Monday, November 27, 2017

What's appealing about normalizing Nazis? Nothing.

On Facebook, Mr. Hovater posted a picture purporting to show what life would have looked like if Germany had won World War II: a streetscape full of happy white people, a bustling American-style diner and swastikas everywhere. 
“What part is supposed to look unappealing?” he wrote. 
— From "A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland" New York Times 25 Nov 2017
Coincidentally this article appeared the same day my mother-in-law's immigration documents arrived on a CD in the mail. (Crash, the historian, had made a request for the records.)  As I browsed the nearly 40 pages of scanned documents, this one line stood out for me: I am citizen or subject of none. The Third Reich had stripped her of her citizenship because she was Jewish.  She was stateless.  Fleeing from a government that would strip her of her life if it could.

What looks unappealing to me?  Unappealing?  As if racism and anti-Semitism were some sort of choice on a menu.  Pizza tonight?  No, that's unappealing. 

Unappealing?  No.  It's terrifying.  Horrifying.  Intolerable.  Monstrous.

Hitler was not just "a guy who really believed in his cause...fighting for his people and doing what he thought was right.”  Hovater is not just the guy next door with some weird views.  He's actively advocating for a white nationalist state.  He bakes muffins and has cats.  Great.  He thinks the guy who wanted my mother-in-law dead was doing what was right. Monstrous.

I'm troubled that the Times dilutes the horror of this man's beliefs with descriptions of shopping at Target and making dinner.


  1. Yes. I haven't read the article yet, but maybe what is the scariest is how ordinary evil can seem. You can't pick it out on the surface.

  2. Keep writing about issues like this. You express the outrage felt by many of us.