Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler Monument? [Updated]

This is some embarrassing advance work by Team Obama in picking the Siegessäule monument instead of the originally suggested Brandenburg Gate.

According to Der Spiegel:

The exact location of Obama's speech (more...) had become a matter of intense speculation in Berlin after his campaign team originally suggested an appearance at the Brandenburg Gate. Many, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, questioned whether the site -- where Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both spoke when they were in the White House -- was appropriate for a candidate (more...). Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, who is a major figure in Germany's Social Democrats, was in favor of the Brandenburg Gate site and the Obama visit quickly became yet another excuse for German politicians to fire off barbs at each other. ...

Still, even as the issue of his speech's location has now been settled, a number of politicians in Berlin are still dissatisfied with the site. The Siegessäule -- or Victory Column -- was erected in memory of Prussia's victories over Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870/71). The column originally stood in front of the Reichstag, Germany's parliament building, but was moved by Adolf Hitler to its current location in 1939 to make way for his planned transformation of Berlin into the Nazi capital "Germania."

"The Siegessäule in Berlin was moved to where it is now by Adolf Hitler. He saw it as a symbol of German superiority and of the victorious wars against Denmark, Austria and France," the deputy leader of the Free Democrats, Rainer Brüderle, told Bild am Sonntag. He raised the question as to "whether Barack Obama was advised correctly in his choice of the Siegessäule as the site to hold a speech on his vision for a more cooperative world."

Andreas Schockenhoff of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats said, "the Siegessäule in Berlin is dedicated to a victory over neighbors who are today our European friends and allies. It is a problematic symbol."

UPDATE:Since I've been accused of ignorance in German history by a few commenters, here is why I called Siegessaule a Hitler monument:
1. The Reichstag (German Parliament) where we learned of Hitler's rise to power, how the Russians captured it and how it again became the German seat of power again after reunification.
2. Siegessaule, the 1873 victory column commemorating the formation of a consolidated Germany. Hitler added a fourth section honoring himself and had it moved to its present location.
Like I said originally, this is just really bad advance work by Obama's people. He should have just gone with the Brandenburg Gate.

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)

Comments

56 Comments

Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

You guys are really reaching now. So he is going to give a speech in front of a 19th century monument that Hitler didn't think was good enough to stay in front of the Reichstag. This diary is another failure. Keep trying.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-20 02:28PM | 0 recs
come on now...

i don;t know the diarist's history - but this is a newsworthy item.  not v. analytical - ill admit - both definitely of interest.

by canadian gal 2008-07-20 02:34PM | 0 recs
Give me a break

Calling the Victory Column a "Hitler monument" is ridiculous to the extreme. Do you think Germany would keep a monument to Hitler at the center of their city, in one of the most beautiful spots in the world?

The column was constructed in the 19th century, just another war monument in a city full of them. You could find Hitler's mark on the Brandenburg gate as well. Just because some pro-Bush conservatives in Germany are trying to trash Obama doesn't mean y'all need to join in.

by existenz 2008-07-20 05:15PM | 0 recs
Give Me a Break Is Right. Clueless Diary.

Nice diary, knucklehead.  Explain to us how a monument erected in the 19th century is the monument of a 20th century leader.  Ah, that's right, you can't.  

This is also the spot where the annual Love Parade begins.  Are you going to insinuate that that is an evil lot as well?

The reason Obama is having the speech there is because it is smack in the middle of the Tiergarten, the biggest park in the city.  It is also in the neighborhood Mitte, that means "middle," Einstein.  I.E. it's smack in the middle of the city.

If you're expecting a MILLION people to come to a speech of yours, don't you think a huge park in the middle of the city is the most practically convenient place?

Before you post another diary... think.

by nocore 2008-07-20 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: come on now...

As usual you are supporting an Obama basher.

by Politicalslave 2008-07-20 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: come on now...

Knowing your history, anything you say is probably BS.

"He should have just gone with the Brandenburg Gate."

Uh no, what Obama should have done is refrained from campaigning in foreign countries during his 'fact finding' mission.

I don't know what facts hes going to find in a crowd in downtown berlin.  Maybe he'll discover that euros dont use deodorant very much, or that dental hygiene isn't required.

This is all backfiring on him.  He should have stuck with finding facts as opposed to campaigning.

by rankles 2008-07-21 03:26AM | 0 recs
This just in:

rankles believes that Germans are a dirty, smelly people.

by Dracomicron 2008-07-21 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: This just in:

Wow.  Way to throw cold water on all of our fantasies of being in a rankles-engels sandwich.

by Jess81 2008-07-21 04:56AM | 0 recs
The truth hurts, ya

"engles," that sounds... German.

by Dracomicron 2008-07-21 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

This was a front page article in the largest paper in Germany, not freakin' Newsmax. You may not like it, but the choice of Siegessäule by the Obama campaign is very, very controversial right now. As the article points out, members from across the German political spectrum (the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats) are uneasy about this.

This isn't some run of the mill "concern troll" diary.

by rayj 2008-07-20 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

It is not a Hitler monument.  Your title is a lie and your diary is willful ignorance of German history and current political affairs.

by Satya 2008-07-20 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

In the first place, I question your knowledge of the German political since you don't even seem to be aware that Der Spiegel is a magazine and not a newspaper. In the second place, as was pointed out by another commenter this is not a Hitler monument as you claim in your title. This is a concern troll diary and nothing else. A quick glance at your comment history and who has mojo'd your comments makes it clear.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-20 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Please. Give me a break. I want Obama to be our next President more than anything. I don't think that the country can survive even 4 more years of Republican rule.

I simply made this diary in order to point out that the location of Obama's speech might end up to be a bigger distraction than the campaign would like, especially during Obama's first foreign trip as the nominee. This is already an issue in Germany. In order to have this trip deliver a decent poll bump, it needs as few distractions as possible.

Your comment just exemplifies one of the biggest problems with MyDD. Anytime that someone posts a diary that isn't 100% supportive of Obama, they are immediately labeled a "concern troll" or a PUMA or secret McCain supporter. It's a really unhealthy position to take, I think.

by rayj 2008-07-20 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

"I want Obama to be our next President more than anything."

You have a funny way of showing it. You might actually believe that. If so, it's a classic example of cognitive dissonance.

rayj's most recent diary titles.

"Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler Monument? [Updated]"

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"New York Times Slams Obama"

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"Obama Supports the Death Penalty for Child Rape"

"Webb Sides With McCain on Oil Drilling"

" Obama's Falling Numbers. Gallup: Obama 44, McCain 42"

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-20 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

BUSTED.  MSO1 You are my hero! (For Today) Thanks for showing this gut for what he is and his supporters.

by Politicalslave 2008-07-20 08:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

If you read my history, you will see I am not one to call people out usually. I never or will ever give a troll or hide rating.

So, given that, when someone straight up lies, I think they deserve to be called on it:

"Please. Give me a break. I want Obama to be our next President more than anything"

Get off it. I have read you history, seen you post here.

You deeply would LOVE for Obama to drop out, so Hillary could be present.

Had Senator Clinton choosen to speak there, you would have attacked with relish anyone that created the diary you did.

You're just a PUMA, but at least of lot of them are honest about it.

by WashStateBlue 2008-07-20 04:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

For any PUMAs lurking about, diaries like this are exactly what I have been referring to in other comments as examples of blatant dishonesty, spin, distortion, and lying.  These sorts of diaries are intellectually reprehensible and do nothing to advance your own cause.  There are plenty of things to take Obama to the woodshed over.  This is not one of them.  The outcome of the primaries might have been very different had debate been approached in a way that was on the up and up.  Strategies such as this might have worked in '92 and '96, prior to the meteoric rise of the internet, when people were subjugated by news networks that just spouted talking points with little ability for the viewer to check facts, but our ability to evaluate information has grown dramatically.  Don't insult our intelligence with this sort of bullshit spin.

by Philoguy 2008-07-20 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Hitler monuments are illegal in Germany.

by ChrisG7 2008-07-20 06:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M
Desperate Diary. My God this is almost funny.
What garbage!
by Politicalslave 2008-07-20 08:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

As long as he does not call himself a doughnut I think it will be OK...

by zerosumgame 2008-07-20 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Or a 'bin liner.'

by Shaun Appleby 2008-07-20 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

there ya go ;p

by zerosumgame 2008-07-20 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Still rating yourself I see...

by hootie4170 2008-07-20 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Famous Hitler monument?  The only thing 'monumental' about this diary is the blatant ignorance and tendentiousness evident therein.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-07-20 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Mojo'd for the use of "tendentiousness"

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-20 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Hide because now I have to look it up.

by Politicalslave 2008-07-20 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

That's what I love about McCain supporters they use such "logic"

by Politicalslave 2008-07-20 08:51PM | 0 recs
Thanks for your concern

now excuse us while Obama is busy winning an election.

by hocuspocus 2008-07-20 02:56PM | 0 recs
You questioned 'The One'

angry worshippers will devour you!!!

by catfish2 2008-07-20 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: You questioned 'The One'

You really love the tr's and hr's you get don't you? It must be a masochistic thing.

by MS01 Indie 2008-07-20 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: You questioned 'The One'

Why can't you just be honest, Catfish?  You conflate legitimate questioning with this sort of crap.  This isn't legitimate questioning, but a blatant attempt at distortion.  It was legitimate for people to be up in arms about FISA.  It was legitimate for people to be up in arms about faith based initiatives (which Clinton also supports).  But crap like this is just intellectually dishonest.  This is the sort of thing people are referring to when they talk about the dishonesty of PUMAs and extremist Clinton supporters.

by Philoguy 2008-07-20 04:25PM | 0 recs
Because Catfish is a troll.

SATSQ.

by Geekesque 2008-07-20 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Interesting that the two politicians quoted are associated with Germany's two leading conservative parties.  Merkel did Bush's bidding by quashing a speech right at the Brandenburg Gate, and now her spokesperson attacks the alternative choice of the (so-called) Victory Column.  Yet these critics know that the Victory Column (whose survival of World War two was nothing short of miraculous) no longer symbolizes the aggressive Germany of either the Second or Third Reichs.  Indeed, the monument's base has been left pockmarked by shell and gunfire as a symbolic caution against the consequences of militarism. Obama will draw upwards of 1,000,000 for this speech, and the TV cameras will be sure to take in that the Brandenburg Gate will anchor that crowd (being straight down this, the grandest avenue of Berlin, from the site of the Column).   One again, the efforts of the right wing to undercut Obama's drive to the White House have backfired!        

by michaelbk from seattle 2008-07-20 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Nice catch!

by Philoguy 2008-07-20 04:25PM | 0 recs
The rub

Excellent points, all well put.

As for Merkel doing Bush's bidding, she's just paying him back for that soothing massage...

by January 20 2008-07-20 05:03PM | 0 recs
Just another McTroll diary.

by Beren 2008-07-20 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Just another McTroll diary.

Wow. I am simply blown away by how utterly profound this comment was.

Do you have anything constructive to add to the discussion at all?

by rayj 2008-07-20 03:16PM | 0 recs
Discussion?


This diary is just another McToilet and I pissed in it.

Go back under your bridge.

by Beren 2008-07-20 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Just another McTroll diary.

Oh don't try to play the role of the wronged honest interlocutor here.  You posted blatant lies and then act as if you're being persecuted when people call you on it.

by Philoguy 2008-07-20 04:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Just another McTroll diary.

Go away idiot

by ottovbvs 2008-07-20 04:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Just another McTroll diary.
Keep us updated. Obama that Hitler Nazi lover.
BTW Catfish and Strongerthanddirt reccomended your "discussion". They want "Obama to win more than anything too"
by Politicalslave 2008-07-20 09:13PM | 0 recs
Anyone remember Reagan at Bitburg?

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/06/intern ational/europe/06REAG.html

That has been regarded as one of the great blunders of Reagan's presidency.

However, this venue also has the added cache of being the site of their annual Love (read exhibitionism) Parade, which is fine with me.  I'm all for that stuff.

I think the biggest downside from this whole German debacle is that German politicians will regard him as having the same weight as George "backrub" Bush.  Why lightweight?  His failure to talk with German politicians before announcing he was speaking at the Brandenburg Gate will be seen as a sign of arrogance and amateurishness.  Anyone who knows anything about foreign policy understands that there is a high level of protocol.

Is Obama astute enough not to suggest to a Muslim leader that they go have a beer together?

by strongerthandirt 2008-07-20 03:10PM | 0 recs
oy vey.

chill man/woman.

by canadian gal 2008-07-20 03:17PM | 0 recs
stronger or dumber?

comparing this to Bitburg suggests the latter.

by JJE 2008-07-20 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Anyone remember Reagan at Bitburg?

What does Bitburg have to do with this?  I must be mentally recessed, because I don't see anything in common between Reagan laying a wreath at a Germany military cemetery and Obama giving a speech at the Victory Column in Berlin.

What I do see is a commonality in many election smears.  One takes a fact and fudges it up a little and then draws a parallel to another smudged up fact and calls it four.

Tactics like that might work better with low information voters.

by Susan from 29 2008-07-20 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Anyone remember Reagan at Bitburg?

Crap!  Do you have a job at Fox News?

by IncognitoErgoSum 2008-07-20 08:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at

Why don't you go troll somewhere else???

by Spanky 2008-07-20 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M
Everywhere you go in Berlin you are going to find a Nazi building or monument. Try the Olympic Stadium of 1936. It's still there.
New the parliament you count be standing above Hitler's bunker where he shot himself.
by W126 2008-07-20 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

The part of the Victory Column that Nazis added was just another sandstone column block to make it taller.  AFAIK it just has gold garlands on it and isn't dedicated to anything in particular.

by mydoubled 2008-07-20 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Isn't this were they celebrate the biggest gay parade in Germany?

Berlin was in total party mode despite grey skies on Saturday, as the city celebrated the 30th edition of the popular gay pride Christopher Street Day Parade.

Tens of thousands of lesbians and gays are expected to fill the streets for a parade starting near Humboldt University on the city's boulevard Unter den Linden via the Potsdamer Platz to Berlin´s Victory Column, the Siegessäule.

It seems to me that he picked the perfect spot (after the initial idea was squashed by Bush and his minions).

Get your facts straights troll.

by spacemanspiff 2008-07-20 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech

So Obama is giving a speech in front of a 19th century monument,it is not a famous Hitler monument, in fact the Brandenburg gate is much more associated with Hitler than this monument. The guys who are stirring this up in Germany are two right wing politicians in order to create another phony story. It's bs. This diarist is either a Republican stooge or an idiot, probably the former.

by ottovbvs 2008-07-20 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at

Is it so much to ask for higher quality trolls?

by rfahey22 2008-07-20 06:29PM | 0 recs
McTroll

Collect your McCain points on the line in the back please

by kasjogren 2008-07-20 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

I've read that somewhere between 10,000 and ONE MILLION people are expected to show up for his speech.  He needed to find a place big enough to hold everyone.  There's a diary by MBNYC on the rec list of kos which discusses some of the reasons why it's not such a bad location.  It is also a symbol of the ills of war and happens to be the place where the gay pride parades end every year.  

by Renie 2008-07-21 03:04AM | 0 recs
I'm sorry

but John McCain is going to lose this election. You'll get over it.

by BobzCat 2008-07-21 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama to Give Berlin Speech at Famous Hitler M

Our MEDIA will spend two weeks on that one.

Barack: Change the location.

by NY Writer 2008-07-21 06:53PM | 0 recs

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