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German Group Launching Drive for Holocaust Museum

October 27, 1994

BERLIN (AP) _ A group of German intellectuals and writers is launching a drive to build a national Holocaust museum.

A conference will be held in the western city of Hanover this weekend to draw attention to the cause, which picked up steam last year after the Holocaust Memorial Museum opened in Washington, D.C.

″We need a complete portrayal of Nazi crimes in a central place and in its own building,″ organizer Hans-Juergen Haessler said Thursday.

Germany has numerous Holocaust memorials, as well as museums and teaching centers at concentration camp sites, and plans are under way to build a national Holocaust memorial in Berlin. But there is no national Holocaust museum.

The content of such a museum will undoubtedly be controversial. The German government wanted the U.S. Holocaust museum to include material on post-war Germany, not just Nazi atrocities.

Haessler said financial support for a museum should come from private donations, as well as federal and local governments.

He said the museum should not only portray the Nazis’ slaughter of 6 million Jews, but the persecution and killing of homosexuals, Gypsies, political opponents, religious opponents, foreigners and handicapped people.

Organizers have gathered 1,300 signatures on a petition, including author Guenter Grass.

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