Google Maps accidentally names Berlin Square after Adolf Hitler

Giuseppe Macri Tech Editor
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Travelers using Google Maps to tour one of Europe’s most storied and trendy capital cities after the new year might have been surprised to see a major German landmark named after an infamous historical figure.

As of Jan. 2, 2014, Berlin Square, formerly named after Germany’s first federally elected president Theodor Heuss, was named Adolf Hitler Plaza for several days, according to Google Maps. The name was changed late Thursday.

Google receives public map change suggestions and assigns a team of volunteer and employee content curators to verify and approve or discard the suggestions. After anonymous user “Anonym5394” suggested adding the name as a secondary title for the square, Google Maps content moderator “Vishali” took it one step further and changed the name completely to the new title.

Users reportedly took note of the change quickly, which was first reported by the German LandkartenBLOG, and another content moderator changed it several days later.

Numerous streets were named after the dictator during the Nazi Party’s control of Germany between 1933 and 1945. Unsurprisingly, none remain named after him today.

“In this particular case, the change in the street name was mistakenly approved, and we fixed it as soon as we were made aware,” Google said in a statement Friday. “We apologize for any offense caused.”

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Giuseppe Macri