Man attacks wax Hitler statue

July 7, 2008 7:57:30 AM PDT
Madame Tussauds will repair the wax figure of Adolf Hitler that a visitor beheaded at its new Berlin branch and return it to the museum "as quickly as possible."

On Saturday, the first day the museum opened, a 41-year-old Berlin man pushed aside two employees to attack the wax Hitler figure, ripping off its head while shouting, "No more war!" He was only the second person to enter the museum.

The man, who has not been identified, was briefly detained by police, and is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property and bodily harm. One employee was slightly injured in the incident.

"The figure will be repaired, so that it can be reintegrated into the display as quickly as possible," the museum said in a statement Monday, adding that it was still open despite the missing Hitler.

It is not clear how long it will take to repair the figure, Madame Tussauds spokesman Thomas Reinecke told The Associated Press. He refused to give any details about security improvements at the museum but said the issue was being discussed.

The incident has triggered further debate over the figure's appropriateness. Last month, Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit urged the museum to consider carefully whether to include Hitler.

The museum near the German capital's Brandenburg Gate had pledged to portray Hitler without glorifying him. Its exhibit showed a downtrodden Hitler sitting in his bunker beneath a map of Europe, monitoring the advance of allied troops from the east and west.

Madame Tussauds reiterated Monday that Hitler "stands for a definitive part of Berlin's history that can not be denied."

Visitors were not supposed to be able to touch, photograph or pose with the wax Hitler - unlike the rest of the 75 figures in the new collection.


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