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German report German report
by Euro Reporter
2009-11-24 08:02:33
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Antique car dealer finds Hitler's Mercedes
A Düsseldorf antique car dealer working on behalf of a Russian billionaire told The Local on Monday he has located a Mercedes limousine belonging to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler after a painstaking two-month search. The midnight blue 770K model vehicle was locked away in a Bielefeld collector’s garage with seven others also previously owned by Nazi party officials, Michael Fröhlich said. A middleman approached the 59-year-old with the task of finding the dictator’s car for a Russian billionaire several weeks ago.

“I know it belonged to Hitler after confirming it with Mercedes myself,” he said. During his lengthy search, the car expert discovered that after the Second World War ended the vehicle had been sold in Austria before it landed in the Imperial Palace car museum in Las Vegas. From there it went to a brewery mogul’s collection in Munich, but the man's widow sold the car in 2008.  Last week he got a tip as to who the buyer was and is now negotiating with potential buyers, “The cars are all still here and no money has changed hands,” he said.

Fröhlich said he has the car’s original papers and repair logs and matched the licence plate number - 1A 148461 – to old photos of Hitler in the vehicle during a parade. He also checked with the public prosecutor’s office to ensure that the auto sale was legal. The sale of the vehicle is expected to be finalised within the next few days, he said.


Synagogue vandal

Dresden police announced on Monday that they have found a suspect in the defacement of a synagogue that took place two days ahead of the 71st anniversary of the Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom this month. The 39-year-old Algerian man is accused of daubing swastikas and anti-Jewish statements along several metres of a wall outside the synagogue on November 7, the Saxony state office of criminal investigation said.

Eyewitness accounts and surveillance videos helped them reconstruct the crime and apprehend the Dresden resident on Saturday. “But there were no grounds for arrest,” spokesman Christian Avenarius said. The man is not known to have previously committed politically motivated crimes.

He is now being investigated for incitement of hatred with symbols used by unconstitutional organisations, the spokesperson said. The swastika and other Nazi symbols are illegal in Germany. Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass,” saw Nazi thugs attack hundreds of synagogues and Jewish businesses across Germany on November 9, 1938. Some 90 Jews were killed and 30,000 Jewish men were arrested for deportation to concentration camps.


Integration contract

The government is planning to institute "integration contracts" for immigrants to encourage them to become contributing members of the country’s society, Germany’s integration commissioner announced on Monday. The new contract, a goal for the current legislative period, will elaborate on what kind of support immigrants can expect from Germany, in addition to “what we expect from the immigrants,” Maria Böhmer said.

“All who want to live and work here for the long run must say yes to our country,” she continued. “To this belongs proficiency in the German language, but also a readiness to take part in society.” German values, such as freedom of speech and equal rights for women must also be recognised in the proposed contract, said Böhmer, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats. In response to controversial comments about Berlin’s failing Turkish and Arab community made by Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin in September, Böhmer had been stunned by his statements.

“There are indeed large city quarters with parallel societies,” she said, but added that when Sarrazin was serving as Berlin’s finance minister, he failed to take action.  “When one did nothing to improve matters and then makes such statements while no longer holding responsibility, then I can only react with astonishment,” she said. “Regarding the necessary debate over poor school achievement, there must also be a discussion over those who get their high school diplomas, study, start companies, or become engineers, doctors and lawyers,” she told the paper, adding that these immigrants are part of the “economic success of our country.”


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