Friday, July 17, 2009

Nazi Garden Gnomes Threaten New Stupid Germany

Germany Opens 'Nazi' Gnome Case from the BBC.

A garden gnome giving the Nazi salute has landed a German artist in trouble with the authorities in Nuremberg. Prosecutors are investigating whether the gnome, which went on show in one of the city's galleries, breaks the strict law banning Nazi symbols and gestures. The Bavarian city is particularly sensitive about the Nazi era because Adolf Hitler used it for big rallies and leading Nazis went on trial there.
The artist, Ottmar Hoerl, says his gnomes poke fun at the Nazis. "I'm astonished that a single garden gnome, in what is for me an obscure gallery in Nuremberg, has unleashed such a public discussion because of an anonymous denunciation by someone," Mr Hoerl said. The 59-year-old artist has been president of Nuremberg's Academy of Fine Arts since 2005. "I didn't put it in the art gallery. Someone must have bought it and put it there. But I don't know what all the fuss is about. "With my gnomes I'm highlighting the danger of political opportunism and right-wing ideology. I get the feeling that this gnome has reopened an old wound," he said. Last year hundreds of his "Nazi" gnomes went on show in the Belgian city of Gent, in an exhibition called "Dance with the Devil". Mr Hoerl said that Belgians had well understood the political meaning "when one portrays the master race as a garden gnome". "In 1942 I would have been murdered by the Nazis for this work," he said. A spokesman for the Nuremberg public prosecutor's office, Wolfgang Traeg, said "we're checking to see if garden gnomes fall into the same clear category as posters that show the swastika crossed out"
This is obviously a tie-in with our previous post about the NAZPLOITATION book "The Little People".

4 comments:

  1. I totally thought about the Little People too. A bunch of Scottish Nazi gnomes? Weird.

    One more reason why I like living in the U.S. and not somewhere else. We don't try and pretend the past never happened...we put it on postage stamps!!

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  2. Buddha:
    Your are an idiot.
    If you "pretend the past never happend" here you can get put into jail,
    for something called "Volksverhetzung".
    We also have various museums, and memorials which remind us on a daily basis about what happened,
    most big cities have at least one of those.
    Lot of Schools also visit KZs,
    and educating young students about WWII makes up a big part of our history lessons in schools today.

    But your comment illustrates and reinforces the picture many people have of modern americans today.
    The average american iq seems to sink at the same rate as the average weight is increasing.

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  3. Watch it Xaromir. Keep it civil. Feel free to say whatever you want, but insulting Buddha & America will not help any dialog on this blog. That said, it's "You are". You make a good point, in that Germany doesn't try to forget WWII, in fact, they obsess over it.

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  4. Good point sean,
    parts of my comment where unnecessary,
    but i have to say i feel lightly insulted by his comment.

    Like i said we are very aware of what happened,
    i personally spend a lot of time educating myself -
    but that's only one side of the medal.
    My generation seems to be the last,
    which where growing up with people that where actually there,
    my grand-parents left me a lot of knowledge and facts behind,
    but also guilt, and it's not only me, about 1/3 of my friends also experienced this,
    and that was pretty hard to swallow back when i was about 10,
    i personally actually feel some sort of guild for what my ancestors done,
    but i never could have changed it,
    this is not nice, so this also is something very personal,
    and then some guy comes along and tells the world that we act like it never happened.
    That's just to illustrate my point.
    The frustrating thing is he isn't alone.

    This also seems to be a reason why some are so sensitive if it comes to things like these nazi-gnomes,
    the history of the country you live in can become something very personal, and with that emotional.
    Another thing:
    I can only say what i belief and not what others think,
    but i think most don't want the symbols abused for entertainment,
    glorification or playing down of what happened.
    It's just a guess, but this should be another reason why so much german people are so (over)sensitive.

    I'm normally not like that,
    i'm curious and interest in what the world does with this part of history,
    or i wouldn't follow this blog,
    but saying we act like it never happened is a whole different thing.

    A bit turbid sorry.

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