Call it an oversight or indifference, Joseph Goebbels, the man who led the narrative of dehumanising Jewish people, continues to be on the list of honorary citizens in the eastern German city of Potsdam.
Nazi politician and propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels died 76 years ago after being part of Adolf Hitler's killing machine and enabling the genocide of tens of thousands of Jewish people. But his name continues to be on the list of honorary citizens of Potsdam, a city in eastern Germany.
The city administration confirmed Goebbels' being on the list. It was revealed when the administration staff was compiling a full list of the city’s honorary citizens this summer.
Generally, if a person featured on the list dies, his or her name is taken out immediately. Goebbels has however remained despite him dying on May 1, 1945.
Potsdam, the Brandenburg state capital, has previously revoked the honorary citizenship titles for other high-ranked Nazi members, including Adolf Hitler and interior minister Wilhelm Frick.
It is expected from local authorities to withdraw Goebbels’ name from the list as the city council is set to discuss the issue urgently.
Like Potsdam, the town of Teltow, 25 kilometers east of Potsdam, had forgotten to remove Goebbels from the honorary citizen list. In 2014, Teltow withdrew him from the list when authorities said “lack of knowledge” for the late removal.
Goebbels gained infamy by orchestrating the Nazi propaganda to persuade German citizens to support the regime during the World War II.
He was a master of orator and propaganda which was accounted responsible for presenting a favourable image of the Nazi regime.
His works were especially effective in intensifying the efforts of the home front, then he became the protagonist of total war.
Right after Hitler’s suicide, he served as German Chancellor for a single day before poisoning his six children, together with his wife, and then the couple then took their own lives.
Xenophobia and anti-migrant hatred have been growing in Germany, especially in the eastern part, in recent years, triggered by far-right propaganda which have exploited fears tied to the refugee crisis and terrorism.
German opposition parties have long called on the government to take strong action against far-right propaganda, fearing further radicalisation of sympathizers and a new wave of violence.
In September, an east German city was due to go to court for seeking to remove election posters saying "Hang The Greens" placed by a far-right party with suspected links to neo-Nazi groups.
German concerns about far-right violence were heightened two years ago when conservative politician Walter Luebcke was shot dead by a neo-Nazi for his pro-immigration views.