Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Just history

It's Blame Canada Ohio week on Bloghead. For our final installment, Canadian Press is reporting that dolls depicting members of the 'Totenkopf Division,' a Nazi SS combat division originally created to guard Dachau, are now available in Canadian stores. The dolls, complete with "military fatigues and the trademark death's head insignia on the cap, comes with a Walther pistol, gas mask and grenades." They're part of a WWII series which also includes a bunch of US soldiers, as well as "several Waffen SS figures... The Waffen SS sniper comes with a recruitment poster."
This, however, is not the scary bit. The scary bit is what Chris Borman, chairman of the Ohio-based company producing the dolls has to say on the subject.
"Everyone knows the Germans were Nazis in World War Two," he tells CP. "We picked them because they've got the coolest gear. It makes for a cool figure.... There's really no harm in it... We won the war. We already know the outcome. That division was involved in some terrible things but wasn't everyone during World War Two? It's just history."
I can understand that people today no longer know the details of the second world war -- but not to know, or not to acknowledge what the war was about, and not to understand how it shaped life today is just too much. His comments are symptomatic, I think, of a large chunk of people in the Western World who do not recognize that their freedom was ever at risk and had to be fought for, and therefore do not appreciate it sufficiently. All of which does not bode well at a time when our freedoms are under threat again.

UPDATE: Virgin Megastores apologizes for stocking the dolls.

No comments: