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Odds and Ends
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27 2, 6:14pm
"It is dubbed."
Ok. So that's the norm for all foreign movies screened in Russia then?
"it's vandalism of museum's property"
Yes it is, and everyone agrees about that. But sometimes vandalism of physical objects can be defended to make a larger point.
And the man who did this happily took the fine to make his point - and many other people supported his action.
Now of course you can disagree about the value of ripping the head of a wax figure and of course nothing we do today will in any way effect Hitler - but that's not the point.
You talk about the necessity of remembering "these people" - which sounds a lot like the argument in the US from apologists of the old Confederacy about how "we can't erase history" when it comes to the question of statues over Confederate leaders.
Well of course we can't erase history and of course we won't forget these people - no serious person ever claimed we could or should do such a thing.
But we can certainly remember history and the people in it without erecting statues over them or turning them into wax figures.
Many, many important persons from history have never had statues erected over them or wax figures made in their likeness, and we still remember those.
So let's first agree that statues and wax figures aren't in any way necessary to remember people from history, shall we?
Now in the question of statues I think most reasonable people can agree we actually only erect those over people we want to HONOR - right?
No one ever erected a statue over someone they thought was a despicable human being - no matter how important that person was in history.
A wax figure is a different matter, as wax works like Madame Tussauds have always had a "chamber of horrors" where they've depicted infamous murderers and scenes of torture and such.
In Madame Tussauds in London, when I was there decades ago, they didn't display their Hitler figure in the hall of other politicians and historical leaders, but rather he stood alone in the stairway, half way down into the basement where the chamber of horrors were located. A clear statement that he wasn't afforded the same status as other leaders, but should be seen as closer to a infamous mass murderer then an honorable leader.
So I'm actually more OK with Hitler being turned into a wax figure.
I can understand where Madame Tussauds comes from - there is actually long historical precedent of doing wax figures even of despised people.
On the other hand I can also understand why doing so is more sensitive in different countries with a different relationship to the person being turned into a wax figure - like Germany in the case of Hitler.
And if Madame Tussauds ever opens a museum in Israel I can't imagine even they'd consider putting a wax figure of Hitler on display there - I think even they would understand that would be completely inappropriate.
Because context matters, obviously.
And I (and many Germans, from the looks of the debate) actually think displaying a wax figure of Hitler, in Berlin, within walking distance from the bunker he died in as well as the huge monument over the people murdered in the Holocaust he orchestrated, is actually tasteless and pointless from a historic standpoint.
We all know what he looked like - there s simply no need to display a wax figure of him. Neither in London nor Berlin, really.
But the context of Berlin, which was his seat of power and where he lead his massmurdering rampage from, in my mind worsens displaying such a figure from simply pointless to downright tasteless.
At least as long as there are still idiots who see him as a hero.
Germany does well by reminding people that Hitler certainly wasn't and that he only brought death and destruction to Germany.
So why ever risk doing anything that can be perceived by anyone as honoring an asshole like that?
He'll be in the history books forever for the crimes he perpetrated and wars he started - I think that's quite enough for us to remember him by.