This morning, a headline caught my eye regarding a private, Nazi-themed dinner party that took place in a Minneapolis restaurant. It was, thankfully, more benign than it seemed: apparently, the participants are members of a WW2 re-enactment society and, therefore, some of their parties have different themes, including costumes. According to one of the attendees, there were also some folks outfitted as Italian or American soldiers. The parties are, reportedly, in their sixth year and the participants seem genuinely surprised at the backlash.
Some have argued that there is the liberty aspect — heck, if folks want to get together and have a Nazi-themed party — even Neo-Nazis — sure, that’s their Constitutional right. No one is saying the party should be illegal.
Such parties, however, are a disgrace and an affront on any standards of decency or morality.
The Nazis were not simply opponents of America or our values. WW2 was not just ‘any’ war. Hitler’s regime brutally, systematically executed six million innocent men, women, and children … purely for being Jews. Think about that. It’s so easily said — “6 million” — but really sit and think how many innocent lives were ended… not because they were wartime casualties in a country that was bombed, not because they were soldiers from the wrong nation… rather, simply because of their religion or ethnicity. Imagine what it was like being split from your family, as one is sent off to a concentration camp, never to see them again. The horrors are unimaginable.
So no, the Nazis weren’t just ‘our opponents’ back in the day. They represent a particular stripe of evil that the world will hopefully never again see. Re-enacting anything to do with them just sends chills up my spine.
In light of this, seeing someone dressed in a Nazi uniform — anywhere outside of a film set or theatrical stage — is simply inappropriate.
Of course, this shouldn’t turn into a controversy. The restaurant has done the right thing in apologizing (and one of my mottos is: “Apology given? Accepted, let’s move on”), and it has stated the parties will no longer be held. Cool.
But let’s stop with the Nazi fascination, people. There is nothing fascinating about a group of thugs with demented notions of superiority and sadistic mass murderers. Nazi memorablia on Ebay isn’t cool (why would you want a piece of that?) and Nazi parties are simply deplorable.
So no more such parties, ok, Americans? And no using the swastika as a joke — it’s really just a symbol (unfortunately, a usurped one, because those fools couldn’t even come up with their own) of a horrific time in human history. There’s nothing remotely intriguing about any of it.