Avoiding The Shrine

When I heard the news about Osama Bin Laden there were a couple of things which came instantly into my mind: first, how odd it must have been for his neighbours and second, how way in which other terrible figures in history have been dealt with.

I thought almost instantly about Hitler, though of course, not wishing to make any comparison or judgement about the scale or severity of what they did. What I thought about was the bunker in Berlin where Hitler spent the last days of his life. I visited Berlin a couple of years ago and went on one of those city walking tours. One of the most fascinating things I found for the way in which modern Germany has “dealt with” the legacy of Hitler was the decision to place a car park on top of where Hitler’s bunker was to stop that place from becoming a shrine for modern neo-Nazis. I guess that was the thinking behind burying Obama at sea.

And then of course, I wondered about his neighbours in that town in Pakistan where he’s been living. Did they know? Didn’t they know?

It’s been an interesting and busy day, as you might imagine for someone, like myself, who works in the media. In the midst of the frenzy, these were the asides that crossed my mind today.

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