Posted by BE on March 30th, 2014
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the ongoing Kim Dotcom/Mein Kampf debate is the rank failure of commentators to recognise the sheer irony of their positions.
I’m going to brand as ‘book-burners’ those who have made the leap from Dotcom’s ownership of a signed copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf to his being a Nazi sympathiser. I don’t of course mean that they are actual book-burners, but that they exhibit the mentality of book-burners. They are people who believe that a man’s character may be judged not merely by the contents of his library but, in this particular case, by his ownership of a single book. Their logic, as I argued in my previous post, is that if the contents of a book are evil then the ownership of such a book is itself evidence of evil:
‘Kim Dotcom owns and has read a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Hitler was the founder of National Socialism and one of history’s most evil men. Ergo: Kim Dotcom must be an evil Nazi.’
The Dotcom/Mein Kampf story was first given national prominence by TV3 journalists Brook Sabin and Patrick Gower who confidently predicted the end of Dotcom’s political aspirations and, one might assume, of his hopes of remaining in this country, as a result of his owning a priceless historical document, signed by Hitler himself and dedicated to his cellmate Hermann Esser.
So the first irony lies in journalists, traditional advocates of free speech, if not actually promoting book-burning, at least fanning the embers.
But then, in the current climate of New Zealand commercial television, sensation mongering is precisely the journalist’s job.
The second irony came in a TV3 News interview with Prime Minister John Key, newly returned from overseas.
In her introduction to the item, reporter Brooke Gardiner told us that Dotcom had confessed to owning a signed copy of the book.
I no longer expect television reporters on either major channel to be precise in their use of language, let alone understand basic English usage. I can understand someone ‘confessing’ to stealing a book or defacing a book. But where, other than in a totalitarian state, would you ‘confess’ to owning a book? ‘Confession’ implies guilt. What actually happened was that Dotcom ‘agreed’ that he owned a copy of Mein Kampf. He was not in the dock.
In the subsequent interview, Key, whose Jewish mother escaped the Holocaust, said most New Zealanders ‘would be offended by the actions and the history and wouldn’t want to be aligned to it.’ As for his dislike of Dotcom, ‘This is just another string to the bow.’
The Prime Minister thus reflected the mindset of the book-burners in his view that ownership of a book somehow ‘aligned’ you to the views expressed in the book.
Which brings me to the second irony: Book burning was a favourite occupation of the Nazis, in particular the works of Jewish authors and Jewish religious texts. The very ownership of such books and texts was sufficient to condemn you to the gas-chamber.
Among books committed to the pyre by the Nazis were the writings of German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine whose 1820 drama Almansor, contains the prophetic warning: ’Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.’
It would not, I think, be fanciful or perverse to argue that the belief that ownership of a book implies approval of the ideas expressed in the book, actually ‘aligns’ you with totalitarian thinking. Yet that is precisely the argument advanced by the book-burners, now apparently including our Prime Minister.
Finally, I had intended to deal in this post only with television coverage of the Dotcom/Mein Kampf issue. That was until I read Colin Espiner’s column on the topic in today’s Sunday Star Times. I’m something of a fan of Mr Espiner, but with this piece of mindless shit he manages to make Sabin and Gower look good.
Hey that reminds me I still have a copy of The persecution and assassination of the Marqui de Sade but that doesn’t make me a sadist. At least my Presbyterian congregation in Wanaka has never been through the house looking at book titles. Well said Brian.
Has key a copy of Mandella by any chance?.If so,
Does this make Key a terrorist?
If your flock get round to organising a book burning, I would like to contribute. My wife has got out of hand with her cookbook collection.
One last request; could they stage it in winter? We have so few festivals then and the warmth would do us good.
Hi, I have a copy of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. This clearly makes me a raving Communist. I have a e-book of the Koran so clearly I am a raving Communist Islamist. I have numerous versions of the Bible so clearly I am a raving Communist Islamist Christian. People please! The books in my library do not define me.
It seems to me that in order for us to evaluate history and (hopefully) not repeat the mistakes made we need unfettered access to ALL publications pertinent to our research.
To judge a man by the ownership of a single book is folly; better to judge a man by his library.
One hopes you are being ironic.
Truthfu,l accurate, emotionally balanced reporting seems to be quite rare these days. Analysis of policy and ideology are apparently to difficult for many of the political journalists, they go for the cheap shot.
Obviously anyone trying to make Dotcom out to be a Nazi is barking up the wrong tree, but I think it does highlight his narcissism and poor judgment. After all, the only reason this copy of Mein Kampf is an investment in contrast to any other copy of Mein Kampf is that it has the dark lustre of being a physical relic of Adolf Hitler (sharply bringing to mind the sort of person who would like to buy such a thing of Mr Dotcom). It really has nothing to do with the content of the book at all (he doesn’t strike me as the bookish type), but rather the fact that it’s an authorised presentation copy signed by der Fuhrer himself and dedicated to his former cell mate, the second copy AH ever signed, and represents making a profit on the back of AH’s infamy (the invasion and occupation of much of Europe, the extermination of six million Jews and maybe a further four million gays, gypsies, communists and any other category the regime had it in for).
Of course it shouldn’t be burned, it should be put in a museum under conditions were it won’t become a focal point for the sort of person who likes to shave their head and prance around in SS uniforms in homage to the good old days.
TV3 news is more sensationalist & Tabloid than ever; must be massive ratings pressure involved or they would be more relaxed and balanced about things and disregard the trivia of literary collections. Chiefs (editors) at TV3 must be telling the Indians (reporters)to go on the warpath, no other reasoning fits.
Many fought and died to uphold personal freedom and in so doing, granted those in our free society the right to collect whatever they want. Full stop – end of story.
We don’t have to like the guy or what he collects, but to suggest he is what he collects is nonsensical in the extreme and “journalists” who report this kind of nonsense need a serious reality check.
Perhaps a little more attention should be paid to Mr Dot Com’s prissy, nose out of joint reason for getting involved in our politics. He is about to effectively fund the attempted overthrow of the New Zealand government albeit legally.
Nasty stuff really and the kind of thing those with money can do – not because of principle but to teach certain people a lesson for “wronging” him.
Espionage and traitor might well be words that fit and are hovering in the distance recesses of some minds!
In many countries Mr Dot Com would have his residency revoked and be given his marching orders for much less.
Hyperbole much ? How is he ‘funding the overthrow of NZ Govt’ ? He is starting a legal party, comprised of Kiwis who wish to join, and then possibly vote for IP. Methinks you best beware your own bookburning brain cells.
“He is about to effectively fund the attempted overthrow of the New Zealand government albeit legally.”
If funding a registered political party, “albeit legally”, means attempting to overthrow the government then surely any funding of parties not in government is similarly fit for charges of espionage and treason.
Unless by ‘overthrow’ you mean bring about a ‘change’ in government, which, as of yet, has not been deemed unlawful.
I think things hovering around in the dark recess of the Id, sorry, the distant recesses of the mind are never a good basis for rational discourse and should be left there to suppurate and decay.
“In many countries Mr Dot Com would have his residency revoked and be given his marching orders for much less.”
Which countries, specifically?
And from next week the other Espiner is let loose on Morning Report. Must be getting harder for the ordinary media consumer to traverse all this mindless MSM & bloggersphere whale slime without some of it sticking.
I no longer expect television reporters on either major channel to be precise in their use of language, let alone understand basic English usage.
To be honest, I doubt many of them know much more about Hitler than that he was bad and killed Jews.
When the media gets like this, I think that this is what it must have felt like to live in the late stages of the Roman Empire.
As one observer of that time (Petronius) said: “Nothing is falser than people’s preconceptions and ready-made opinions; nothing is sillier than their sham morality…”
On a different but related note, the involvement of Mr Dotcom in NZ politics, along with the generosity of Colin Craig to the advancement of his own vanity project, most certainly has parallels to the decline of the Roman Empire.
Eventually people stopped pretending that Rome was a democracy, and accepted that power was for sale.
In around 190AD (IIRC) Titus Flavius Sulpicianus and Didius Julianus, both keen to become Emperor after Pertinax, dispensed with the notion of appealing to nobler urges and simply began to outbid each other. Eventually Julianus bid 25,000 seserces for each praetorian, Sulpicianus did not raise, and Rome had a new leader… for all of 66 days, before he was assassinated by an officer of the guard, acting on orders of the Senate. Not for buying the election, but for being tardy in paying his bribes… sorry “campaign contributions”.
However this set off a fine tradition: Marcus Aurelius, for instance, paid the praetorians 20,000 sesterces a soldier when he ascended to the throne.
With our usual apathy, we seem to be accepting the same is possible here. Otherwise we’d be loudly demanding campaign finance reform, independent oversight of the workings of political parties (oversight with authority to penalise breaches, including ruling invalid the election of persons if the process for selecting them was found not to be democratic), and a Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_Commissioner_for_Standards).
This latter proposal was floated by myself and Gilbert Myles many years ago as a draft Private Member’s Bill. Amazingly, no party wanted a bar of it.
No one is advocating the burning of books. Owning a copy of Mein Kampf, Das Kapital, Mao’s Little Red Book, the works of Dickens, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Jungle, the Koran, or the Bible tells you nothing about a person other than they have eclectic tastes – and maybe a curiosity to understand why these volumes changed history.
However…a signed copy of a volume by the most notorious and evil (by common agreement/public opinion) figure in history? That is a different dynamic. Like maybe (and I know analogies are tricky) owning a shrunken human head. Arguably pretty tasteless, maybe even sick. Or at least in the minds of some people. Probably lots of them. Certainly spokespeople for the Jewish community have expressed their distaste over KDC’s investment.
Now…that person wants to go into politics. Seems to me politics is about sacrifice. Yes, you present yourself as you are. Meteria Turei does her LARPing, Helen Clark her mountain climbing, and John Key shoots the occasional round of gold with mates.
BUT if you are REALLY serious about wanting the job, you weigh up what in your life could distract parts of the electorate. Doesn’t mean they are right. But serious politicians make that sacrifice. They get rid of the human shrunken head. They ditch the signed copy of Mein Kampf. They do what it takes. Like Helen Clark did marrying Peter Davis in 1981.
Is that dishonest? No. “Complete honesty at the expense of everything else” may seem like a good asset in politics…until you see how it works out in practice. “We want your trade dollars, but we despise your arrogance” to the USA, China, or Britain is NOT going to benefit NZ Inc in any way. In fact it will make things worse. You want represent the nation, and be in charge of people’s hopes and lives? Then you have to be prepared to pay the cost.
It seems to me that connected with that, politics is also about judgement. You are wanting to take hold of the levers of NZ Inc. That means you have see around corners, work out where potentially bad PR for the nation can arise from, and nip it in the bud. So you recognise immediately there could be an issue over the shrunken human head, or the signed copy of Mein Kampf, or not declaring straight away you also had dinner at the Shanghai office of your husband’s company.
I don’t care that KDC owns a signed copy of Mein Kampf. In fact, I’m glad he does. It tells me that no matter what skills he has, he is NOT a serious politician. Or at least he doesn’t have what it takes to do well in politics.
“John Key shoots the occasional round of golf” not “gold”.
Freudian slip typo!
Can’t follow this argument at all. You are simply repeating, at greater length, the view expressed by the people I’ve designated ‘book burners’ that there is something wrong with owning an autographed copy of a book written by Hitler, that the owner is somehow infected by the content of the book. This must be confusing for bookshop owners who not only own but sell for profit a whole range of books covering the spectrum from religious texts to the writings of the Marquis de Sade. Booksellers are clearly people with multiple personalities.
Book burning is not an appropriate analogy.
The intent of book burners would be to remove Mein Kampf altogether from the public domain. No one has argued for that. Mein Kampf remains and will remain available, irrespective of what happens to KDC’s signed copy.
But as Andrew Paul Wood rightly discerns, a SIGNED copy “has the dark lustre of being a physical relic of Adolf Hitler”. Or at least it potentially does – others have pointed out various Nazi/German memorabilia their grandfathers collected during the war, which was for the opposite psychological reason – a souvenir taken at the expense of the vanquished.
Back to relics. They cremated and scattered in a secret place the remains of those they hanged at Nuremberg for the precise purpose of preventing shrines. So a signed copy of Mein Kampf is something some of the public would object to, most definitely sections of the Jewish community.
It is stupid to imply (has anyone actually stated it in serious manner?) that because he owns it, KDC is infected by it. I’m not so sure that is what TV3 were doing. Whale Oil – yes, but that is typical hyperbole from that source.
However you can argue that in owning it, KDC is unwittingly preserving a relic of evil. Which is why political opponents may choose to spin it, and the media could chose to report. At least a museum would take it out of public circulation and preserve it for whatever merit (DNA? hand-writing?) future science may be able to make of it. Book sellers may make a killing out of trading copies of the works of lots of notorious historical figures. But Hitler and the Nazi leadership are in a different category from others – hence Godwin’s Law! I don’t make the rules – I just report them.
But if KDC was an astute and serious politician he would have removed that possibility before it could happen. It is fuss over a ridiculous piece of trivia. Nevertheless that is the only way the public really gets to assess the competence of their politicians in the things that matter – can they deal first with the ridiculous pieces of trivia. Like chem trails. You know how to avoid the the trap before you fall in. Again, I don’t make the rules, I just report them.
Sorry, I don’t seem able to do brief explanations!
Not a good argument. A relic of evil is not evil, unless you hold some mediaeval view about “evil vapours”. Hitler is dead and Nazism utterly discredited.
People might want to own such things for all sorts of reasons. A WWII collector wanting to own a signed copy of Mein Kampf is no different than a Civil War collector wanting to own one of General Lee’s hats, or a rugby collector owning a worn All Black jersey from the 1981 Eden Park test. In none of these cases does wanting to add such things to one’s collection necessitate any commitment to a bad cause. If you’re a serious WWII collector, you collect items from the Axis side.
Even if Dotcom just had a taste for macabre souvenirs, such a thing would not be that odd. Museums of the macabre have done a roaring trade since time immemorial, annoying only puritans and the intellectually challenged.
The only reason this has been manufactured into a scandal is that the media have for whatever reason declared for National this time around, and have decided to manufacture a series of “scandals” involving opponents of the government. Quite why I do not know, since the election appears to be a foregone conclusion. But they’re doing it anyway and in an extremely ham-fisted manner.
Look, we all know you are a shill for the Key government, but this is one of your weaker efforts.
” A relic of evil is not evil, unless you hold some mediaeval view about “evil vapours”.”
“Relic” was an an analogy, and I’m sure you are smart enough to work that out. Or do I have to go qualifying and explaining EVERYTHING?! Hell, Lee, I’m already long-winded and probably verbose as it is!
No, the ‘relic’ is not evil in and of itself. There are no sacerdotal powers. But it can be collected for evil purposes – to empathise and show respect for and solidarity with the one who signed it. The sad case of David Irving, an intelligent man who started off as a useful scholar delving into Nazi documents suggests it is not that far-fetched a scenario. So take it out of circulation so it can’t happen, especially with those who are already committed to a sympathetic view of Hitler.
Yes, aficionados, as opposed to fanatic relic collectors have a valid reason to collect all sort of memorabilia. Nevertheless, sort of like sporting contact with apartheid-era South Africa, even though there were representative teams from countries with other odious regimes, there is a qualitative difference with something so intimate and unadulterated in its connection to a particular type of evil. “Hitler” is NOT just another bad guy in shared public perception. I know that is not entirely logical, but like many human beliefs and responses to objects (e.e, actual relics) it is something that transcends logic IMHO.
For that reason it is news. You are better than “the media have for whatever reason declared for National this time around”. And I’m also not impressed by the “shill” accusation. You are also better than that too. I don’t disguise my politics or bias.
So you’re asking people to agree with you while admitting that your position “transcends logic”? That just sounds like: “I can’t back up my view, but people should agree with me anyway”.
That’s not how argument works. If you want to convince others you are right, you have to play on their turf to do so.
And the media just is noticeably pro-National this time around. It’s even attracted comment from overseas visitors I had recently who thought it was really weird.
No. Who now has a problem with literacy not being their strong point.
Your arguments are logical. Nevertheless the REACTION of people to Hitler and the Nazis transcends logic. Maybe you didn’t know, people make their minds up most times irrespective or in spite of reason.
So when it comes to comparisons of evil they are not interested in hearing arguments, even if it comes from an academic their taxes fund. Hitler is, and will always be the most evil guy around.
I don’t make the rules. I just report them.
Now, if you want to waste your academic career trying to convince them otherwise, far be it from me to stand in your way.
You can’t have your cake and eat it too. You were arguing your case the post before. Now you have given that up and have gone back to the irrationalism of popular opinion (presumably including your own).
Which returns us nicely to BE’s underlying point: that irrationalism of this particular type undermines the values that underpin liberal democracy and in particular the profession of journalism. The public may believe what they like, but journalism has its own codes of ethics. If anyone is going to stand up for these values, it should be the people who enjoy various privileges because of them. There would be no journalism in the accepted sense of the term if the character and honesty of journalists was automatically assumed to be undermined by the content of their reportage. Hence as BE says they are “fanning the embers” and undermining the standards of their own profession by doing the same sort of thing to Dotcom.
Members of the public may well have prejudiced beliefs, but it is part of the civic function of journalism to correct for that by providing true, accurate and relevant information. If they aren’t going to do that, then there isn’t much point in granting professional journalists freedoms that the rest of us do not have (and which Cameron Slater is presently pleading to have extended to him in front of a judge).
If that was BE’s point, and I think it was, then BE was quite right to lump you in with the “book burners” as he sees them.
Thanks for your clarification.
You say, “Members of the public may well have prejudiced beliefs, but it is part of the civic function of journalism to correct for that by providing true, accurate and relevant information”.
Um, in this case, WHO decides they are illegitimate prejudice? Particular high priests within the media? I think it is ultimately the public who decide what is “true, accurate and relevant”.
But let’s apply those tests.
Does, or does not KDC, a man now injecting himself into the NZ electoral system. own a signed Mein Kampf? Yes or no?
Well, that’s “true” and “accurate” certainly covered. There is a case, given his political aspirations that it is “relevant” as it goes to the matter of his taste and judgement.
But as the public have the right to switch channels, as I said, they will decide if it is relevant.
Personally, I thought the matter of Collins and Oravida was initially irrelevant. But that is just me, and hey – I know I’ve got a bias. However, as she mishandled it, it became relevant, and it could still be. But then maybe, just maybe, I’m not so biased in my politics. Either way, I trust the (collective) public to determine the relevance.
But maybe, just maybe all this pious talk is really just annoyance that the flamethrower is not on the Key Government at the moment. Yes, we must talk about the “things that matter”.
Oh, and by the way do you have and “true” and “accurate” facts (as opposed to suspensions and vexed partisan annoyance that “the media have for whatever reason declared for National this time around, and have decided to manufacture a series of “scandals” involving opponents of the government”.
Conspirators names, dates, meeting places, and if possible written memoranda please. At least Paddy Gower could point to an actual document.
Excellent reply Lee, not that I want to see the likes of Kimbo’s expressions suppressed but those expressions are exactly what is being put forward in the MSM as factual, or ‘normal’ which they clearly are not.
Where Kimbo fails in his rhetoric is in that the very reasons he puts forward for dismissing say the ‘Dancing Cossacks’ as being only a figment of our imagination that contributed to the downfall of the third Labour govt, he hoists above the petard the notion that possession by an aspiring politician of a signed copy of Hitlers book ‘My Struggle’ is obviously a serious chink that requires exposure.
This is classic Crosbytextor modus operandi and not that dissimilar to the Herr Goebbels brand of the 1930’s. Key & National actually pay for this crap.
The press themselves argue that they should have special privileges in society. They can report stuff about people without having to reveal their sources for one. I wish I could do that. They also complain bitterly when they think their freedom to report is under attack.
But pretty much any journalist asks us not to judge them personally for what they report. So, if they make a report that is favourable of Mr Key, they get very snippy if the rest of us suggest that they are biased for that reason (even when they obviously are, as I would say they have been). If you want to characterise it as objectivity or impartiality or some similar thing, it is inherent in the practice of journalism and thus non-negotiable, even if they often don’t live up to it themselves.
Now I’m not a Kantian, but I do think that in many cases you ought to apply the same standards to others that you want applied to yourself in such matters, and that’s just not happening if journalists don’t challenge the smearing of Kim Dotcom with the accusation that if he has a piece of Nazi memorabilia in his collection, that this is good reason to think him a Nazi. That’s a powerful accusation and needs a lot of evidence behind it before it can be made.
Similarly, we would need a lot of evidence to show that many senior media figures are shilling for Key, even if they seem to provide that evidence on a regular basis these days. Now if I were a journalist and not a regular rube, I would expect to have to provide a lot more evidence than that before I published that as reportage (and I would do so). As it is, that is just my opinion as a private citizen. It is of no real influence and I’m willing to be shown I’m wrong about it.
Journalists don’t stand for this sort of smearing in their own case. Why should they in the case of other people, especially when they are the ones doing it?
No Kat, I have not argued ‘possession by an aspiring politician of a signed copy of Hitlers book ‘My Struggle’ is obviously a serious chink that requires exposure.’.
I am saying that if and when it comes to public light, it may or may not cause some to think it gives them an insight into KDC’s political judgement. Like chem trails. Or was that TOO a Crosby Textor plot?!
And even if it is trival (and there is always a lot of trivia around), it is useful to see how the aspiring politician handles it. Doesn’t make the trivia right, or necessarily wrong.
In KDC’s case, he seems to have handled it well. Or did no one rushing in to defend him notice that?
My only point is that those who condemn Kim.Com owning a Hitler signed book are just jealous for he own a rare collection.
Thank god I don’t own a copy of the bible I wouldn’t want to be seen supporting the Spanish Inquisition.
Signed copies of Luther’s Bible are priceless, so I don’t know how the market would value a copy signed by Moses, Jesus, or the Apostle Paul.
Wouldn’t that be a relic of evil? Luther after all provided the model for Hitler and the Nazis.
in 1543 Luther published On the Jews and Their Lies in which he says that the Jews are a “base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth.” They are full of the “devil’s feces … which they wallow in like swine.” The synagogue was a “defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut …” He argues that their synagogues and schools be set on fire, their prayer books destroyed, rabbis forbidden to preach, homes razed, and property and money confiscated. They should be shown no mercy or kindness, afforded no legal protection, and these “poisonous envenomed worms” should be drafted into forced labor or expelled for all time. He also seems to advocate their murder, writing “[w]e are at fault in not slaying them”.
Funny that you should choose as your example of an author someone who seems to have shared some of Hitlers views and proposed remedies on dealing with World Jewry.
Yes, but Luther didn’t actually put it in to practice – and it is arguably a typical piss-and-wind psycholgical reaction Luther made in response to anyone he thought was standing in the way of his reforms – e.g., he said similar stuff when what he perceived as rabble rousers used his doctrine as a pretext and reason to revolt and cause public disorder.
You can find similar stuff in Pogrom-ridden Russia under the Tsars. The notorious forgery “The Protocols of Zion” (recently revived and freely available and sold in great numbers in cities throughout the Middle East) was likely written by the chief of the Russian Secret Police.
But like I said, there is a qualitative newsworthy difference with Hitler, because evil (not launching inadvertently a Reformation or mismanaging a country) is ALL he is remembered for in the popular mind.
Doesn’t matter. Wagner didn’t go around burning Jews either, but he’s also not too popular down at the bagel shop.
But he’s remembered also for his operas, not just his murderous racsim.
And why “doesn’t it matter”? Or are we now at the stage where your assertions sans facts or an argument have to be accepted on the spot.
A suggestion: I’m sympathetic to the sometimes-plight of academics in a pragmatic-oriented land like our own. Believe it or not I have a few letters from a couple of degrees after my name too. Plus lots of mates who work at the tertiary coal-face whose company and stimulating thought I enjoy.
However, perhaps arrogance like yours is the reason why the academics are ignored.
Just a suggestion. But, hey, I could be wrong…
You’ve just been pwned.
It doesn’t matter on your own terms, because as you keep saying, “this transcends logic”.
Well I’ve known Jewish people who take exactly the same kind of view you report of Hitler about Luther, Wagner and all the other well known authors of wildly anti-semitic tracts and holders of similar views, because they believe that anti-semitism is a unique and perpetual cancer upon western civilisation. In particular they think that Hitler would have got nowhere without bell ends like Luther paving the way.
I don’t take that view of it myself. Then again my grandfather survived his particular Nazi ordered death march, when their relatives did not. So I can see why they might believe that, even though I would resist that view myself (particularly when it’s used to give Israel carte blanche).
But if we’re going to hold that strongly held views about the odiousness of people based on the odiousness of the views of anyone they might take interest in, then you should say the same of Jewish attitudes toward Luther and Wagner and people who like them.
And your point is reasonable, logical, and well-made.
Under the same logic if this book belonged to a museum then the museum would be supporting Hitlerism
Indeed. See my point above about bookshop owners.
I don’t see that at all. Museums are public institutions with mandates for collecting objectively. Their collection policies and mission statements are usually publically available on request. Museums are also constrained by law about what they may collect, from which sources, public accessibility and correct disposal following a deaccessioning. Museums do not generally profit from their collecting. Very little of that applies to the murky world and pecadillos of private collectors – no less if the private collector is a pubic figure running for office with the prerequisite 500 signatures for their party to be officially recognised.
For me a lot of the yuck factor is simply my awareness of the unscrupulous nature of the trade in Nazi memorabilia and in particular the frequently repellant people who support it.
Thank goodness our colonial ancestors derived from the British Empire and we don’t have memorabilia that aligns us to atrocities committed by vicious regimes. Oh wait now yes the British did a few things right here in NZ and there was that small event called the Irish Holocaust where millions of died for the coffers of British – Free trade I believe they called that.
If you will insist on that comparison, I would point out that while callous and horrific it wasn’t a planned genocide (the British didn’t magically infect the potatoes with blight) nor did they prevent the Irish able to from emigrating. Not defending it, just being accurate. Were it comparable methinks Éamon de Valera might have had second thought about allowing the Germans to park their submarines in Irish ports (a rather one-sided sort of neutrality, all in all).
lol at ‘wasn’t planned’. I suppose the systematic starvation of millions of Indians by England wasn’t planned either. Carry on Lord Beaconsfield. You Twat
I am interested in whether Mr Key owns any Hugo Boss suits – they were the outfitters of choice for the Nazis. What secrets are in his closet?
While we are playing the if=then game:
If you go to Bali on Holiday does it mean you support Suharto’s genocide in Timor?
If you holiday in the United States does it mean you support the idea of undeclared war/mass murder (Cambodia 1973).
Is that like, “If you allow the apartheid-era Springboks to come to New Zealand then you support legally-institutionalised racism”…?
Or is it because the moral issue is no longer directly active?
“If you >>> are a politician/prime minister & can’t even remember your stance on<<< allowing the apartheid-era Springboks to come to New Zealand then you…
either have a mental illness, are lying or come across as deeply untrustworthy
take your pick
The Japanese beheaded ANZAC’s during WWII, look out those that have Samurai swords hanging around.
Um, as per my (long-winded!) argument above, personal stuff connected to Hitler including his signature is irrevocably tied to a particular person and event that is irredeemably evil. So it has the potential to be used as a relic to celebrate that person and event.
Samurai swords have been around for centuries, so they aren’t just connected to the events of 1931-45. Also, taking it a bit closer the item at hand, no one buying a Volkswagen is in any real danger of unwittingly preserving a Hitler-inspired relic.
Ah, but what about if you had the actual orinal ‘signed’ order that Hitler gave to Ferdinand Porsche to develop a Volkswagen car?
But using my previously stated criterion “irrevocably tied to a particular person and event that is irredeemably evil” maybe not – the document would also be germane to the establishment of a motor vehicle company just like any other – Ford (the founder of whom was an anti-Semitic Nazi sympathiser), Fiat (personal connections to Musslini) or Mitsubishi (who made some of the aircraft that attacked Pearl Harbour).
Shows your previously stated ‘criterion’ as being a nonsense. Hitler used the Volkswagen factory to produce machinery that killed people.
However the real issue here is that this MSM madness is just another ‘sideshow’ and Key is part of it by going along with the Nazi smear against Dot Com.
So lets see if Guyon Espiner puts forward the notion on Morning Report that a vote for John Key is a vote for for a destabilsed currency and ruined manufacturers.
“Hitler used the Volkswagen factory to produce machinery that killed people”.
Yes, but it has an on-going dynamic history that has lasted long after Mr “One Ball” blew his brains out.
So you preserve the document because of its historical value in respect to VW, irrespective of who signed the order.
I wasn’t aware Key was involved. Whale Oil certainly, but that is not the same thing. Mind you it has been a good week for Key – the Collins issue hosed down for the moment, and all of Cunliffe’s potential media-coverage oxygen eaten up buy KDC.
So what should we be discussing? Whether Judith Collins “popped in” to Oravida on the way to the airport? Yes, I know, that is important because…
It is what is is. BTW I saw a really good soundbite of Cunliffe on telly the other day on the details of the Genesis sale, “Ordinary mums and dads don’t use stock-brokers”. More of that and you guy could be well and truly in the game (yes, I know, MSM bias, he already is…
Irredeemable evil is a religious fantasy. Stop imposing your superstitions on the rest of us. We like the separation between church and state, even if you don’t.
Kindly stop being deliberately obtuse. Again, another analogy. Also, Mr Etymologist, the word ‘redemption’ has plenty of secular uses.
I am talking public perception. Don’t believe me? Try walking around town with a swastika arm band, or starting a conversation with, “You know, Adolf Hitler and the Nazis did a lot of good…” Good luck.
Truly, if this is the level of critical thinking and analysis of popular culture that comes out of Waikato University, I’m in support of Hekia Parata moving in the bulldozers. (Please note, Lee: that is NOT an expression of literal desire!)
Now you’re just retreating into metaphor and appealing to popular opinion because you can’t back up your original argument.
If you want to argue well, write clearly and ditch the rhetoric. We do teach that at university.
Er “popular opinion” IS my argument. Or didn’t you notice at the point at which you chose to inject yourself into the thread that you did so in response my post that included the phrase, “as per my (long-winded!) argument above…”
The purpose of the metaphor, like all illustrations, was to aid understanding. A case of “advance”, rather than “retreat”.
But for those who chose to make up their minds irrespective of the way an argument is framed (Hey! That is exactly what I am arguing. Let’s call your inability/willfulness “an example”) it will always be a futile gesture.
Ok. Redeem Hitler. Go on. I’m waiting. And you’ll have to do better than autobahns and getting the trains to run on time because in both cases they were heading to Auschwitz, Bergen Belsen and Buchenwald.
Are you suggesting the open air concentration camp of Gaza might be a suitable stop off?
Key may have a copy of Playboy magazine signed by Hugh Hefner himself.
Funny that it is ONLY the Hitler link that seems to get the airtime mainstream media (msm) so lusts after! Yet KDC’s Stalin memorabilia didn’t elicit a squeak! MSM find a story that has some merit! I have a swastika armband in a book about Hitler – hardly makes me a fascist Nazi!
Hitler’s signature sent 6 million people to be exterminated in death camps. What kind of person wants to pay money for that signature?
The question at stake is not whether the possession of Mein Kampf makes a person into this or that.
The question at stake is whether a person willing to pay money for the signature which sent 6 million people to be exterminated understands the murderous, evil, anti-human nature of Nazism.
The urgency of the question is highlighted when the purchaser has intent to shape the future of New Zealand.
It’s been my view for many years that really bad ideas need to be exposed to the light not kept hidden in the dark.
I’m not trying to be clever or engage in jesuitical nit-picking but a “signature” is not an “idea”.
As a result there is a difference between a book, and a signed book.
I have a copy of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers album, looks and sounds just like the unsigned one.
You have gone up in my estimation immensely. Why should we ever argue ever again over trivial politics when we agree on the things that matter?!
They will probably not sell for the same. And the reason, which is highly pertinent to the “relic” argument, is that really keen fans (isn’t that short for “fanatics”?) drive up the price because they really like the artists and what they accomplished.
I was given the copy when I interviewed John Mayall during his tour here in 1972. Part of my magazine journalism course at wellington Polytech and as an aspiring cadet for New Musical Express. The LP may have some greater value than the unsigned copy but my early pressing of the Bluesbreakers with Clapton reading the ‘Beano’ on the cover would certainly be.
Gor Blimey !
Getting off the point, but……
I’ve been a 60s Brit Blues fan for many a year – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Van Morrison and Them, The Yardbirds, Peter Green/early Fleetwood Mac (when they were a great British Blues band before dropping Green and moving into Trans-Atlantic New Age witchy-poo territory). Then again, not quite up to the originals: Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker, B B King……
But I digress.
Anyone have a signed copy of anything by Enoch Powell?
So following your logic the fact that John Key, with his signature, gambled against the NZ dollar as a currency trader and made millions at the expense of ‘hard working’ exporters and local businesses, some losing their business causing undue hardship to men, women, children, and pets has “urgency” as he is clearly “intent on shaping the future of New Zealand”.
Ordinary punters getting really confused now.
As best I can tell many urgent questions are being asked of John Key and the role he has played and continues to play in the affairs of New Zealand.
But no one need make the mistake of equating Key’s alleged involvement in hardships for people with Hitler’s proven authorship of a policy of extermination of whole people groups (recall, it was Gypsies, gays and the disabled along with Jews).
On that score of intentional destruction of people groups, Stalin and Hitler are in the same league. My argument and questions would be the same if it were Stalin’s signature which Dotcom had invested in.
I see no reason for ordinary punters to be confused about the scale of evil murder and extermination which Hitler embarked on.
Is there any particular reason why we should also be confused about the morality of investing money in obtaining Hitler’s signature?
Although the fact that Dotcom is German does make it worse. Haveing spent some time in Germany (having the misfortune to witness a neo-nazi ralley in 2008 and the acompanying anti neo-nazi ralley) and knowing not a few Germans in NZ, that most ordinary Germans of Generation X are paralysingly ashamed of their country and culture’s 20th century history. Hence the focus on the Hitler stuff rather than the Stalin or Churchill stuff.
Trust you have never owned a VW car.
The commemorative plaques attesting to a figure of 4 million people killed at Auschwitz were removed in 1990 and replaced with updated figures of 1.5 million. I hope this helps.
Thanks for a bit of sense, Brian.
Those who seem offended might do well to dig deeper: the dude plays ‘Call of Duty’ like many of those young men who will vote for his party this year. He owns other WW2 artefacts as well.
The offended ones just makes those of us who eschew the MSM roll our eyes.
(BTW: I’m a deluded old fart, not a CoD player).
I like sausages. Does that make me German?
Only if you have sauerkraut with them.
Agree with most of your your points Brian – noted “confessed” as well, with sadness. I think Brooke Gardiner is a young journalist. She was either thoughtless or fed the line by her bosses. Can’t help but feel 3News has turned a precarious corner in the pursuit of ratings. TV3 showed some self -control on the Nation – you’d hope so given it is NZ On Air funded. Even so it did not explain the ethics for Paddy Gower’s “analysis” I am skeptical about Dotcom’s motivations. but this has been a low point for New Zealand TV journalism.
I think CONFESSION is apt as it is illegal to own any copy of this book in Germany ( his home country ) as well as a few other countries.It is an ILLICIT item so confession is a reasonable description. He would have to HIDE his ownership of it if he still lived in Germany so it IS an item that requires secrecy.
But he doesn’t live in Germany. And owning the book isn’t illegal in New Zealand, where he does live. So your argument is utter nonsense. Sorry!
The copyright for “Mein Kampf” are owned by the Free State of Bavaria, which prevents any new editions of the book on a copyright base!
Even if it is again and again and claimed by all kinds of people, Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is not banned in Germany and Austria.
You may own the book, you may also sell it (as long as this is an antiquarian issue and not a pirated version).
According to current German copyright law, a text 70 years after the author’s death is public domain. The Bavarian veto holds so only until the year 2015 – latest by this date must Germany must have taken a political decision on how to deal with this book.
I am German and absolutely not a fan of KDC, but I think some journalists try to do Mr. Key a favour as he has recognised that the Internet Party could attract some non-voters and could become a problem for National.
I am working in IT since about 25 years and by the way, the policies are not so bad at all especially as National has not really IT competence.
Thanks for this, Thomas. Really helpful. It’s amazing how much false information is put out by television journalists.
Yes. considering the thousands upon thousands of citizens murdered by allied bombing raids in the cities of Germany, it really is a disgrace that anyone should have to hide anything there.
People are also forgetting that KDC is married to a Phillipina and rightly laughed when someone tried to make him out as a racist. Bloody stupid I say. People collect all sorts of tings and a bit of history is a bit of history. Period!
Does John Key even read? Or have a library?
It probably contains all the works of Ayn Rand, personally signed. Now, there’s a rumour we could spread.
I wonder what Ayn Rand would have to say about dear old Israel today. What a disgusting piece of humanity that woman was
Carrying the argument further, it was the Nazis who instituted the carrying of a flaming torch in their 1936 Berlin Olympic Games (they loved flaming torches and wanted to perpetuate myths related to superior athletic prowess of their ‘Aryan’ ancestors). Therefore, it follows that all nations who subsequently adopted the Nazi-originated flaming Olympic torch in their games were closet followers of some twisted Hitlerian creed.
TV3 is guilty of superficial research and seriously flawed journalistic activities. When members of the Third Estate start to compromise their standards for cheap sensationalist stories, democracy is in danger.
Kapai Brian, though I gave up on mainstream media a very long time ago. I therefore care very little for what is uttered, let alone written by those half my age, and with limited life experiences. Even those of us who are sceptical of Dotcom can tell this is a pile of crap. It’s embarrassing.
I was amazed at the reaction to Kim Dotcom owning a collectors item;viz Mei Kamf signed by the author. Political commentators seemed afraid of the Mana-Dot.Com Party combination having a real impact on the next MMP election result. Why? Mainstream media are far too predictable in their right wing political responses and should not be so paranoic. No doubt their side will win and when they do heaven help the rest of us.
“…I was amazed at the reaction to Kim Dotcom…”
I’ll think you’ll find most of the huffing and puffing has come in the form of collective hysteria at TV3 and amongst the echo chamber in the sewers of right wing blogs. I’ve not met one person -not one! – who isn’t completely puzzled at this amount of airtime this story has got from the media. The biggest losers from this whole affair is the media, not Kim Dotcom.
I would add the biggest losers ultimately are the people that inhabit this fair land.
The fact that the copy is signed does not undermine Brian’s argument – in fact, it strengthens it.
Rather than considering it a ‘relic’ with the ‘lustre of evil’ it is better to see it as a historical document that serves, potentially, to verify certain facts related to Hitler – e.g., that he befriended a cell-mate, perhaps, or that he was a keen proselytiser or that his style of writing his signature reveals something about his psychology, or whatever.
It might also be used to help verify other signatures on other documents, some of which could make a case for Hitler’s personal involvement in some decision making, much as Stalin’s signature on the cover sheet of the Katyn death warrants seriously implicates him personally in the decision making that led to that massacre.
In short, it has historical value quite apart from any commercial value. Perhaps Dotcom had some dim awareness of that historical value – who knows?
Of course, it could be argued that such historical documents should only be owned by the state or some other public institution because of their sensitivity and/or historical value.
That would be an unusual position for someone on the political right to adopt but, nevertheless, it is an argument against Kim Dotcom owning such a document privately. It would be interesting to think through the bureaucratic criteria for which documents or objects should not be privately owned.
As for motives, none of us know what Dotcom’s might be. In fact, it is probably equally true that Dotcom himself doesn’t know – with any accuracy – what his true mix of motives were for buying it.
Most behaviour is multiply motivated and quite opaque to the person who manifests the behaviour. We like to think we know our own motives quite transparently but this generally isn’t the case. When we do have some sense of them, it’s usually after the fact and only when we’ve had time to piece together, through careful reflection and adoption of the attitude of a psychological detective, the influences that came together to produce our behaviour.
The whole episode looks to me like an attempt to suggest guilt by association.
“Way to go, Kimmie”.
(Careful what you post here; the way his party is polling, he could be our Fuhrer, one day).
Haaretz reported in February that a signed copy sold at auction for close to US$65,000. At that price, it’s doubtful Dotcom is sipping a brandy and closely studying Hitler’s book. I’m more inclined to believe it an investment and an historical curiosity.
I can’t speak for Dotcom’s beliefs, but he does not match the profile of a white supremacist or neo-Nazi. He is not a disaffected, ill-educated man from a lower socio-economic group. As a rich immigrant married to an exotic [possibly Filipino, sources are unclear] wife, he’d be more a target for hate groups than anything.
Forget about KDC’s possession of a signed copy of Mein Kampf and concentrate on the sort of people to whom he might appeal. I refer to a young generation of voting eligible people who expect “free stuff” off the internet. He couldn’t better be the hero of a generation that grows unhealthy and stupid with their obsession with the internet and all its other world irrelevancies. My late father warned me years ago of the danger of MMP and the sort of “Mickey Mouse” parties that would hold sway over our politics. He has already proven himself prophetic with the shambolic Act party. Anything to do with KDC would most certainlly trounce that circus.
What can I say. But Hear, Hear. Great Post Brian Edwards, you do us Kiwi Irish proud.
And yet, John Key has increased his lead in the polls. There must be a lot of closet book burners out there.
And Brian Edwards has surged ahead in the polls as well. His Freedom of Speech Party aligned with the Anti-hypocrisy Party might yet gain a majority in the House and certainly must do so in his own house.
“And yet, John Key has increased his lead in the polls.”
If you’re talking about Party support (as I suspect you are) – then No. Nats average Feb/Early March = 49.5% / Nats average Mid/Late March = 46.1%. Definite downturn for the Right in last few weeks (after they enjoyed an unusually large spike in February). Always a mistake to rely on dodgy headlines.
Thanks Brian for the book burners image good to be reminded.
Kimbo has tried to advance an argument that it’s not the book but the signature of one who is so evil that just owning the signature itself equates to the worship of evil etc etc.
It reminded me of that quote by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from his The Gulag Archipelago.
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
Hitler achieved what he achieved not because his personal evil was especially powerful – that’s a christian image – but with the complicit cooperation and support of hundred of thousands of people. To get this support he and his associates actively used propaganda to great effect…
“Through clever and constant application of propaganda people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.”
–Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, 1923
For me the signed copy of Mein Kampf reminds me; it was real. That we are all vulnerable to persuasion and to the “evil” that sits in our own hearts.
Its now called public relations, or worst communications.
Its smarter, way more nuanced now but its still happening.
Persuading us to see Kim.Com as an evil Nazi is a small but pertinent example.
Um, I didn’t argue “just owning the signature itself equates to the worship of evil”,
What I argued, amongst other things (and probably very poorly!) is that because it has the potential for worship/veneration in the wrong hands,
AND because of the (not unreasonable) common perception that Hitler is the acme of bad bastards who have inspired and instigated REALLY bastard-like actions (“evil” seems to be too loaded with philosophical and religious overtones for some! Or it that speaks to my own preconceptions)
…then an astute prospective politician would give the item a miss.
I’ve had a quick google search. Apart from the deliberately OTT Whale Oil, no media source has made an overt “KDC is a Nazi” accusation that I can find. Instead, in response to the report he owned the item, KDC issued a denial he WAS a Nazi. Which sensible and sane people have perceived from the beginning.
Than again, the fact KDC felt he needed to issue that statement probably shows there may have been a “sleaze factor” motivating the original disclosure. That was certainly the the stance this site took when Chris Carter’s parliamentary expenses were under the blowtorch, allegedly because he was gay.
Whether this disclosure re KDC was politically motivated, or simply to score ratings we will likely never know for sure. I tend towards the latter. I’ll have to give that and the matters you and others have raised, Richard, some more thought…
Thanks for all who have persevered to get me to that point.
That seems a rather tame way of recalling it happened. You should visit a concentration camp some time.
Better than visiting a concentration camp would be talking to someone who worked in one. That’s the point.
Um, didn’t they, and the most useful thing to come from it was the telling phrase, “the banality of evil”? (Ooops – sorry to use that “e” word again!).
I don’t think Hitler ever set foot on a concentration camp. He gave the orders, it went down the line through the opportunists, the hangers on, the rubber stampers and ultimately to those sadistic enough and cold blooded enough to carry it out. That’s partly why the Nazi regime was so horrific – out of sight, out of mind.
It seems to me that the people most enthusiastic about defending Dotcom’s right to innocently own a piece of Nazi history are those most in need of the history lesson.
Interesting, “He gave the orders, it went down the line through the opportunists, the hangers on, the rubber stampers and ultimately to those sadistic enough and cold blooded enough to carry it out”
Sounds just like the current political hierarchy in NZ from Key, the MSM to whale-slime.
I doubt Failoil is murdering Jews in his basement, however.
“…are those most in need of the history lesson.”
Although you may be too, Andrew: ” I don’t think Hitler ever set foot on a concentration camp. He gave the orders, it went down the line through the opportunists, the hangers on…” (this also goes for Peter Carrell, who argued that “Hitler’s signature sent 6 million people to be exterminated in death camps.”).
Sorry, but this is the subject of intense debate among historians. There is no signed piece of paper, no official order from Hitler.
In the bona fide historiography on the Nazi Holocaust, there exists an INTENTIONALIST school of historians (master plan to enact the Holocaust developed by Hitler in the 20s or 30s and then systematically carried out step-by-step) and a FUNCTIONALIST school of historians (initiative for the Holocaust came from lower down in the Nazi bureaucracy – due to competition between ambitious Nazis to impress Hitler (by trying to anticipate what would gratify him)and only after moves to expel Europe’s Jewish population had failed).
In terms of MEIN KAMPF, there is only one reference to the killing of Jews in its 694 pages. An extremely ugly reference certainly, but still somewhat ambiguous in the context of what later happened.
There’s no doubt whatsoever that Hitler greatly approved of the Holocaust and that it wouldn’t have happened without his murderous anti-semitism, but we don’t know whether he actually ORDERED it or not.
I should add that I’ve already argued this briefly with Andrew on THE STANDARD a few days ago (albeit via our alter-egos: me = swordfish, he = Populuxe1).
I don’t argue with holocaust deniers and who the hell do you think you are?
You really are a total moron.
You are suggesting that the Functionalist school of historians (ie bona fide academic historians in bona fide history departments in Europe and the US – a group that includes a number of Jewish historians of the Holocaust, incidently) are Holocaust Deniers. You have absolutely NO IDEA what you’re talking about.
As I pointed out at the end of my comment: “There’s no doubt whatsoever that Hitler greatly approved of the Holocaust and that it wouldn’t have happened without his murderous anti-semitism, but we don’t know whether he actually ORDERED it or not.” That is absolutely the functionalist interpretation and has nothing whatsoever to do with Holocaust denial.
Try and get your facts right before going off half-cocked and casually accusing me of heinous crimes. You Pompous, pretentious Dickhead.
Very sorry for the intemperate language, BE. My April 4th 00:38 comment probably breaches your policy re: courtesy. But I really don’t take kindly to being called a Holocaust Denier. An absolutely extraordinary accusation for the bloke to make. And a fairly cowardly one at that. Falsely and casually accusing someone of such a position is a great way to close down their argument.
No matter what one’s opinion of KDC’s purchase, there is NO WAY you are a Holocaust denier, and certainly not on the basis of what you have written here.
Cheers for your support, Kimbo *(below). Appreciate it.
It’s funny, even when one uses a pseudonym, you still feel your good name’s being dragged through the mud with that kind of smearing. Clearly, I was highly pissed off last night after reading Andrew’s comments. He did something similar on The Standard a week or so back, provoking a huge number of angry replies.
More than 500 comments in all and I suspect Andrew (he calls himself “Populuxe” on The Standard) and those replying to him were responsible for almost half of these. Pompous and provocative.
* (No reply option to your comment, so I’ve had to post above).
Exactly which orders are you referring to that Hitler gave?
Do try and avoid the one’s that have been constructed and tampered with after the war. Let’s always deal in facts
I think John Key, Paula Bennett, Tariana Turia and Toby Ryall, among others, should read William Shirer ”Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” and see what they are doing…it ain’t rock n’ roll…this is genocide” David Bowie Diamond Dogs
Doug Hay – Cordinator
If the signature is a forgery would that change its influence?
oopps…left out Herr Hooton himself! somewhere ‘just’ north of whale-slime.
It’s not that he owns ‘Mein Kampf’, my war veteran uncle owns a copy, but that he chose to buy a SIGNED copy of it. The desire to own Hitler’s autograph is a bit questionable, don’t you think?
Dotcom is probably not a Nazi, but he does seem to be a bit tasteless.
Ahahaa ‘a bit tasteless’ That would be the British museum’s refusal to give back the Parthenon marbles
As a German journalist, living and working in New Zealand, this debate looks rather bizarre to me. I fully agree with Brian Edwards, that people who make the owner of a book responsible for its content should be treated with utmost suspicion. Something must have gone awfully wrong in their upbringing or further education to induce such a totalitarian concept. How did they miss that freedom of press and opinion is one of the pillars of democracy? And that book burners are at least as dangerous as the Nazis who committed that crime themselves? My parents “confessed” that they owned a copy of “Mein Kampf”. Have they therefore been Nazis? I still don’t know. They followed a mass phaenomenon called Hitler and his propaganda until they found out what it really was. And when it was over they joined an informed and educated debate about how it could have happened. This debate is still ongoing in Germany and amongst historians all over the world, but still no resolution is in sight. Only one thing is sure: Germany today is a democratic society that doesn’t denunciate people for the ownership of a book. It is sad to see, how the quality of journalism in this country has deterioated and how commentators on this page support it. Is it the old “tall poppy syndrom” again or just plain ignorance?
But surely when Alison Mau announces to us via her radio show not to let our children read Mein Kampf ‘because they might be swayed’ that’s reason enough not to!
Bah this reeks of our zionist media and their hail john key machine. If anyone cared to do any actual research on hitler and his motivations, then one must analyse the zionist movement of the 1930s ( or earlier) and one may be surprised and indeed horrified at the depth of lies about the nazis. Hitler was well aware that zionist bankers had destroyed the weimar republic and saw nationalism as germanys’ only hope of ridding this scourge. new zealand media is pathetic, a farce and more often than not a lie. one must wonder why it is illegal in many countries ( and now canada???) to deny the gassing of said jews. Six million lol this is simply untrue. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.
Well, as far as I’m aware, it isn’t illegal in New Zealand to express such views. Followers of this site will no doubt judge their merits for themselves.
Don’t panic. The brass plaques have been altered to commemorate 1.4 million or some other foggy figure. All the non burnt books are in order.