Nazis don’t define Germany
Letters to the Editor, August 13, 2012
With regard to the Aug. 8 article “Sikh temple shooter was outspoken on racist views” about the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin, let’s get it straight: The shooter drove a Volkswagen Thing. The article referred to this as resembling a Nazi staff car. Really? I didn’t know that vehicles could have a political affiliation.
The Kubelwagen (though it can no way be compared to the Willys Jeep) was a light utility vehicle used by the Wehrmacht (German armed forces) during World War II. It seems to me that Germany has been defined, unfairly, by the Third Reich (1933-1945). The media likes to associate anything German with the Nazis when reporting stories about white supremacy/neo-Nazi hate crimes.
The statement that the shooter painted his car red, with white trim and black tires — “the colors of the Nazi flag” — is misleading. These colors were in use when the German Empire was created in 1871 following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. Adolf Hitler hadn’t even been born. This is like saying that if the shooter spoke German, he would have been speaking the language of the Nazis.
Let’s stop using Germany and anything German synonymously with the Nazis. Neo-Nazis are scum and a cancer of which I do not want associated with my German heritage and ancestry.