Hitler pinata smashing questioned

MICHAEL DALY
Last updated 16:46 30/04/2013

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The German embassy has questioned the appropriateness of a Tauranga bar's commemoration of Anzac Day which involved an Adolf Hitler pinata, and said Germany had faced up to its past and worked to make things better.

"Anzac Day is about thinking of those deceased and hurt in all wars, is that the right way of acknowledging that?" an embassy spokesperson said.

The Bahama Hut advertised the Anzac Day event with a photo of the Hitler pinata, which included swastikas, on its Facebook page, saying “make sure you’re here around midnight to smash this guy up!! He’s filled with lollies and drink vouchers!! Happy Anzac Day!!”

An owner of the club, Tony Garraway, told SunLive the Anzac Day celebrations had been an awesome night.

The club planned to have a similar event next year, with a bigger pinata.

The German embassy spokesperson said the embassy did not have a position on the club's plans to smash a Hitler pinata again next year.

But she questioned whether the event this year had been the right way to commemorate fallen soldiers. She was also worried the event could be hurtful to the Jewish community.

Germans could never forget World War II and had taken many steps to ensure nothing like that ever happened again, she said. Germany also had a very good relationship with Israel.

"In many countries, the present politicians haven't really dealt with the past as we did," the spokesperson said.

"There are some countries who just leave out passages of their past from their history books. We don't do that... we deal with the past and try to make things better."

In Germany, use of the swastika was largely forbidden, except in cases that clearly showed opposition to it, such as in sports clubs where the symbol might have a red line through it.

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