Killer’s Nazi leanings seal it
Letters to the Editor, August 16, 2012
The author of the Aug. 14 letter “Nazis don’t define Germany” suggests that “[t]he media likes to associate anything German with the Nazis when reporting stories about white supremacy/neo-Nazi hate crimes.” I might not be as sensitive to the subject as the letter writer is, but his conclusion hasn’t been my perception.
The shooter at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin was a self-identified white supremacist who espoused the ideals of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. Therein lies the context. Red, white and black may have been the colors of Imperial Germany and the Kubelwagen may have been an all-purpose field vehicle during World War II, but within the context of the shooter’s racist views one cannot seriously think that the two were meant to represent anything other than Nazi Germany.
Post-World War II, Germany rose to become a vibrant and prosperous democracy. It continued that legacy after its reunification. Germans should be rightfully proud of this. There is also the legacy of Hitler and Nazism that is emulated by some to this day and they shouldn’t deny this.
I don’t think anyone in the media, or anywhere else for that matter, looks at a Porsche today and thinks Nazi. Ferdinand Porsche designed the Kubelwagen. I do think it’s safe to assume that a self-avowed neo-Nazi who drove a vehicle — the design for which was based upon something produced for and used by Hitler’s Wehrmacht, and painted in colors used by the Third Reich — was anything other than advertised. And that had nothing to do with the Germany of today and everything to do with hate.
Context is everything.