Europe and has not skipped Germany where, during last summer’s war in Gaza, protesters waving Palestinian Authority (PA) flags and pictures of late PA leader Yasser Arafat shouted anti-Semitic slogans at rallies against Israeli military action.
Exclaiming “Allahu Akbar” (God is great), crowds in Berlin reportedly also yelled “Death to Israel” and chanted “Zionists are fascists, killing children and civilians.”
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