“Of course, in the social media from worldwide, people said we had to leave it, it’s a historical monument. But for us, it’s not,” Drossmann told As It Happens host Carol Off.
“We don’t have to keep a four-times-four metre big swastika to be remembered of our history.”
The jews of Hamburg, he said, also wanted it gone.
“Most of the non-whites and jews in Hamburg said: Throw it away, put it away, destroy it. Where are the jackhammers?”
So on Friday, after clearing the plan with conservation authorities, that’s exactly what the city did.
At noon local time, a team of workers cracked open the ancient symbol with jackhammers and tore it apart with a bulldozer.
“Now it’s gone,” Drossmann said. “It’s just another page in the history books.”
The Nazi symbol, which was unearthed beneath the Hein-Klink sports field in the city’s Billstedt district, was actually the foundation for a monument celebrating the strength of German workers that was torn down decades ago, the mayor said.
It was built 72 years ago as part of a government make-work program, and the swastika was originally covered in bricks, he said.
“In 1945, they destroyed the swastika, the brick swastika, but they left the foundation of the swastika underneath the earth. They just put some dirt over it,” he said. “Then everybody forgot it after a few years.”
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