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"Nazi Book Craze" Topic

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1,712 hits since 16 Mar 2011
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Mapleleaf Inactive Member16 Mar 2011 9:50 p.m. PST

I found this article on the BBC Web site trying to explain the ongoing interest in WW2 Germany and Nazism in particular.

I think that the author is being a bit sensationalist when calling it a "fetish" but there are some interesting points He should not limit it just to books as TV seems to have had a lot of interest in this point for sometime .

I think that there are several legitimate reasons for interest for example the 60th anniversary and a resurgent interest in WW2 modeling and gaming


Sparker Inactive Member16 Mar 2011 9:57 p.m. PST

Yes I agree, I think this article was written to fill up the available space…

There is an interest in the Nazis, but it is not confined to the UK. Look at any manufacturer of ww2 books, models etc, and its always the German stuff that sells well…Including a certain NZ based company…

And why not. Politically and morally, yes, sick, twisted logic based on perverted and illogical science. Murdered almost as many innocents as Stalin or Mao…

But militarily, really quite remarkable…

number4 Inactive Member16 Mar 2011 10:03 p.m. PST

<<<a bit sensationalist when calling it a "fetish" >>>

I dunno, most of us have met the gamers with a "Tiger fetish"……..

Jay Arnold Inactive Member16 Mar 2011 10:05 p.m. PST

"Almost?" Not by a long shot.

kyoteblue Inactive Member16 Mar 2011 10:07 p.m. PST


David Manley16 Mar 2011 10:35 p.m. PST

"Collectible Spoons of the 3rd Reich" – remarkable!

aercdr Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 1:58 a.m. PST

The Nazis were responsible for fewer deaths than the Commies. Then again, the Nazis only had six years in which to rack up somewhere between 30 million to 40 million deaths. Stalin and Mao each had 30+ years.

I think part of the interest is based on trying to understand the intense, vicious, self destructive nature of the Nazi regime. I think it is interesting, however, that there seem to be more books on individual German divisions/regiments/battalions than on Allied formations.

Having said that, I am always astonished at the sheer lack of awarness in the US and western Europe regarding the evils of Communism. I live in Latvia, which suffered terribly under the Reds. Yet, I have seen people in western Europe who would never wave a swastika display the hammer and sickle on May Day.

"But militarily,quite remarkable…" Hmm. They did lose both World Wars. As historian HP Wilmott put it: The Germans (in both World Wars) were very good at fighting, but not so good at making war.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2011 3:03 a.m. PST

"Collectible Spoons of the 3rd Reich" remarkable!

Not so very much – who can afford the cerimonial knives and anything other than the Mother's medals these days ?

Which sort of makes Clive Anderson's point about there being a nazi fetish.

One reads of alleged "nazi-sex-orgy-parties", but very rarely of "BEF-sex-orgy-parties". Is it just the uniform ? Or is it that the BEF didn't get invited to those sort of parties ?

blucher Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 4:01 a.m. PST

Most of the deaths in china were due to massive imcompetance rather than genocide.

Yes I know there was, and still is, terrible oppression there but we need to get this straight.

The massive famines in china were due to a total failure of their system to feed the people. It certainly wasnt their intention.

The nazis however intentionally tried to exterminate whole sections of the population.

It is NOT the same thing.

Of course they lost world war two. They were totally outnumbered and out recourced. Napoleon lost too but that doesnt mean his military achivement were not remarkable.


Ben Waterhouse Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 4:25 a.m. PST

Well when Hugo Boss's dad designs the uniforms…

Jay Arnold Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 5:57 a.m. PST

It certainly wasnt their intention.

And how does that matter?

Martin Rapier17 Mar 2011 6:02 a.m. PST

Manslaughter versus murder?

A Twiningham Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 6:15 a.m. PST

To me it matters because you have an "enlightened"/modern western nation that suddenly decided to murder several million people for completely illogical reasons. The idea that policemen, doctors, teachers, etc could so easily go along with or tacitly accept this has always fascinated and simultaneously scared the bejeezus out of me.

On the other hand you have a nation of people who tried to to too much too quickly and made some tragic blunders. Maybe I'm just more prone to making errors than the average guy, but that is eminently more understandable to me.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2011 8:16 a.m. PST

On the other hand you have a nation of people who tried to to too much too quickly and made some tragic blunders.

Yes, the wholesale extermination of landowners, intelligentsia, priests, anyone with more than one cow… Yes. Tragic blunders from wanting to do too much too fast.

And there was absolutely NO racial extermination in Russia, either. Sure.

A Twiningham Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 8:51 a.m. PST

Did I mention Russia John? And I certainly didn't mean to imply that the Chinese didn't do some "house cleaning", but they didn't embark on a program of ethnic / eugenic genocide.

Lee Brilleaux Fezian17 Mar 2011 10:40 a.m. PST

Ah, we always get into the "Who killed most?" debate, which is a complete sidetrack. The fascination with the Nazi regime and its many manifestations of ornamental wickedness isn't to do with bodycounts, any more than the dozens of books about Jack the Ripper are about exactly how many women he murdered.

It's about a particular, self-aware and highly staged form of evil. It's evil as a marketing device, a shiny, classy, Mercedes-Benz grade of evil with the Swastika as its own Golden Arches.

The Soviet Union comes in a weak second on this score, managing to be utterly brutal and murderous, but without those crucial points for grace and style. There's no elegance to Stalinism, and less to Maoism. Nazis were not merely psychopathic thugs, but deliberately, bureaucratically evil with a thoroughness that the Cheka and KGB could seldom match.

Hugo Boss uniforms, Leni Riefenstahl movies and Tiger IIs are only small elements in this.

(There's always some clueless individual who pipes in that the swastika is an ancient symbol of blameless origin, and therefore we shouldn't be upset about it, ever. Right on the first, hopelessly deluded on the second!)

snodipous Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 12:11 p.m. PST

Trappings aside, I think part of the reason for the resurgence in interest in the second world war is that it was a war against unambiguously evil opponents. It's a story where the antagonists fit (mostly) into the neat categories that people want in their heroic tales. Now we fight against a fanatical subset within larger population who are mostly blameless, and where there is a lot of transfer into and out of the subset. You can't draw a line on a map and say "This is where the bad guys are, warm up the factories and let's get to work" in our current conflicts.

There is also a difference in scale between what we see in our current conflicts and the expectations we have with our war stories. There is just no way to have a Normandy beach landing against the Taliban, no matter how much materiel you bring to bear against the problem. Maybe in a decade that will be different, but I know that for me, WW2 is still the definitive, iconic war from movies and novels.

GrossKaliefornja Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 12:16 p.m. PST

I have always called the 'Saving Private Ryan Effect'. WW2 interest was slow & steady prior to the movie. It exploded after. I'd like to see some statistics for the number of new Osprey titles for the 6 years before after the movie

Company D Miniatures Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 1:12 p.m. PST

I am still waiting for the Osprey on 'Trouser waistbands of the third reich'

Jeigheff17 Mar 2011 4:49 p.m. PST

I don't think I'd want to end up in a Nazi concentration camp, a Soviet gulag, or a Communist prison or reeducation camp. Being at the complete mercy of evil people, in any situation, must be a living nightmare.

I'm grateful for the freedom to talk about these things.

Pierce Inverarity Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 5:24 p.m. PST

I'm German, and I'm definitely bemused by this thing. But having lived in both the UK and the US, as far as I can tell it's harmless in a Max Mosley / "Vee Meet Again, Doktor Jones" sort of way.

StarfuryXL517 Mar 2011 5:32 p.m. PST

most of us have met the gamers with a "Tiger fetish"……..


Whatisitgood4atwork Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 6:47 p.m. PST

(There's always some clueless individual who pipes in that the swastika is an ancient symbol of blameless origin, and therefore we shouldn't be upset about it, ever. Right on the first, hopelessly deluded on the second!)

I live in Asia and if I got upset about swastikas I'd be upset every damn day. I saw the school bus for the Swastika school pass by me many mornings in Singapore. I haven't stayed there, but I have had a drink at the Swastika Bungalows in Bali. It is decorated with literally thousands of carved swastikas. The carved ventilation holes atop every wall is a swastika pattern so dozens in every room. (Nothing funnier than seeing a busload of German tourists alighting there btw.) There is a shop decorated with swastikas in the street where I now live in Hong Kong.

Feel free to get upset about it if you want. Label me as clueless for not getting upset. But please you be the one to explain to the Balinese, the Singaporean Indian community and the Chinese Buddhists why the actions of Europeans in the C20 should affect the way they should use their ancient religious symbols now.

I certainly don't approve of yobs wearing swastikas and shouting Heil Hitler though. A symbol has whatever meaning we care to give it. If some moron wears a swastika to show solidarity or approval for Nazis, then folks have every right to be upset about that.

Personal logo Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 7:50 p.m. PST


Lee Brilleaux Fezian17 Mar 2011 8:52 p.m. PST

Okay, Whatisitgood4, I'll certainly grant you that if you live in the heartland of ancient Asiatic swastikadom, you can be pretty sure nobody's celebrating the Third Reich. But you knew I wasn't talking about that, surely?

I'm talking about the nerd from Milwaukee or Milton Keynes who wants to tell us that the swastika sprayed on a brick wall is a completely benign symbol, because it would be in Jakarta or Jaipur, where it has a venerable history.

I recall a few years ago one of the dollar store chains in Canada caused all sorts of complaint because of some lovely little 99 cent swastika-encrusted children's toys, which clearly weren't made to offend; they'd simply been part of a shipment from Asia. But offend they did, because westerners know it as the Nazi logo.

number4 Inactive Member17 Mar 2011 11:40 p.m. PST

"a lot of people here talk about KummenKraftLogWerfenWeebleMomberBlitzBlotzen this and that instead of using the English name"

Yes, and name drop the monikers of minor SS celebs at the drop of a peaked cap too ;)

blucher Inactive Member18 Mar 2011 3:30 a.m. PST

"And how does that matter?"

It certainly does matter.

To clarify my point look at the starvations that happened under the british empire (ireland and India). This happened under our watch but not even the most bigoted or racist MP wanted the irish to starve to death.

The system failed them. Partly due to ideology and the extrememe form of capitalism that was practiced then.

Ghengis khan probably sets some records in terms of the % populution killed but I still consider him less "evil" than the nazis.

Specifically targeting a group of human beings for extermination is a special brand of evil that should (and is) recognised as such.

The communist nations mentioned did opress their people and carried out manym many evils. However, I still strongly disagree with those that suggest this "trumps" the nazis due to the numbers involved.

blucher Inactive Member18 Mar 2011 3:32 a.m. PST

PS i read a BBC article that noted a suprising interest in these books in India.

Norman D Landings Inactive Member18 Mar 2011 4:18 a.m. PST

The communists had really boring teaspoons, though.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP18 Mar 2011 11:14 a.m. PST

I think this is a nice spoon


I may start a collection

GrossKaliefornja Inactive Member18 Mar 2011 12:18 p.m. PST

If the growth in Nazi books has some concerned…how about the proliferation of 60mm Nazi parades in the home. Two companies making these…King & Country, and The Collectors Showcase. They have been selling well for nearly 2 decades


Oh yeah, the pioneer of this arena is K&C which was founded by 2 Brits years ago. Their disclaimer is a Churchill quote…"those who forget the past are destined to repeat it"

UK John Inactive Member18 Mar 2011 1:08 p.m. PST

LOL 20thmaine

In a sort of non-running dog ideologically approved sort of way

number4 Inactive Member18 Mar 2011 3:46 p.m. PST

Never mind the spoon, how about the 'women have you taken care…' poster from that site?

A copy or two maybe find their way on to miniature buildings that appear in my games along with the usual Stalin/Lenin stuff…

sharps54 Inactive Member18 Mar 2011 4:38 p.m. PST

I agree with Mexican Jack Squint 100% regarding the "draw" of the Nazis. The combination of ceremony, pomp, and utter evil make an attractive combination.

Regarding the swastika my favorite treatment was in an episode of Kolchak where everyone thinks the swastikas on the buildings have to do with what we would call hate crimes, classic misdirection.

What I always find funny is how vilified (rightfully so) the Nazis and Communists are but the Japanese are often left out. The Japanese government committed horrible atrocities during WWII. If there is ignorance in America regarding the evils of the time (WWII) I think Japan is even more out of the public's mind than the Soviet Union. That said even they didn't have the panache the Nazis did…

Stafford, VA

brucka18 Mar 2011 11:34 p.m. PST

Best nazi depictions:

Unfortunately some of the more amusing scenes were deleted.

Martin Rapier19 Mar 2011 4:53 a.m. PST

I don't think the Japanese get particularly overlooked in the atrocity stakes, perhaps it depends what part of the world you are from.

"Partly due to ideology and the extrememe form of capitalism that was practiced then."

Umm, if you just want to measure evil in terms of bodycounts, then ufettered capitalism has probably trumped the lot over the centuries, although the megadeaths are of course the 'price of prosperity' as any freezing pensioner, road accident victim or someone coughing their lungs out with asbestosis will tell you. We could ask the Tamsanians as well, but there aren't any left.

By John 5419 Mar 2011 12:49 p.m. PST

A very good friend of mine has written a exhaustive book about WW1 cavalry, several publishers said it was a great book, but unless it's about 'Nazis or Napoleon the Americans won't want to know'

I think that's a little sad……….


sharps54 Inactive Member19 Mar 2011 7:18 p.m. PST

John that is a shame. Unless he needs to be "published" for professional reasons maybe something like Lulu is an option to get that great book out to customers. I would buy a copy.

Stafford, VA

Mobius20 Mar 2011 8:31 a.m. PST

A very good friend of mine has written a exhaustive book about WW1 cavalry, several publishers said it was a great book, but unless it's about 'Nazis or Napoleon the Americans won't want to know'

I was saying in another thread about looking at some things published with a jaundiced eye as it may have been 'sexed up' to get publishers to print it.

BullDog69 Inactive Member22 Mar 2011 8:28 a.m. PST

Is the level of 'interest' in the Nazis perhaps partly due to historical timing? The second world war was arguably the first major war to be filmed to any degree, comic books were common in the period, propaganda had been turned into an art form, Hollywood was booming, TV was coming etc?
Of course, the Nazis were a propagandists / comic book writer / film maker's dream come true and very few wars have been accepted by 99% of people as a clash of good against evil – in fact, WW2 is perhaps the only one?

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