Hitler Bell In Austria Found After 80 Years, Causes Outrage: Will Wolfpassing Castle Owner Remove Nazi Relic?

By Staff Writer on July 29, 2013 5:38 PM EDT

Hitler bell
Hitler bell was discovered in Wolfpassing castle. Locals want it buried. (Photo: Creative Commons)

A Hitler bell was discovered within a castle located in the rural village of Wolfpassing, Austria. The bell dates back to 1939 and celebrated the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany. After World War II, relics that feature Nazi propaganda is illegal in Austria. The country is particularly sensitive of its troubling past.

For nearly 80 years, the "Hitler bell" tolled for every hour. However, no one learned about the appearance of the bell until the castle that contained it was recently sold by the Austrian government to a man named Tobias Hufnagl.

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According to the New York Daily News, the bell features an inscription that hails Hitler as the "unifier and Fuhrer of all Germans." The bell claimed that Hitler had freed the state of "Ostmark," a Nazi term for Austria. The Hitler bell claimed Austria was saved "from the yoke of suppression by foreign elements and brought it home into the Great German Reich."

While the government insists that officials simply failed to notice the Nazi relic, some citizens aren't so sure. In fact, some argue that because the castle possesses many historical items from the war, the sale of the old castle is illegal as it propigates Nazi values. What's more, a government ruling forbides historical pieces to be tampered with, which means the bell was to remain a part of the castle.

Due to the extremely sensitive nature, many locals are asking for the Hitler bell to be promptly removed from the belfry to either be buried or even melted.

"The best thing would be if the bell disappeared and was buried somewhere," said Raimund Fastenbauer, a senior official of Vienna's Jewish community.

The new owner of the castle, Mr. Tobias Hufnagl, will yet to share what he plans to do with the bell.

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