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Would You Like an Axe Murderer With Your Advent Calendar?

Tourism officials have been slammed for featuring an axe wielding serial killer on a children's Christmas advent calendar.

The advent calendar /Ext

They defended the move by saying mass murderer Fritz Haarmann was part of the German city of Hanover's history.

The calendar is already on sale at tourism offices and shows children singing Xmas carols and laughing as Santa hands out Xmas gifts – and the Star of Bethlehem twinkles over the rooftops.

But over the first door of the calendar, a trilby wearing man peaks out from behind a tree with a meat cleaver in his left hand.

Haarmann killed 24 young men, chopped up their corpses and dumped their remains in the local river Leine. He appears on the calendar hiding behind a tree on the river bank.

Haarmann stalked the city more than 80 years ago and his victims were aged between 13 and 20. He was sentenced to death and beheaded in 1925.

Head of the Hanover tourism board, Hans-Christian Nolte, has defended the calendar, saying: "He is part of our city's history. Even on guided tours the serial killer's story is told."

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