Many Germans have been increasingly interested in the persona of Adolf Hitler, The Telegraph wrote. Today, the Germans are interested in the Fuhrer more than ever before, since the defeat of the Third Reich during World War II, a recent study said. However, even without this study, it is clear that fascism in Europe is experiencing a rebirth.
The research conducted by a group of German media monitoring specialists provided a multitude of facts testifying to the growing interest that many Germans have in the history of Nazism and Hitler. The study also pointed out the increasing number of documentaries and books about Adolf Hitler.
According to Western sociologists, most people of the current generation has nothing to do with the experience of World War II, are less ashamed of that historical period and seek to learn more truth about it.
Images of Hitler would appear in advertising of German Bonn-based hat manufacturer, Hut Weber, German condom maker Doc Morris Pharmacies, as well as in a social campaign against AIDS. A commercial campaign conducted on the German province of Saarland caused strong outrage among the general public. In 2009, under the slogan "AIDS ist ein Massenmörder!" which translates as "AIDS is a mass murderer!" (a variant of translation also includes a 'war criminal'), the ad showed an act of sexual intercourse with the participation of a Hitler lookalike.
It seems that nostalgia for Nazi ideology has embraced not only Germany and Europe, but also in the whole world. Below are a few facts.
A man named as Roland M., living in Vorarlberg (Austria), was selling Hitlerschnaps vodka on his website for 12.20 euros per bottle. "You will receive nostalgic bottles with great historical persona of the past," writes the Austrian on his webpage. In 2012, prosecutors launched an investigation against Roland, but the case never reached the stage of legal proceedings. Austrian "Green" activists insist that the seller was consciously promoting national-socialist ideas on his web page - he openly used the image of a flag with a swastika and included hyperlinks to far right blogs.
An American couple of Jewish origin, who visited a supermarket in the Italian city of Garda in August 2012, was shocked to see labels on wine bottles with a portrait of Hitler that sold for 9.50 euros. The collection of wine samples represented wine bottles with images of Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin.
The French National Supervisory Bureau Against Anti-Semitism (Bureau National de Vigilance Contre L'Antisemtisme / BNVCA) said that an auction selling artifacts of the Third Reich was "indecent." From about 40 lots, the auction was selling the documents of Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering, a donation from Spanish dictator Franco to Goering, as well as ceiling decorations with images of swastika and imperial eagle. An expert with the French auction house said that the auction was conducted on an absolutely legal basis - only swastika items could not be auctioned. French military men seized those items in 1945 in Hitler's residence in Berghof in Obersalzberg, Bavarian Alps.
Turkish advertising agency Marka suspended an advertising campaign of Biomen shampoo in 2012. In the campaign, images of Adolfo Hitler were used.
Owners of a men's clothing store in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, opened the shop in August 2012, naming it Hitler. The letter "i" in the name of the store on the street sign was replaced with a swastika. The owners agreed to change the title after numerous protests. As one of the owners explained, the shop was named in honor oh his grandfather, who was nicknamed Hitler for his temper.
In 2013, in the Indonesian city of Bandung, a local entrepreneur had to close his business. The man was running a cafe called "SoldatenKafe". The personnel of the cafe was wearing SS uniforms, while the walls of the institutions were decorated with Nazi symbols. The owner said that he was aware of the deeds of the Nazi dictator, but decided to open the cafe anyway, purely for material reasons.
In one of the shopping malls in Kiev, one could buy a 40-cm doll of Adolf Hitler for 1200 hrivnias (about 240 USD in 2008). The made-in-Taiwan Hitler doll was available with auxiliary items, such as a military coat, a pair of shoes and even another head with a friendlier expression of the doll's face. Hitler's Mein Kampf was freely available on Kiev's Maidan during that time too.
Do the above-mentioned facts mean that fascism and national socialism are on the rise in Europe and even in Germany?
Senior officer with the Center of Germanic Studies of the Institute for Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Kamkin, told Pravda.Ru:
"On the one hand, certain rightist sentiments have been growing in Europe, but, as it seems to me, it does not depend on Hitler's persona. The primary reason behind this phenomenon is national issues, which remain unsolved in many European countries. It goes about mass migration, vague national identity of European peoples, etc. Many European intellectuals, especially those, who have not lost their roots, try to show resistance to it, but such individuals are automatically regarded as neo-Nazis and Hitler fans. The idea of patriotism and nationalism is much deeper than Hitler saw it. Therefore, it would be incorrect to bring down the interest to historical personas to such basic things as, for example, this is white and this is black."
"Do national sentiments in Ukraine warm up the interest to this subject?"
"Of course. Ukrainian pseudo nationalists eye Hitler as a standard for their national identity. Hitler's Ost plan was to cut Ukraine from Russia and create a pseudo independent Ukrainian state. This form of nationalism in Ukraine is nationalism without nation. They use Bandera together with Hitler as some sort of ideological banners. As a matter of fact, this is a result of the ideological campaign of American special services and the American governments that used dissidents of extreme chauvinistic views to spread such explosive ideology.
"One should not forget a very important document, which the US Congress approved during the 1950s. This is the law about Captive Nations 86-90 that was basically a reflection of Hitler's Ost plan: the dismemberment of the Soviet Union into formally independent nations. Naturally, Russia is the suppressor and the aggressor, whereas all nations of the former USSR are the suppressed nations that need to be liberated from Russia. As part of the law, there were various campaigns conducted to artificially grow such nationalists. Ukraine consists of several parts, and it was the crazy chauvinism from Ukraine's Galicia that resulted in the current collapse of Ukraine and separatist sentiments in the east."
"What stands behind the growing interest in the Nazi past and who profits from it?"
"First and foremost, this is beneficial to neo-Nazi organizations, as they used to be marginal, - the Dean of the Department for Sociology and Political Science of the Financial University, Alexander Shatilov said. - Now they have a chance to gain profit from these crises and earn popularity. They criticize the European political and economic model, and it earns them certain residents, not only in Germany. Presently, we can see such radical rightist sentiments nearly throughout Europe. There are certain circles, presumably pro-American ones, that promote this topic, because they see neo-Nazism as an opportunity to reanimate the idea of penetration to the East (Drang nach Osten) and attempt to direct European discontent against Russia."
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