BERLIN (Reuters) - A German advent calendar for children has become a hot seller since word got out it has a picture of a notorious serial killer on it.
The cartoon calendar shows Fritz Haarmann, who murdered 24 young men and boys in the 1920s, lurking under a tree with a hatchet next to the door for December 1. Below him, Santa Claus hands out presents to children in a festive-looking Hanover.
A local tourism office included the serial killer alongside 23 other celebrities in the northern city, including philosopher Gottfried Leibniz and hard rock band The Scorpions.
Haarmann’s depiction featured in last year’s edition, but this year it is attracting wider attention because top-selling newspaper Bild questioned whether the use of the murderer in a children’s calendar was in good taste.
“People are queuing up to buy the calendar now,” said a surprised Hans Nolte, director of the city’s tourism board.
Nolte said he expected the initial 20,000 copy run of the calendar to sell out soon as orders were pouring in from Berlin, Vienna and other parts of Austria. Proceeds from the sales are going towards a local charity for children with cancer.
“It’s part of our history,” Nolte said.
Nonetheless, the serial killer, who was beheaded in 1925, will not appear in next year’s edition, Nolte said.
Reporting by Naomi Kresge; Editing by Golnar Motevalli