PHOENIX—Acknowledging that a municipality such as present-day Stuttgart or Bremen may have been a more tactful choice for a German sister city, Phoenix mayor Thelda Williams apologized Tuesday for instead choosing the Berlin of 1941. “Berlin during the, shall we say, post-Weimar era certainly had some commendable qualities, but I now realize that the city’s involvement in attempting to conquer the world and exterminate the Jewish people during that time should have given the Phoenix mayoral council some pause,” said Williams, who expressed regret that the mistake wasn’t corrected before the city officially honored 1941 Berlin’s rich cultural heritage by decorating with dozens of swastikas, Reichsadler eagles, and Waffen-SS parade murals scattered across downtown Phoenix. “Choosing the capital of Germany and specifying that you mean its incarnation as the Nazi headquarters during the Holocaust period is obviously an oversight in retrospect. Of course, we intend to immediately take down the banner over City Hall, which currently reads ‘Arizona welcomes [Berlin’s Nazi mayor] Ludwig Steeg to the Valley of the Sun.’” Mayor Williams’ choice of 1941 Berlin was, in fact, surprisingly popular with Phoenix residents, though early reports seem to indicate they are satisfied by the substitution of 1936 Moscow.
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