Village grapples with church bell emblazoned with Nazi insignia

As is the case with many structures in post-war Germany, one church is realizing it still has a connection to the Nazi party.

The Jakobskirche village church in the small town of Herxheim am Berg holds a bell that created controversy after it was discovered to be emblazoned with Nazi insignia.

The church is 1,000 years old and thus was standing throughout the country's dark period during World War II and the Holocaust. The bell was reportedly added to the church in 1934.

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The bell was found to bear a swastika under the phrase "All for the Fatherland, Adolf Hitler."

Many residents have complained and believe the bell -- or at least the Nazi inscriptions on it -- should be removed. The town's mayor is not among those people.

"When something functions well, why should you change it?" mayor Ronald Becker said. "Any change to the bell could harm the sound."

The mayor considers the bell a "historic relic" but has dismissed ideas to turn the site into a World War II memorial.

"[The bell] is closed in the church tower and it will remain so," he said.