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Nuremberg: Toy museum removes exhibits after allegations of racism

Nuremberg - The toy museum in Nuremberg removed several toys from its exhibition after allegations of racism. It is about a total of ten pieces that are "clearly racist or at least complicated," said museum director Karin Falkenberg to the portal inFranken. In addition, there are about 70 other exhibits in the museum depot that are worthy of criticism.

The toy museum reacted to the criticism of a visitor from the USA with Afro-American roots. The stumbling block was a dancing sheet metal wind-up figure with the imprint "Alabama Coon Jigger" on it. Falkenberg explained that this portrayed black people in a degrading way as subordinates of the white population.

According to Falkenberg, this complaint was received in the summer of 2017. “That is pure racism that you are showing! This object hurts me and all people with Afro-American roots!” Said the visitor.

Main exhibition is revised
The toy company Ernst-Paul Lehmann produced the criticized "Alabama Coon Jigger" around 1912. "The toy manufacturers weren't all racists," Falkenberg told the news portal, but they also reflected the views of their time in children's toys.

In response, those responsible for the toy museum led so-called diversity-sensitive visitors with experiences of discrimination through the entire toy museum in 2017 and 2018. Then it was decided to revise the main exhibition in the Nuremberg Toy Museum.

Everyone carries everyday racism
From July 15, visitors can now view the exhibits on a “racism-sensitive path with five stations”. They are provided with comments or actions on the toy. The museum is convinced that one should show the figures in order to talk about them. After all, everyone carries everyday racism. "I also have divisive thoughts in me, that's normal," said Falkenberg.

At the beginning of March 2020, the museum's employees also took part in an anti-racism workshop. According to Falkenberg, it was important to become aware of the “racism within us”. One should not take the erroneous opinion that one would sufficiently deal with topics such as sustainability, diversity sensitivity or "queer" life. “As a rule, we cannot deal with these issues, especially not as white Germans of the majority society,” she said.

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