Hakuna Matata doesn’t hold true for neo-Nazis.
So, you know that inner voice that tells you when you’re doing something bad/irresponsible/possibly stupid and life-threatening. Apparently, neo-Nazis don’t have that.
The Daily Mail reports that a Spanish neo-Nazi dressed in a military uniform was mauled by lions after climbing into their enclosure in a Barcelona zoo. It took about half an hour for him to be rescued, during which time he was attacked by three of the cage’s occupants. Predictably, people were a little confused.
“To enter the enclosure, you have to want to go in,” said Barcelona fire chief Hector Carmona. “It couldn’t have been an accident because the security system makes it impossible for a person to fall into the enclosure.”
But don’t worry, the animals were just being nice. “The intention was not to kill him, they were just trying to play with him,” said Ignasi Armengol, director of Barcelona Municipal Services. Well in that case…
When he’s not putting his life in danger to hang out with animal kingdom royalty, Justo Jose, 45, likes to get arrested for draping swastika banners in the Barcelona city center.
Nothing says Happy Holidays like Nazi-themed wrapping paper.
Cheryl Shapiro was shopping in the Northridge, California, Walgreens’ Hanukkah section when she came across something odd — something swastika-shaped. Shapiro, who was in the store with her grandson, was outraged.
“I told them I wanted this taken off the shelves immediately – not just your store, but national,” Shapiro said. “I was really putting my foot down because I was appalled by this.”
“I came home and I spoke to my rabbi. He couldn’t believe it,” she continued. “I’m still very upset about it, that something like this could be on the market.”
NBC4 Los Angeles reports that Walgreens is “looking into” the incident, but that the local store has removed the offending item from its shelves.
UPDATE The international Raelian movement has issued a statement calling for the item to be placed back in stock.
“We feel outraged by Walgreen’s decision and ask for this gift wrapping paper to be made available again,” said Raelian Guide Thomas Kaenzig, who is also president of an organization known as the ProSwastika Alliance.
“The swastika is still a holy symbol for billions of Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Raelians,” Kaenzig explained. “Long before it was unjustly hijacked by Hitler and the Nazis for ill purposes, it was revered for thousands of years as a religious symbol and a sign of good will. It can be found worldwide in architectural features and decorative ornamentation of all kinds, including in Jewish synagogues. It can even be found in many places in Israel. [See www.proswastika.org/israel]
“It’s unacceptable for us to see a major U.S. retail chain ban this symbol that is so dear to billions around the world,” Kaenzig said. “Would Walgreens dare to remove gift wrapping containing crosses if a Native American complained that his culture suffered enormously under the Christian cross? And what about an African American whose ancestors died at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan in front of a burning cross?”
“Why this double-standard?” he asked. “In the name of Raelians, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Native Americans and others around the world for whom the swastika conveys only its beautiful ancient meaning, we demand that Walgreens swiftly reintroduce this wrapping paper,” Kaenzig said. “And we ask that Walgreens also issue an apology to the millions of people right here in the United States for whom this symbol is sacred.”
It’s ok guys, we can all relax. Nicki Minaj is really sorry about all the overt Nazi imagery in her new music video. In fact, she’s not responsible at all. Turns out the people behind the madness were all Jewish. Well, in that case…
The artist who made the lyric video for “Only” was influenced by a cartoon on Cartoon Network called “Metalocalypse” & Sin City.— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) November 11, 2014
Both the producer, & person in charge of over seeing the lyric video (one of my best friends & videographer: A. Loucas), happen to be Jewish— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) November 11, 2014
I didn't come up w/the concept, but I'm very sorry & take full responsibility if it has offended anyone. I'd never condone Nazism in my art.— NICKI MINAJ (@NICKIMINAJ) November 11, 2014
The ADL generously accepted Minaj’s apology.
“We are pleased that Nicki Minaj has taken full responsibility for the video and recognized that it was indeed offensive,”Abe Foxman wrote in a statement. “Her clear renunciation of Nazism is an important step. We hope that she will take further steps to educate herself and her fans about who the Nazis were and why we should never take genocide or the Holocaust lightly.”
If you haven’t seen the offending item yet, here it is:
Is it me, or has there been an unusual amount of inappropriate Nazi-themed pop culture lately?
Fans of Nicki Minaj are calling for the singer to take down her controversial new video, “Only You,” featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown. With hoards of SS-style troops goose-stepping in an ominously drab fascist landscape while sporting swastika-like armbands, it’s more than a little suggestive of the Third Reich.
At the center of all this is Minaj herself, seated on a red throne overlooking her stormtroopers (is she Hitler in this scenario?).
See for yourself:
Of course, the ADL is “deeply disturbed” about the whole thing. Abe Foxman, who is himself a Holocaust survivor, released the following statement:
Nicki Minaj’s new video disturbingly evokes Third Reich propaganda and constitutes a new low for pop culture’s exploitation of Nazi symbolism. The irony should be lost on no one that this video debuted on the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the “night of broken glass” pogrom that signaled the beginning of the Final Solution and the Holocaust.
It is troubling that no one among Minaj’s group of producers, publicists and managers raised a red flag about the use of such imagery before ushering the video into public release.
This video is insensitive to Holocaust survivors and a trivialization of the history of that era. The abuse of Nazi imagery is deeply disturbing and offensive to Jews and all those who can recall the sacrifices Americans and many others had to make as a result of Hitler’s Nazi juggernaut.
Alina Voronina from Moscow poses for the contest
Last week, Vocativ reported that VKontakte, essentially Russia’s version of Facebook, was hosting a Miss Hitler Pageant.
As one would expect, people got a little upset about it.
Hosted on the site’s Adolf Hitler page, the Miss Ostland pageant, as it’s officially known, called on women “who hate Jews” to share their most “sexy Nazi pics” of themselves. Admirers of all things Hitler (the page had 7,000 followers) would then vote for the most beautiful anti-Semite in all the land (to see pictures of the main contenders, click here).
Fortunately, people seemed to have regained their sanity, and the contest has been cancelled. Vocativ reports that the page has been taken down. VKontakte’s head of public relations George Lobushkin told Vocativ that “loading, storing, publishing, disseminating, making available or otherwise using any information which: propagandizes and/or contributes to racial, religious, ethnic hatred or hostility, propagandizes fascism or racial superiority,” violates the site’s Terms of Service.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest Aryan of them all? I guess we’ll never know.
How did Chelsea Handler ‘Nazi’ this coming?
July 14, Chelsea did a Hitler parody on her E! talk show, “Chelsea Lately.” Two days later came the Anti-Defamation League’s condemnation.
During the parody, Chelsea’s sidekick, Chuy, dressed up as Hitler. When asked why, he told the audience it was in response to Germany’s World Cup victory. Various Nazi jokes were tossed around, continuing past the skit and into the program.
One panelist said, “I’m a Jew, but I’m still glad that Germany won. It’s nice for them to have something gold that they didn’t pry out of my grandfather’s mouth.”
How far is too far?
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said, “While we try to give comedians leeway and do not believe that Nazi jokes should be completely off-limits, this was an instance of taking a Hitler parody to the extreme” and that “Chelsea Handler’s references to it throughout the program and her connecting it with Germany’s World Cup victory took the joke way overboard.”
He continued to say that it was “offensive and hurtful to Holocaust survivors and their families, and to members of the German team and all Germans.”
Germany’s World Cup victory in general has kept the ADL very busy, as Handler’s denouncing follows the ADL’s criticism of all the Nazi jokes that spread like wildfire on Twitter following the match.
(Reuters) — An African-American character will soon strap on the star-emblazoned shield and step into the red, white and blue uniform of Captain America in the pages of Marvel Comics.
The character of Captain America first appeared in 1941, as a super soldier fighting the Nazis. He was revived by Marvel in the 1960s and became an icon among Marvel’s lineup of heroes.
The change in characters was announced on the publisher’s official website on Wednesday. It is built around the retirement of Captain America’s original alter ego, Steve Rogers, who finds he has lost the extraordinary strength and agility he had once gained from injections of performance-enhancing “super soldier serum.”
Rogers will hand the Captain America persona to his much younger friend and cohort, the character Sam Wilson, already a comic book star in his own right as the true identity behind the winged superhero known as Falcon.
A three-page explanation of the transformation was posted under the headline: “It’s time for an all-new Captain America.” It was authored by Marvel writer-artist Rick Remender and editor Tom Brevoort, part of the creative team involved in the publisher’s re-launch of several of its popular heroes.
As Germany hammered Brazil during the World Cup match yesterday 7-1, Twitter exploded in reaction tweets. With a record 36.6 million tweets were sent out during the match, the Germany-Brazil match became the most discussed sports event in Twitter history.
Unsurprisingly a large fraction of those tweets were, well, Nazi jokes.
Germany, relax! They're not Poland.— rob delaney (@robdelaney) July 8, 2014
Awkward time to be Nazi war criminal hiding out in Brazil.— netw3rk (@netw3rk) July 9, 2014
Of course the ever obvious:
Brazil did Nazi this coming.— World Cup 2014 (@FifaWorIdCup_14) July 8, 2014
Some pointed out the problem of Holocaust jokes:
All of these nazi jokes are out of mein kampfort zone anne frankly I'm offended— Nathan Kim (@nathantenders) July 8, 2014
And others attempted to be clever:
I do nazi see any hope for Brazil— Mary. M. Timmons (@muurrricatimz) July 8, 2014
Man the goalie really holocaust them the game, I bet Brazil's coach was like Aw Schwitz— Daniel Kibblesmith (@kibblesmith) July 8, 2014
Really, Macklemore? A big Jewish nose? Subtle.
On Friday night, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed a secret show in their hometown of Seattle in honor of a new exhibit at the city’s EMP Museum. As Gawker points out, this would not have been news if it had not been for Macklemore singing “Thrift Shop” while dressed as the embodiment of a Nazi propaganda flyer about the dangers of the all powerful greedy Jew.
Media outlets like the Daily Dot and Buzzfeed were quick to criticize the rapper, calling his outfit “some kind of Jewish caricature, prosthetic schnozz included.”
Even Seth Rogen had something to say about it:
This isn’t the first time the rapper’s been involved in some Jewish shenanigans. Back in August, he blew a shofar in his announcement for the VMAs. (And in case you’re wondering, he’s not Jewish, despite what Wiki Answers says. He’s just got “hella good Jewish homies.”)
Once the story started making the rounds, Macklemore took to Twitter to defend (but not apologize for) his questionable choice of attire.
A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 19, 2014
Oh, dear — that’s a relief. If only that image hadn’t been co-opted for hundreds of years of discrimination, pogroms and mass murder, you’d totally be in the clear.
Maybe something to consider next time you’re shopping in the Groucho Marx aisle.
Let’s be real: good old-fashion beer pong got boring a long time ago.
Well, some High School students have decided to get inventive and reconfigure the cups a bit to look something like this:
“This is what we play at parties. Jews vs. Nazis” -Cape Coral HS pic.twitter.com/ol8FcztcjQ— HighSchoolConfession (@HSConfessionaI) April 27, 2014
Did you think Tila Tequila had come to her senses and deleted her Facebook rant defending Hitler?
Wrong. The D-list celebrity was banned from Facebook for 30 days and her previous entries removed from the social media platform.
Note to GQ: Don’t invite Russell Brand to your party if you don’t want your sponsors Nazi ties exposed.
The troublemaking British comedian was banned from the GQ Men of the Year Awards festivities last week after bringing up the great taboo: sponsor Hugo Boss’ past as a Nazi tailor.
Brand, onstage at London’s Royal Opera House to accept the Oracle Award, made the following remark:
“Any of you who know a little bit about history and fashion will know that Hugo Boss made the uniforms for the Nazis,” Brand told a sideswiped audience at London’s Royal Opera House. “The Nazis did have flaws, but, you know, they did look fucking fantastic, let’s face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality.”
The jokes didn’t stop there, but Brand’s time at the event certainly did. According to the Daily Mail, Brand was given the boot before the after party, hosted by — you guessed it — Hugo Boss.
Brand later tweeted about the events, recalling a conversation with a GQ editor that may or may not have occurred:
Hugo Boss’s dirty little secret is anything but at this point. But as the Daily Mail pointed out on Friday (their takedown is truly entertaining), the legend has somewhat outpaced the facts. Contrary to popular belief, Boss didn’t design the snappy black uniforms worn by the fearful SS. He did however manufacture them, starting in the 1920s when he was commissioned to make shirts for the then-nascent National Socialist Party, better known as the Nazi Party. His bad rep stems from a fateful moment in 1931 when applied for and received his Party membership (he was number 508,889 to do so).
So there, Russell Brand. No GQ Awards after-party for you!
Watch the performance below:
Roger Waters, a rock musician critical of Israel, used a giant, pig-shaped balloon emblazoned with a Star of David and symbols of dictatorial regimes during a recent concert in Belgium.
Waters, who recently urged other performers to boycott Israel and compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, was singing on stage on July 20 under the balloon while toting a machine gun replica and wearing a long black leather jacket with a red-and-white arm band, reminiscent of a Nazi uniform.
The former Pink Floyd member was singing “get him up against the wall, that one looks Jewish and that one’s a coon, who let all of this riff-raff into the room” – the lyrics of the song “In the Flesh.”
Thousands of fans shouted his name and applauded as he stood on stage pretending to fire the replica.
Michael Freilich, editor-in-chief of the Belgian Jewish monthly Joods Actueel, called on the government to issue a statement condemning what Freilich called “an anti-Semitic display” at the concert.
No one has made a bid yet for an original copy of Oskar Schindler’s famed list.
The iconic list of Jews to be saved from the Nazis went up up for auction on eBay Friday night and an amazing 250,000 users had viewed the listing as of 10 p.m. Sunday. But there were no bidders for the item, which carried a starting bid pricetag of $3 million.
Though there were originally seven versions of the list that saved thousands of Polish Jews from death at the hands of the Nazis, only four have been located. Two are at Yad Vashem and one in the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington.
According to the New York Post, the list offered on eBay is a 14-page long onionskin document, dated April 18, 1945. 801 male names are featured.
The historic item’s sellers, Gary Zimet and Eric Gazin, two California collectors told the Post they hoped the list would sell for as high as $5 million.
“It is extremely rare that a document of this historical significance is put on the market,” Zimet said. “Many of the survivors on this list and their descendants moved to the United States, and there are names on this list which will sound very familiar to New Yorkers.”
In a statement released on Monday, the Museum of Jewish Heritage expressed its disappointment that a document of such significance would be sold to the highest bidder.
“As a museum, we believe important historical materials such as these best serve the public when they are held in a museum or archive that will ensure they are well cared for and make their contents widely available,” said Anita Kassof, Deputy Director of the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust.
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So that’s what “master race” meant.
A new book contends the Nazis attempted “to breed an army of educated dogs that could read, write and talk,” Time reports under the surely unprecedented headline “How Nazi Scientists Tried to Create an Army of Talking Dogs.”
In Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities, Cardiff University historian Jan Bondeson “mines obscure German periodicals” to discover “scientists envisioned a day when dogs would serve alongside German troops, and perhaps free up SS officers by guarding concentration camps.”
Hitler even set up a Tier-Sprechschule – “Animal Talking School” – near Hanover, Time reports, and recruited “educated dogs” from throughout the country.
“Teachers claimed a number of incredible findings,” says Time. An Airedale terrier named Rolf who could spell by tapping his paw on a board “mused on religion, learned foreign languages and even asked a noblewoman, ‘Can you wag your tail?’” Rolf apparently told his German masters he wanted to serve in the German army because he disliked the French. Another canine barked “Mein Fuhrer” when asked to describe Hitler, Time reports. “And Don, a German pointer, is said to have imitated a human voice to bark, ‘Hungry! Give me cakes!’ in German.”
“Part of the Nazi philosophy was that there was a strong bond between humans and nature. They believed a good Nazi should be an animal friend,” author Bondeson tells time. Perversely, when the Nazis started interning Jews, “newspapers were flooded with outraged letters from Germans wondering what had happened to the pets they left behind.”
After causing a stir at the Cannes Film Festival this morning, Danish director Lars von Trier has issued an apology, clarifying that he is a weirdo — but not a Hitler-admiring weirdo.
The festival’s organizers also issued a press release, saying they were disturbed von Trier’s remarks — apparently poorly delivered jokes — that “I understand Hitler” and “I am a Nazi.”
The press release included von Trier’s apology, in which he wrote, “I am not anti-Semitic or racially prejudiced in any way, nor am I a Nazi.”
The famously eccentric von Trier, the winner of Cannes prizes in past years for films including “Dancer in the Dark” and “Breaking the Waves,” made today’s comments after being asked about his family’s German background. (The director himself was born in Denmark in 1956.)
“For a long time I was a Jew and I was happy to be a Jew. Then I met Susanne Bier and I wasn’t so happy,” he said, referring to the Danish-Jewish filmmaker who won an Oscar earlier this year for the Danish movie “In a Better World.”
As The Shmooze has already observed, the people of the United Kingdom have a habit of seeing Hitler in odd places — from the facade of Welsh houses to their own pet cats.
Now a small-town politician has spotted the Nazi leader — or at least his mustache — on one of his own political posters, leading to a minor controversy in Pitcombe, Somerset, a hamlet west of London.
Town councillor Mark Beech complained to police about the poster, which featured his own face and was later adorned with a Hitler mustache by an unknown vandal. Using the Public Order Act as justification, investigators made “house-to-house inquiries” at each of the town’s 20 residences, the Telegraph reported, an investigation derided by locals as “an outrageous waste of police and taxpayers’ money.”
Extremism makes strange bedfellows. The Jewish Defense League is trying to rally Toronto Jews to protest against the city’s Pride parade committee by comparing gay people… to Nazis.
Ironically — as the Forward reported in January — a right-wing fanatic named Scott Lively had floated the notion that Nazis were “a homosexual, pagan cult” in a widely discredited book.
This time around, Toronto lesbian/gay newspaper Xtra reports, the JDL is using the comparison to lure Toronto Jews to a demonstration at Pride Toronto’s offices. JDL’s Facebook invitation asserts, in part, that “during the Nazi era, many high-ranking Nazis were gay,” Xtra reports.
A group of Holocaust survivors is accusing an Austrian bakery of criminally bad taste.
The MKOe Mauthausen Committee has filed a complaint against Tortendesign, a bakery outside Vienna that frosts swastikas, SS symbols and babies giving the Nazi salute on its cakes. The designs violate Austrian laws that prohibit the display of Nazi symbols in public, the group alleges.
The committee’s call for tort reform — sorry! we couldn’t resist! — may fail, however, because Tortendesign does not show the symbols openly. Instead, the designs appear in a special “adult section” of its cake catalogue, in which customers can also find sex-themed cakes. “The question is whether a picture in a catalogue is ‘public display,’ ” a representative of the public prosecutor told Austrian media. “If it had been placed in the shop window, the matter would be much clearer.”
The tony beach town of Amagansett, Long Island, got some unusual summer visitors in 1942. According to declassified British documents released yesterday, a Nazi U-boat carrying German spies landed on an Amagansett beach on a June morning — with Jews as targets.
Metro reports “the secret agents came here to leave bombs in suitcases at Jewish-owned shops, as well as to disseminate anti-war propaganda, according to officials.” To enhance the cloak-and-dagger elements of the mission, “the agents chosen for the mission were former U.S. residents returning to their native Germany. They had received training in ‘sabotage school’ there, where they learned to assemble explosives,” Metro further notes.