A German museum exclusively focused on sausages created quite a stir in early February after it was revealed that it planned to move to a new location that was apparently a concentration camp during Nazi rule. The decision has now been reversed.
When news first broke out about the decision to move the German Bratwurst Museum to a site near Muhlhausen, Thuringia, the Jewish community was alarmed. After all, this was the site where an annex to the former Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald was located. It was here that almost 700 Jewish and Polish women were forced to live between September 1944 and February 1945 while they were made to work at a munitions factory nearby.
Marketing chief of Muhlhausen, Christian Frohlich, tried to wiggle out from the controversy by downplaying the significance of the site. “Our city archive checked everything very carefully… There was no annex of Buchenwald here. The inmates might have stayed there overnight, but did not work there,” he said in a statement (DW).
However, his statement was countered by several experts who stated that Muhlhausen was just one of Buchenwald’s 139 external annexes. The Buchenwald camp is believed to have housed a total of about 280,000 prisoners. By the time the Allies freed the camp in 1945, almost 56,000 people had died from starvation, murder, and medical experiments. As the story began to attract negative attention, it forced the museum authorities to rethink their decision.
The German Bratwurst Museum is currently located in a small town very near to Muhlhausen and attracts a sizeable number of tourists annually to its sausage-themed exhibition. Authorities only learned about the new site’s horrible past after they had made the announcement. They blamed the lot’s owner for not honestly disclosing the background of the site early on.
Museum authorities eventually declared that they would avoid building a museum at the location due to its dark history and even released a statement, apologizing to the people whose feelings were hurt. “I welcome the fact that it has been decided to look for a new location,” Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a statement (The Guardian).
North American Holocaust
When it comes to the Holocaust, most Americans associate it with Europe. However, Adolf Hitler had planned a similar Holocaust of Jews all across North America, according to a rare book that experts suspect was a blueprint for the same. The only reason it never happened was because the Allies defeated Hitler and brought the Nazis to their knees.
“[The book] demonstrates that the Holocaust wasn’t a European event — it was an event that didn’t have the opportunity to spread out of Europe… It reminds us that conflicts and human tragedies that seemed far away could find their way to North America,” Michael Kent, a curator at Library and Archives Canada, said to The Guardian.
The book was published in 1944 by German researcher Heinz Kloss. It has detailed statistics, media, and information on the organizations of Jews in Canada and the United States. Kloss is believed to have been in touch with Nazi sympathizers in North America while creating the book.
According to some experts, the book was a part of Hitler’s library and was removed by Allied soldiers who visited the place after they won the war.