Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

August 14, 2009

Enough with the Hitler Costumes Already!

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 7:54 am

And the comparisons too. I’m talking about both sides. The ones from the right, product of our brilliant, subtle, commentator culture, who carry swastikas, or pictures, or wear costumes to town halls. And the ones on the left who compare those on the right to Nazis.

I’m beginning to get the queasy feeling that those who paint themselves with Hitler mustaches, or paint mustaches on images of the president (yes I know about morons on the left and “Bushitler”), or dress up in uniforms or carry Hitler images on posters, get just a little too much of a thrill from it. It gives these sad people a device for getting the attention their tiny minds would otherwise not merit. Maybe even gives them some sick delusion of power they suck from the vast abyss of evil they decide to dip themselves into like a bath in sewage. It’s so disproportionate. I know when I was discussing the cover for my book Explaining Hitler I refused to allow any recognizable image of Hitler on the cover because I didn’t want to exploit the all too familiar “star power” of that all-too-recognizable image. I wanted to ask how this innocent looking toddler could grow up into Hitler.

These days stardom seems to be the only thing that matters. The Hitler/swastika carriers are pathetic celebrity whores. They know they’ll get a shot at being on cable television by exploiting evil. Congratulations.

I have the feeling that if someone were to find a method to calculate the number of images, tv footage, page views, etc., it would turn out that these people are, in their own dimwit, perverted way succeeding in bringing about a kind of Hitler revival. Does this ever occur to them? That when they play with images of Hitler in irresponsible ways they’re serving in a postmodern way (“all publicity is good publicity”) in promoting Hitler themselves, rather than affixing a Hitlerite image on their enemy? That they may make Hitler seems attractive in a way (“he’s a rock star!”) to a new generation? Frankly they look like Hitlerites not anti-Hitlerites. Sad that this is what they need to feel important.

Meanwhile America across its amber waves of pixels seemed like it was the scene of a Nazi revival. Everyone carrying swastikas supposedly to discredit everyone else carrying swastikas.

Hey: the swastikas don’t care. Hitler loves the posthumous attention. Enough with the overblown comparisons. It demeans the meaning of Hitler’s crimes, disrespects the memory of his victims and survivors.

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23 Comments »

  1. …and then there’s Mao…

    Comment by charlie finch — August 14, 2009 @ 8:26 am | Reply

  2. “The ones from the right, product of our brilliant, subtle, commentator culture, who carry swastikas, or pictures, or wear costumes to town halls.”

    Could you please point out a few examples? Even one might be nice. The only recent example that I am aware of was that of a Lyndon Larouche supporter carrying around a sign with a Hitler moustache on President Obama. There was also a swatiska painted on Congressman David Scott’s office sign—but we have no idea who committed this outrage. The odds are it was done by a leftist agitator.

    Comment by David Thomson — August 14, 2009 @ 3:47 pm | Reply

  3. I found this news story about a minute after completing my previous post. It is most interesting:

    “NEW ORLEANS — An African-American man from Mississippi admits posing as a white supremacist to send a death threat across state lines by Facebook.
    The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 20-year-old Dyron L. Hart of Poplarville pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to making a threat in November 2008.”

    http://tinyurl.com/ll56a4

    Comment by David Thomson — August 14, 2009 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

  4. The left is far more gifted at agit-prop than the right. I’m thinking of the woman who rose at a town hall in Texas saying she was a family physician who supported Obamacare. Turned out she wasn’t a doctor but part of Obama’s political machine. Interviewed afterward when her imposture was revealed, this woman wasn’t the least bit embarrassed at being found out. It’s the way the game is played nowadays. Whatever works is good.

    Comment by Banjo — August 14, 2009 @ 5:57 pm | Reply

  5. I couldn’t possibly disagree with what Mr. Rosenbaum has written here, however I do feel compelled to note an irony. RR has himself, on occasions in the past compared the Palestinians, a displaced and oppressed people, to the Nazis. If his outrage at this phenomenon is genuine shouldn’t he retroactively retract these analogies?

    This is flatly untrue. I compared the widely noted exterminationist anti-semitism of the Hamas charter to the exterminationist anti-semitism of the Nazi party. I did not, and do not compare “the Palestinians” to the Nazis.

    Comment by MonkeyShines — August 14, 2009 @ 7:13 pm | Reply

  6. […] Read the entire story here. […]

    Pingback by Pajamas Media » Enough with the Hitler Costumes Already! — August 15, 2009 @ 12:03 am | Reply

  7. The political culture in the US these days is depressing, reasoned debate by people of goodwill seems to have been replaced by lies, deceit and ad hominem attacks. It feels symptomatic of a country ill at ease with itself and uncomfortable with its changing role in the world, losing pre-eminence is never easy, we in Britain took most of the 20th century to get used to it, I just hope that the US doesn’t disintegrate during the process.

    Comment by mj — August 15, 2009 @ 12:09 am | Reply

  8. The problem is not that Hitler committed crimes against humanity. The problem is that those crimes completely hide the fact that Hitler and the NSDAP were part of the Marxist/socialist/communist breed so common in Europe at the time. Yes, Jews and others were massive victims of the Nazi machine. But no one seems to remember the fact that Hitler effectively nationalized transportation, communications, most heavy and light industry, health care, and education. He instituted a party-centric spy system [the “brown shirts”], a new secret police system with no judicial control [GESTAPO] and so on and so forth. And much of that was complete before he began is campaign to “purify” the Aryan race.

    If one looks back at German history from about 1928 to 1938, the thrust of Hitler’s politics may remind you that if we don’t learn from history we will most certainly repeat it.

    Comment by Spinoneone — August 15, 2009 @ 6:16 am | Reply

  9. Thank you, Mr. Rosenbaum, for your appeal to civility and reason. People invoke Hitler in political debates for the shock value, just like teenagers who spray paint swastikas on walls. They don’t know anything about Hitler or the Nazi regime but they do know that bringing them up gets attention.

    The purpose of a demonstration is to get attention, preferably television airtime. Reporters are competing for attention, too, so they publicize dingbats like the clown in the tricorn hat at this year’s Tea Party demonstrations. It also serves their purposes to help either side of a political argument make caricatures of each other. Our only hope is that the caricatures of Bush or Obama with toothbrush mustaches or Nazi uniforms will turn into such a cliche that even the dingbats realize the shock value is used up.

    Comment by Jack Olson — August 15, 2009 @ 6:21 am | Reply

  10. We’ve got a racist in the WH. Hello?

    Comment by Delia — August 15, 2009 @ 9:17 am | Reply

  11. To sum up Ron Rosenbaum.

    Their will never be another hitler or hitler like person and we should ignore the jews going into the ov…errr showers over there… nothing to see here move along.

    Denying reality must be great fun….hitlers followers exist today and are stronger then ever… be they the leftwing nuts from the dems or the leftwing socialists who are more open about it in europe. Just because they now have stopped singling out the jews and have included anyone who is a capitalist(which is why they targeted the jews in the 30s/40s in the first place is because they were seen as “ultimate” capitalist).

    Hitler may have lost on the battlefield but he’s winning in colleges all across the US and the world. In the end if he can win the war of ideas the battlefield is meaningless.

    Comment by robotech master — August 15, 2009 @ 10:34 am | Reply

  12. The Hitler people were from the far far left. Look up Lyndon Larouche, he is everything but a patriot. Don’t blame dems or repubs for this guy!

    Comment by Isabella — August 15, 2009 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

  13. 8. Spinoneone:

    The problem is not that Hitler committed crimes against humanity. The problem is that those crimes completely hide the fact that Hitler and the NSDAP were part of the Marxist/socialist/communist breed so common in Europe at the time. Yes, Jews and others were massive victims of the Nazi machine. But no one seems to remember the fact that Hitler effectively nationalized transportation, communications, most heavy and light industry, health care, and education. He instituted a party-centric spy system [the “brown shirts”], a new secret police system with no judicial control [GESTAPO] and so on and so forth. And much of that was complete before he began is campaign to “purify” the Aryan race.

    Most of this paragraph shows a profound misunderstanding of the Nazi political understanding. Hitler’s “effective” nationalization of industry largely consisted of passing laws that made the German economy a “command” one. Profits still flowed into corporate coffers, and individual hiring/firing/promotion decisions, that sort of thing, were made by people in the corporations (in conformity with racial laws of course; no Jews allowed). While Hitler and his minions marched under the banner of National Socialism, they made it very clear repeatedly that they hated the Communists, and the fought them regularly. The chief impetus behind the formation of brownshirts was to break up meetings of communists, and preventing the communists from doing the same to the Nazis.

    The problem with Hitler comparisons is that people are a) ignorant of history and b) vaguely aware of things like the fact that Hitler was evil. Between those two things, commentators with few scruples will compare George W. Bush to Hitler, or Barack Obama for that matter, while being only vaguely aware of how inappropriate the comparison is. Hitler killed 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, but that’s only the beginning of his crimes. He also invaded *every* country in Europe he wasn’t allied to, except Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal (and the last he couldn’t get to. Oh, and that tiny sliver of Turkey down by Greece. He and his Nazi minions killed everyone from “mental defectives” in Germany (they did it secretly so there would be little protest) to various prisoners the Germans captured in their wars, including around 3 million Soviet POWs. They looted most of the art from various museums and private collections across Europe, and tried to hide these when the war ended; some of it hasn’t been recovered at this late date. And the enormity of the war that Hitler started is hard to overstate: historians argue about statistics widely, but something on the order of 30-50 million people died. George W. Bush never did anything like that, not even close, and Barack Obama hasn’t done anything like it even a little bit. My favorite, re bush, was the idiot who compared the two, and said Hitler was *better*, because at least he meant well. Bush is just *evil*! You can just see the idiot, frothing at the mouth, eyes rolling crazily, typing that. Of course, he’s probably not quite like that, but it’s hard to imagine an intelligent person saying this.

    Comment by DavidN — August 15, 2009 @ 12:36 pm | Reply

  14. David, Hitler was also in power for six years before engaging in any invasions or beginning to practice genocide. When people compare Obama to Hitler, they aren’t thinking Hitler 1942; they’re thinking Hitler 1933.

    Comment by myth buster — August 15, 2009 @ 12:45 pm | Reply

  15. To 14. myth buster

    Shhhh you act as if hitler never had that mustache either… we all know hitler was born with that mustache and that he was putting jews in ovens since his very toddler days.

    The idea that hitler could have plotted and slowly turn the government to his will through politics and by taking small chunks out of the privately owned pie that is a country… thats just crazy talk as Mr. Ron Rosenbaum points out… crazy talk. Those ovens just appeared because hitler willed it… just like everything that was hitler… he snapped his fingers and suddenly without warning jews just went flying into those just appearing ovens.

    Comment by robotech master — August 15, 2009 @ 4:56 pm | Reply

  16. Robotech

    Just because they now have stopped singling out the jews and have included anyone who is a capitalist(which is why they targeted the jews in the 30s/40s in the first place is because they were seen as “ultimate” capitalist).

    Hitler and his acolytes targeted the Jews in first place because of Volkism romantism ideology, ment to purify the aryan race

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V%C3%B6lkisch_movement

    also he defined the same goals in “Mein Kampf”

    Comment by Marie Claude — August 15, 2009 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

  17. To 16. Marie Claude

    One of many reasons however that wasn’t their main propaganda “thrust” as it were.

    Comment by robotech master — August 15, 2009 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  18. Obama and company have shed the Fabian like approach traditionally taken by the now so-called “Progressives” who supported and elected them in favor of the draconian redistributionist and centralized planning of Nehru without so much as a nod towards the mixed economy model that Nehru envisioned. In addition, the appointment of the various “Czars” has eliminated the normal advise and consent role of the Senate totally ignoring the role of the Legislative Branch much like Jackson totally ignored the role of the Judicial Branch when it suited his purposes.

    Given the limited amount of actual history and political science that the average American has gotten in our public schools for the past 20 years, I doubt the above paragraph is as easily understood as would be the simple sentence, “Obama’s policies and healthcare proposals are amazingly like the National Socialist approach taken by Hitler and his party after first coming to power in the thirties”.

    Given the fact that I completely missed the complaints about tossing the name “Hitler” around for the past six (if not eight) years, I somehow don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that most people any longer care what effect it has on the level of debate or what effect it has on those who suffered under Hitler. Indeed, I feel sure that the left will never tire calling others Nazis or calling anyone they don’t like “Hitler”. I also feel sure that the majority are no longer content to avoid such comparisons. After all, we’re witnessing the nationalization of the auto industry, regulation of pay for executives, the professed intention to make healthcare subject to the whim of the political class, and numerous other actions that are very much like those taken by the National Socialists under Hitler.

    You’ve already missed your chance to decry the baseless screaming of, “Racist”, so maybe you could be the first to speak out about groups claiming that those who disagree actually want to see the president dead. Or, are you too late for that as well?

    I’m all for raising the level of discourse in this country, but in spite of your valid points, I just can’t seem to give a damn after years, and years, of president Bush being pictured as, compared to, and regularly called “Hitler”. Yours is an excellent article for 2003, but it’s just idle chatter in 2009.

    Have a nice day

    Comment by Rashputin — August 16, 2009 @ 7:20 am | Reply

  19. 18. Rashputin,

    Bravo! Bravo!

    Comment by Delia — August 16, 2009 @ 9:52 am | Reply

  20. To 18. Rashputin

    “I’m all for raising the level of discourse in this country, but in spite of your valid points, I just can’t seem to give a damn after years, and years, of president Bush being pictured as, compared to, and regularly called “Hitler”. Yours is an excellent article for 2003, but it’s just idle chatter in 2009.”

    Spot on.

    Comment by robotech master — August 16, 2009 @ 11:38 am | Reply

  21. What #18 Rashputin said. Idle chatter, indeed.

    I also agree that it is ignorance of history and ignorance of the very depths of human evil.

    The Nazis enslaved whole populations. The men and unattractive women were removed from their countries to work in German factories. The attractive women were enslaved as whores. Old people were simply put to death. Often, so were young children. The working and living conditions, as well as the gross brutality of the slavemasters, were appalling, and mortality rates were very high. If you were untermenschen, your days were numbered.

    People were killed for the gold in their teeth. In Warsaw, Jews were penned into a single district, and starved. Only 3 in a thousand Red Army prisoners were ever returned to their homelands. (The Western POW’s were better treated.)

    When Germany was losing at the very end, still the Hitlerites did all they could to accelerate the process of killing in a last nihilistic frenzy. Enslavement and killing was the goal of the whole thing in the first place. It was never about anything else. Hitler was a rsging psycopath, one of the great monsters of history who turned a whole nation into a machine of murder.

    Obama and his crowd seek power for the Left, power for it’s own sake. Bush was merely trying to serve his country as best he could. There is no doubting his patriotism, only his competence. Neither seeks out-and-out murder for its own sake.

    The problem is that people associate Nazism with Fascism. Fascism is a means of forcing an unpopular central government upon a nation. All tyrannical regimes use it. The more it is used, the more tyrannical is the regime. It is a metric of the tyranny, as well as the means. Nazism was the end. Communism is an end (China, USSR, etc.). Power is an end. Fascism is the means. Fascism is institutional force.

    Comment by Marc malone — August 16, 2009 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  22. “When people compare Obama to Hitler, they aren’t thinking Hitler 1942; they’re thinking Hitler 1933.”

    No, actually they aren’t thinking at all.

    Comment by Dave — August 16, 2009 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  23. Ahmadinejad harbors exterminationist anti-semitism in his heart, like Hitler and the Nazis, and he openly threatens to put it into action, just like Hitler and the Nazis did.

    From Obama, silence. Tacit approval. He likes it.

    Hamas and Fatah have exterminationist anti-semitism in their charters. “Death to the Jews!” “Death to the Jews!” That’s all they know. They even salute Heil Hitler style.

    So, Obama gives ’em a billion bucks. That says it, loud and clear.

    Enough with the Hitler costumes? Bull, Ron Rosenbaum. This is not a costume drama. Nazis are back. They smell blood. Jews are in their sights.

    Obama’s in their corner, all the way.

    Comment by Carl Sesar — August 17, 2009 @ 3:38 pm | Reply


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