Saturday Night at the Movies

 

 

Keep in mind that because Hindenburg wasn’t a Nazi, the forced removal of that pretty cool historical sign they’d just installed at this park in Crescenta Valley was solidly anti-German in nature.

Did its foes and LA County not know that Hindenburg was a political enemy of the Nazis? What he represented instead to the local German community above — at worst — was devotion to a 19th-century Junker cult whose origins lay well beyond National Socialism.

You want to start erasing the local past just because you think it’s not politically correct or appropriate and you’re totally wrong to boot? Where do we begin? Let’s make a list.

A wooden sign welcoming visitors to Hindenburg Park in La Crescenta will soon be removed and replaced with another sign that will honor the German American ties to the park but not mention Hindenburg’s name, following a decision by the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations on Monday.

Nine commissioners voted to take down the sign, while one, Ashlee Oh, abstained.

The commission began weighing the issue in March after the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department received complaints about the sign, which reads “willkommen zum,” meaning “welcome to” followed by “Hindenburg Park.”

The Parks and Recreation Department installed the sign in February at the corner of Honolulu and Dunsmore avenues in Crescenta Valley Park after the Tri-Centennial Foundation, run by chairman Hans Eberhard, paid for the Hindenburg sign to acknowledge that portion of the park as a historic German American site.

Shortly after Hindenburg’s death in 1934, private owners of the property named that part of the park after him. A bust of Hindenburg was displayed in the park, along with one of Ludwig Van Beethoven, according to a county report. The area also hosted the first Oktoberfest in Southern California, and was often where local German Americans gathered for social events.

Sorry, they won’t be honoring “German-American ties to the park.”

Jason Moss, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys — which sought the sign’s removal — was pleased by not only the commission’s decision to take down the sign, but applauded their suggestion that a task force of local stakeholders work together to create a new sign that will tell both the positive and negative events that have occurred in the park.

“People can now at least acknowledge [the history] and learn from it,” Moss said after the commission meeting.

That’s some honor — reminding people of a couple of Nazi rallies there in the late 1930s.

Beethoven will still be banished of course. He’s way too German, and way too contradictory to the modern message.

 

 

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