German Town Condemned For ‘Insensitivity’

After naming school in honour of V2 creator Klaus Riedel

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A town in Germany has been blasted for being insensitive after they chose to name a school in honour of Nazi associate Klaus Riedel.

Riedel helped create one of WWII’s most horrifying weapons the V2 rocket, the first of which landed in Chiswick on Staveley Road killing three people, demolishing six houses and leaving a hole 30 feet wide and 8 feet deep (see below).

During the last few months of the war, the rockets, created in the V2 laboratory at Peenemunde, took nearly 30,000 lives in Europe and Southern England.

The decision by German town Bernstadt to honour Riedel has caused anger and upset in both Britain and Germany and has been condemned for its insensitivity.

However, after numerous protests the school agreed to inform pupils, who were largely unaware of Riedel’s role in history, that ‘These rockets [V2] were fired from Peenemunde on England and many innocent people were killed'

A family member of someone who was killed by one of the rockets said, "At a time in Europe when we are all supposed to be moving on, I find it grossly insensitive to the memory of many thousands of dead Britons, not to mention slave labourers, to name a school after a man who helped design these rockets."

Bernstadt already has a memorial to Riedel and a museum in his honour.

May 9, 2008