January 15, 2005

The Nazi Costume Thing

I wasn't going to post anything on Prince Harry of Britain's extremely tasteless choice of costume recently, but this article in the Calcutta Telegraph uses the incident as the springboard for a history lesson on aristocratic Nazi sympathizers in Britain during Hitler's rule. The article outlines not only the very prominent support for Hitler and the Nazis in the aristocracy, but how that outright support shaded into the attitudes of those who felt they could put up with Hitler because he was seen as a bulwark against the Bolshevik threat.

Henry Kissinger had nothing on the WWII era British aristocracy before Germany finally turned on them as well. Go, triangulation.

Random aside, the first: Oscar Wilde's downfall and criminal conviction for homosexuality was engineered by the father of a young aristocrat he had a relationship with. The young man himself later became quite the Nazi sympathizer, which is ironic considering that Hitler considered both Jews and gays to be about as bad as each other.

Random aside, the second: I'm taking a language course this year, and for a variety of reasons (ease of registration, same alphabet), I picked German. To my non-German speaking mind, the word Fuehrer was always associated with Hitler personally, but it just means leader or guide. Indeed, a travel book is called a Reisenfuehrer. Just as the word Shah in Farsi, which means king, has come in much of the world to be an easy shorthand for the US-installed Reza Pahlavi. Makes me wonder how many ordinary English words are floating around in the non-English speaking world, plucked out of their original meaning and invested with an exclusive personal mythology that isn't attached to them in their native context.

Posted by natasha at January 15, 2005 03:07 PM | International | Technorati links |
Comments

"Crusade" comes to mind immediately, and the single-minded association is not limited to the Islamic world.

Of course, Americans and others also view jihad in the same way.

They worse part is that the two words are relatively close in their wide range of meanings and uses, although jihad tends to remain more religious.

FYI: Putin can be translated as "guide" in English. A put is a path or road in Russian.

Posted by: Bryan at January 15, 2005 06:30 PM

Those darn Bolscheviks! If the commoners should take this nonsense about management being just another form of labor seriously, our rule is in jeapardy! (spoken in queen)

But isn't the Royal Family just a figurehead? Likely so. Economic Imperialism, or those who control the economy, are the most adverse to labor gaining any control over economic structures.

Hitler rose to power with the support of heavy industry, particularly auto manufacturers. Ford, GM, DuPont. The German auto industry did not begin to mass produce til 1928. German labor objected because skilled labor jobs are lost. Auto industry-related corporations, including finance, still have the most control over economies, from local to global. Where would Walmart be if their customers couldn't afford the drive?

Posted by: Artie at January 16, 2005 08:37 PM