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Hamburg and colonialism: "Leave our Bismarck alone"

So-called decolonization is currently booming in Germany. In Cologne, for example, the monument to Kaiser Wilhelm I on the Hohenzollern Bridge is shaking. Because everything that is reminiscent of the history of the German Reich as a colonial power should be cleared away according to the will of left-wing politicians and culture fighters.

Hamburg, which as a port metropolis has always played an important role in international trade, including colonial goods, does not want to be left out. The Hamburg authority for culture and media and the Federal Cultural Foundation are spending a total of one million euros on their joint “decolonization project” this year and next.

After there were already several events in 2021 about ways of dealing with the Bismarck monument in Hamburg in a new way, an ideas competition is now initiating the next phase of the colonial process. Artists and architects are called upon to submit concepts “on how the perception of the monument can be broken”. In addition, according to the will of those responsible, the “complex references to colonialism, National Socialism, discrimination and questions of social justice should be made visible”. However, what the founder of the empire, Otto von Bismarck, who died in 1898, had to do with the Third Reich, remains unclear when the call was made.

AfD criticizes left-wing "re-education program"
Hamburg's Senator for Culture Carsten Brosda (SPD) emphasized: "It is a task for society as a whole to come to terms with our colonial past. That's why we want to make the traces of the colonial past visible and deal with them critically.” In this way, lessons can be learned for the future from history.

What is a reappraisal for one person is a left-wing “re-education program” for another, as the deputy AfD parliamentary group leader in the Hamburg Parliament, Alexander Wolf, called it. He commented briefly and succinctly on the processing of the too late born at the Reich Chancellor: "Finally leave our Bismarck alone!"

That might well remain a pious wish. In the past, a pastor called for the Bismarck monument to be beheaded.

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