When Church and State did not Separate

Fascinating article in today’s Washington Post about Berlin’s “Nazi Church”. It’s interior design marks a new and different chapter in the way Germans deal with the physical vestiges of the Third Reich.

Berlin’s Martin Luther Memorial Church was planned in 1920, and the exterior is typical of the architecture of the day. But it was finished in 1935, and the church fathers thought it a good idea to curry favor with Hitler. The interior design is replete with attempts to “meld Lutheran theology with Nazi ideology”.

The current issue is due to the declining physical plant. It will take millions of dollars to restore the church for usage, and then there is the matter about who would use it. If judged purely on an engineering basis the bulding would come down. However, because of it’s history and ties to Hitler, every option is being considered to avoid charges of trying to expunge German history.

It’s a fascinating article, and one that reminds me that while the bold sweeps of history may be written by “Great Men”, their actions leave room for all type actions-courageous or cowardly, bold or unfortuate-by the people of their time.

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