Speaker by Various Artists

Read Post

Speaker: How to Look Good as a Nazi

457 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 19 Newer→ Last

  • Figgie,

    Brilliant post.

    It is sickening to see New Zealand students laughing at and making light of the Holocaust. If they really understood what happened this would never have occurred. Stereotypes should only be used to criticise/draw attention to racism not to perpetuate it.

    The Lincoln University party makes me ashamed to be a Kiwi.

    Since Mar 2007 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I do find this kind of thing a little sick as well, but sadly it isn't confined to Lincoln students - I believe Prince Harry had a similar issue several years ago at such a party. Also, last year I was reading about a military recreation weekend somewhere in the south of England, where the recreationists dressed as WW2 era German forces outnumbered the Allied or British forces by at least a factor of two*. Beggers belief really.

    *The article was rather brief and I did read it a year ago, so I concede it is possible that there might be another explanation for this

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    I think there are two factors behind it:

    1. In the English-speaking world, WW2 is a nostalgic event. Only a tiny minority of the population suffered to any extent, there were lots of stirring speeches, things looked pretty bleak for a while but the good guys (ie, us) won in the end. Just like the movies, not to be taken particularly seriously and best summed up in the British chant "Two world wars and one world cup!" when they play Germany.

    2. New Zealanders generally have little contact with foreigners and know nothing about them. Their "knowledge" of Germany comes from war movies and Oktoberfest. Many of us are very well-travelled, but the "OE" as it's misleadingly described largely consisted of getting pissed in exotic locations with other NZers. In these circumstances, NZers having a German-themed party is a bizarre concept guaranteed to produce either Nazis or Oktoberfest staff as costumes.

    Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    I think Tim prety much hits the nail on the head with his first point. I lived in the UK for almost three years, and I saw it for myself: nobody does war nostalgia like the Brits. It is as if WWII was the high point in British history. That may be because WWII was the last time Britain got to seriously flex its muscles on the international stage.

    The other possible reason is that the British people did not suffer the same horrors as the rest of Europe. The UK was not invaded, and although the bombing raids in 1940 killed thousands, the whole nation was not left a pile of ruins (unlike Germany and Poland).

    There is also a great deal of romanticism about the efforts of "our boys" in Crete, North Africa and Italy. And NZ has not been touched by war since the "land wars" of the 1860s. We just don't understand the horrors of war.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    We don't like uniforms, clapping in unison or singing our national anthem. We were raised with national shame, not national pride.

    These two sentences would give New Zealand students a great insight into post-war Germany. They just don't get it - history's in the past so they don't see it as real????

    A great post.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Aren't we all getting a little sensitive here? Someone makes fun of Scotland I don't fly off the handle.

    as long as there are still people alive who bear the number on their arm -- it's not a joke. That tattoo is real.

    Most of the actors in Hogan's Heroes who played Nazis were Jewish, some of them were imprisoned in Concentration Camps during the war. And I'll be dammed if I'm going to let anyone badmouth Hogan's Heroes.

    There's a strong tradition in modern Jewish comedy of making fun of the Nazi's ('Springtime for Hitler' leaps to mind), the point being that you're making fun of the perpetrators of the Holocaust, not the victims. Look at it this way: which notion do you think would annoy the Nazi high command more, the idea that subsequent generations only ever referred to them in hush, respectful tones or that people made fun of them and dressed up in silly costumes to mock them?

    It's totally okay to make fun of the Nazi's. I can understand how this would make some German people uncomfortable, but that's really their problem.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Aren't we all getting a little sensitive here? Someone makes fun of Scotland I don't fly off the handle.

    Um, what? Didn't you just answer yourself by posting this?

    as long as there are still people alive who bear the number on their arm -- it's not a joke. That tattoo is real.

    Is it acceptable for Jewish people to make these sort of jokes? Yes.

    Is it acceptable for white people to make jokes with the N-word in them?

    Do you see what I'm getting at?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    actors in Hogan's Heroes who played Nazis were Jewish

    Good point. If Werner Klemperer didn't mind making fun of it, I've got no standing to tell him he was wrong.

    Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Is it acceptable for white people to make jokes with the N-word in them?

    If you're making fun of black people, no. If you're making fun of racists, yes.

    Do you see what I'm getting at?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Yes, but would you have thought it was acceptable for the Lincoln students to hold a KKK-themed party where some of them turned up in hoods, and some of them blackfaced-up and put nooses round their necks?

    They're only making fun of rednecks, right?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    I think the above post just proves that Germans have no sense of humour
    If a Jew was offended, they have earned the right to be offended

    Germans on the other hand, the more we mock their so called Nazi superman culture the better

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    I think the difference lies in what the humour is trying to do.

    The jokes by victims and survivors of the events of 1933-45 in Europe (and elsewhere) are as much a coping mechanism as anything else. It is laughter a s a relief, and laughter as a gleeful cry of "I'm still here."

    Those students? They're just trying to shock. The whole aim of these activities is to make people, mostly older people, disapprove. It's a cheap and immature way of feeling "daring".

    And at that age, for most people, things like Hitler and the Nazis are pretty abstract things. They're almost metaphors.

    As they get older most people learn there's terror, blood and death on those metaphors and with a bit of maturity they learn to employ them more tastefully.

    For now, the best tactic is to ignore them.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Yes, but would you have thought it was acceptable for the Lincoln students to hold a KKK-themed party where some of them turned up in hoods, and some of them blackfaced-up and put nooses round their necks?

    They're only making fun of rednecks, right?

    I'm very comfortable with people dressing up as the klan and making fun of them. I know this because I've seen O Brother Where Art Thou, in which the Coen brothers mocked the Klan by dressing their actors up in white sheets and having them perform a Busy Berkley style musical number, and I was not offended by that. I think I would have been very offended if they'd done a blackface number mocking the victims of lynchings, but since none of the Lincoln students dressed up as Holocaust victims your analogy doesn't seem very relevent.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    I think I would have been very offended if they'd done a blackface number mocking the victims of lynchings, but since none of the Lincoln students dressed up as Holocaust victims your analogy doesn't seem very relevent.

    No, they did. As it says in Anke's column, some went as Jews, some as Nazis.

    This column ran in The Press this morning too, so at least a few of the students will see it.

    The key point is how little they seem to know of Germany -- that Nazis and Jews is all they could come up with for a German-themed party. I would have got three other guys and gone as Kraftwerk. Or dressed up as Andreas Baader. Or Werner Herzog.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson,

    <quote>Germans on the other hand, the more we mock their so called Nazi superman culture the better</ quote>

    Ummm, did you wilfully misread the original blog entry? Calling it "their Nazi superman culture" is about as correct as suggesting we're all just like Fred Dagg ain't it?

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    And it is worth rememering that in the middle of the Lincoln campus is the Memorial Hall for those past Lincoln students who went off to war to deal to the afore mentioned supermen
    Whole classes enlisted
    I still think it is better to laugh at them

    It is worth noting that the Germans still have not apologised for what they did, 'cause it wasn't them it was the nazis etc

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    Germans on the other hand, the more we mock their so called Nazi superman culture the better

    I don't know too many Germans who have a Nazi superman culture. You're talking about something that died in 1945 in the rubble of Berlin.

    The most grossly offensive part of the Lincoln party was not the Nazi uniforms. It was the people who dressed up as concentration camp inmates. I can forgive the brainless antics of the Lincoln students involved, because they were probably too stupid to know that what they were doing was offensive. But we shouldn't pretend it was just harmless entertainment.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    New Zealanders generally have little contact with foreigners and know nothing about them. Their "knowledge" of Germany comes from war movies and Oktoberfest.

    Germany and Japan have recently held elections. Two of the world's biggest economies, G8 members, significant countries by any measure. Both elections resulted in a change of government (albeit in different ways), with implications for the world, including New Zealand.

    With one or two honourable exceptions, what we learned from the NZ media about these election campaigns was: the new Japanese Prime Minister's wife went to Venus.

    TVNZ has a "Europe" correspondent, whose role seems to be interviewing NZers in London, and doing celeb stories. The Asia correspondent is no more (er, I mean the job not the reporter - Charlotte Glennie actually works for the ABC now).

    WW2 Germans are on our screens every week. Today's Germans are invisible. Result: ignorance.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    Also, last year I was reading about a military recreation weekend somewhere in the south of England, where the recreationists dressed as WW2 era German forces outnumbered the Allied or British forces by at least a factor of two*. Beggers belief really.

    Probably because the Nazis had cooler uniforms.

    A few years ago, the company I was working for had a German exchange student as an intern for a while. He was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, but he turned very serious when I showed him photos of some friends at a costume party, including one guy who'd come as an evil clown, complete with swastika makeup over his eyes. I tried to explain that, from this distance (temporal and spatial), swastikas (and Nazism in general) are just a shorthand for "bad".

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 298 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    It is worth noting that the Germans still have not apologised for what they did, 'cause it wasn't them it was the nazis etc

    The Germans have been apologising for the last 60 years. Maybe you weren't listening.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Raymond, you need to check some post-WW2 German history. Willy Brandt? President Weizacker in the 1980's (sorry for spelling)? Etc.

    Apologies abound.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Darlington,

    Germans on the other hand, the more we mock their so called Nazi superman culture the better

    It is worth noting that the Germans still have not apologised for what they did...

    Personally, I find that way more offensive than anything the drunken dumbasses at that party came up with. And yet, somehow I can restrain myself from running to the media demanding the perpetrator be punished in some way - clearly I'm out of tune with the zeitgeist.

    Since Nov 2006 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    It is worth noting that the Germans still have not apologised for what they did, 'cause it wasn't them it was the nazis etc

    Raymond, you might want to actually do some research and reading up on post-war European history before making statements like that.

    Here's a good place to start.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    It is worth noting that the Germans still have not apologised for what they did, 'cause it wasn't them it was the nazis etc

    Raymond, dude, have you missed the news since 1945 or so? The German government have apologized numerous time -- not to mention paying something like 100 billion NZ dollars in reparations to Israel.

    Remember that famous photo of Willy Brandt on his knees in front of the holocaust memorial in Poland?

    FYI Wikipedia has a useful summary here

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I've got sympathy for Germans feeling bitter about being stereotyped as Nazis constantly. Nazism was, after all, inflicted on Germany too. My German father-in-law was a small child during the war, his father killed in combat, his town destroyed by bombing, his youth spent in the care of the state. At 19 he left Germany to go to Australia, and was ruthlessly lampooned in every workplace, by other family members etc, for decades. He suffered especially because he has been unable to lose his accent and has highly stereotypical looks - light hair, a bullet head and blue eyes.

    LOL, speak of the devil, he just called (from Australia) to warn me about the Tsunami.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 19 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.