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Christmas swastikas: German museum views ornaments over time

BERLIN (AP) — The German Historical Museum has opened an exhibit in Berlin chronicling how Christmas tree ornaments since the 19th century have reflected the times, from traditional baubles to swastikas and other Nazi emblems promoted under Adolf Hitler.

The exhibition titled "Angel, Swastika, Dome of the Rock: Christmas Tree Decorations from the 19th Century Until Today" opened Friday and runs through March 3. The museum says the modest one-room exhibit looks at the ornaments as objects of popular culture, "both banal and beautiful."

In Germany, "the Nazi regime politically appropriated the illuminated Christmas tree" and sought to supplant Christian symbols with its own, seeking to promote the idea of a "Nordic Yule festival" instead of traditional Christmas.

The exhibit also looks at World War I and communist East German traditions, among others.

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