German village decides to keep ‘Hitler bell’ as a memorial

A village in Germany has voted to keep a controversial church bell embossed with a swastika and the words “All for the Fatherland – Adolf Hitler”.

The parish council of Herxheim argued that the Nazi-era bronze bell acted as a reminder for the nation’s dark past.

The 10-3 vote on Monday rejected an offer to remove and replace the bell by the Protestant Church of St James.

Some parishioners were alarmed to find they had been married or had baptised their children under the “Hitler bell”.

The local parish council said the Nazi-era relic, which has hung in the church since 1934, should stay as “an impetus for reconciliation and a memorial against violence and injustice”, AFP news agency reports.