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.

SEE ALSO: Trove of Nazi artifacts found hidden behind secret door

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."

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Controversy over church bell inscribed with Nazi insignia
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Controversy over church bell inscribed with Nazi insignia
LANDAU IN DER PFALZ, GERMANY - JUNE 13: The Jakobskirche village church pictured on June 13, 2017 in Herxheim, Germany. For 82 years the 1930s-era church bell embossed with a swastika and the text: 'Everything for the Fatherland Adolf Hitler' , cast when Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, hung in the 1,000-year-old church tower without attracting much notice until a local newspaper reported on its existence. Now the village residents are struggling to figure out what to do with it. Some, including the mayor, claim replacing it would be too expensive and removing the text and swastika would distort the bell's ring, while others, including the church organist, are appalled and are demanding something be done. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LANDAU IN DER PFALZ, GERMANY - JUNE 13: The Jakobskirche village church pictured on June 13, 2017 in Herxheim, Germany. For 82 years the 1930s-era church bell embossed with a swastika and the text: 'Everything for the Fatherland Adolf Hitler' , cast when Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, hung in the 1,000-year-old church tower without attracting much notice until a local newspaper reported on its existence. Now the village residents are struggling to figure out what to do with it. Some, including the mayor, claim replacing it would be too expensive and removing the text and swastika would distort the bell's ring, while others, including the church organist, are appalled and are demanding something be done. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LANDAU IN DER PFALZ, GERMANY - JUNE 13: The church bell embossed with a swastika and the text: 'Everything for the Fatherland Adolf Hitler' in the Jakobskirche village church pictured on June 13, 2017 in Herxheim, Germany. For 82 years the 1930s-era church bell, cast when Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, hung in the 1,000-year-old church tower without attracting much notice until a local newspaper reported on its existence. Now the village residents are struggling to figure out what to do with it. Some, including the mayor, claim replacing it would be too expensive and removing the text and swastika would distort the bell's ring, while others, including the church organist, are appalled and are demanding something be done. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LANDAU IN DER PFALZ, GERMANY - JUNE 13: Mayor Ronald Becker stands next to the church bell embossed with a swastika and the text: 'Everything for the Fatherland Adolf Hitler' in the Jakobskirche village church on June 13, 2017 in Herxheim, Germany. For 82 years the 1930s-era church bell, cast when Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, hung in the 1,000-year-old church tower without attracting much notice until a local newspaper reported on its existence. Now the village residents are struggling to figure out what to do with it. Some, including the mayor, claim replacing it would be too expensive and removing the text and swastika would distort the bell's ring, while others, including the church organist, are appalled and are demanding something be done. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LANDAU IN DER PFALZ, GERMANY - JUNE 13: The church bell embossed with a swastika and the text: 'Everything for the Fatherland Adolf Hitler' in the Jakobskirche village church pictured on June 13, 2017 in Herxheim, Germany. For 82 years the 1930s-era church bell, cast when Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, hung in the 1,000-year-old church tower without attracting much notice until a local newspaper reported on its existence. Now the village residents are struggling to figure out what to do with it. Some, including the mayor, claim replacing it would be too expensive and removing the text and swastika would distort the bell's ring, while others, including the church organist, are appalled and are demanding something be done. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LANDAU IN DER PFALZ, GERMANY - JUNE 13: The church bell embossed with a swastika and the text: 'Everything for the Fatherland Adolf Hitler' in the Jakobskirche village church pictured on June 13, 2017 in Herxheim, Germany. For 82 years the 1930s-era church bell, cast when Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, hung in the 1,000-year-old church tower without attracting much notice until a local newspaper reported on its existence. Now the village residents are struggling to figure out what to do with it. Some, including the mayor, claim replacing it would be too expensive and removing the text and swastika would distort the bell's ring, while others, including the church organist, are appalled and are demanding something be done. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LANDAU IN DER PFALZ, GERMANY - JUNE 13: The Jakobskirche village church pictured on June 13, 2017 in Herxheim, Germany. For 82 years the 1930s-era church bell embossed with a swastika and the text: 'Everything for the Fatherland Adolf Hitler' , cast when Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, hung in the 1,000-year-old church tower without attracting much notice until a local newspaper reported on its existence. Now the village residents are struggling to figure out what to do with it. Some, including the mayor, claim replacing it would be too expensive and removing the text and swastika would distort the bell's ring, while others, including the church organist, are appalled and are demanding something be done. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LANDAU IN DER PFALZ, GERMANY - JUNE 13: The Jakobskirche village church pictured on June 13, 2017 in Herxheim, Germany. For 82 years the 1930s-era church bell embossed with a swastika and the text: 'Everything for the Fatherland Adolf Hitler' , cast when Germany was ruled by Adolf Hitler, hung in the 1,000-year-old church tower without attracting much notice until a local newspaper reported on its existence. Now the village residents are struggling to figure out what to do with it. Some, including the mayor, claim replacing it would be too expensive and removing the text and swastika would distort the bell's ring, while others, including the church organist, are appalled and are demanding something be done. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
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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.

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