The executive director of a St. Paul museum is claiming today that representatives for the Republican National Convention to be held here next week have asked the museum to temporarily remove a Nazi banner captured by American soldiers during World War II and displayed in an exhibit on Nazi book-burning.
Michael Luick-Thrams, who heads the small TRACES Center for History and Culture in the Landark Center, close to the convention site, says Landmark officials first received calls expressing concern about the banner from organizers who had rented the building for a party to be held next Thursday, post-convention. Luick-Thrams says he later learned the party was being held by a large law firm, and the concerns were allegedly that a delegate or politician might inadvertantly be photographed in front of the banner.
In any case, museum officials have refused the request. And the director has concerns of his own: “We are perplexed by this matter,” he said in a news release. “John McCain endured years of captivity as a POW, and we’ve invited him repeatedly to visit the museum during the convention-especially as it lies literally across the street from the convention center. Wouldn’t this museum–about the effects of war–be an exceptionally relevant story to feature as the nation considers choosing this man to lead it? We think that the legacy of Nazism’s defeat by America and its allies in the Second World War remains an inspiring and relevant one. Why, then, are we being asked to alter our exhibit during the convention?”