The revelation that Rich Iott, the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional District seat in Ohio and a Tea Party favorite, has been in the habit of dressing up as a Waffen-SS soldier, is just one more sign of the heroic ignorance that characterizes large sectors of American politicians, the media that covers them, and the public that votes for them. Such monumental ignorance, of truly Wagnerian dimensions, [...] Criminal war and genocide are not a joke, and before one dresses up in the uniform of its military instruments, one should be informed of their deeds.
Freedom is apparently a relative term. The SS fought for a Jew-free Europe; it also disliked the Sinti and Roma (gypsies), blacks, the disabled, homosexuals, Slavs, as well as liberals, democrats, socialists and communists. It was a serious, quite humorless organization, and it never joked about its ideology. Hence, it was deeply involved in the genocide of about 6 million Jews, alongside the mass murder of altogether millions of Roma, Catholic Poles, Soviet citizens and PoWs, gays, inmates of insane asylums, members of trade unions, and so forth. The Soviet Union alone sacrificed about 28 million lives in the struggle against those who allegedly "gave their lives for their loved ones and a basic desire to be free." Under the rule of these freedom-loving SS legionnaires, Europe and possibly much of the rest of the world would have indeed become free of all those who were not healthy and Fuhrer-worshipping Aryans.
[...] Playing at being a Nazi is playing with fire. And political pyromaniacs are a very dangerous lot indeed, perhaps especially when they have no idea of the kinds of demons they may awaken, having sheltered themselves so hermetically from any knowledge of the past.
Note to Iott: you and your moron friends dress up like a Nazi SS outfit and go re-enact the Battle of Stalingrad on location, you fucking idiot, and let's see what happens. You like re-enactments? The old Russians would rush out of their senior citizen homes and tear your Nazi ass to shreds like they did last time.
This show, “Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime,” opened Friday. It was billed as the first in Germany since the end of World War II to focus exclusively on Adolf Hitler. Germany outlaws public displays of some Nazi symbols, and the curators took care to avoid showing items that appeared to glorify Hitler. His uniforms, for example, remained in storage.
Instead, the show focuses on the society that nurtured and empowered him. It is not the first time historians have argued that Hitler did not corral the Germans as much as the Germans elevated Hitler. But one curator said the message was arguably more vital for Germany now than at any time in the past six decades, as rising nationalism, more open hostility to immigrants and a generational disconnect from the events of the Nazi era have older Germans concerned about repeating the past.
“The only hope for stopping extremists is to isolate them from society so that they are separated, so they do not have a relationship with the bourgeoisie and the other classes,” Mr. Thamer said. “The Nazis were members of high society. This was the dangerous moment.
“This we have to avoid from happening.”
“I think if you had someone like him today, it could be very dangerous,” he said halfway through his walk through the displays about Hitler. “There are a lot of people out there who want jobs, who are not happy with the political leadership, who would vote for someone like him if he came along.”
“This exhibition is about Hitler and the Germans — meaning the social and political and individual processes by which much of the German people became enablers, colluders, co-criminals in the Holocaust,” said Constanze Stelzenmüller, a senior trans-Atlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States in Berlin. “That this was so is now a mainstream view, rejected only by a small minority of very elderly and deluded people, or the German extreme right-wing fringe. But it took us a while to get there.”
We have farther to fall before we re-learn the lessons of the past. The Germans are way ahead of us on this one. Their first clue was the absolute destruction of their nation. What will our first clue be?