The Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, or the Nazi Party for short, remains infamous 80 years later because of the atrocities they committed across Europe and throughout the world in World War 2.
And yet, in 2019, we have seen a resurgence of Nazi symbolism such as Wisconsin school students doing the Nazi salute, Nazi graffiti on the Oklahoma Democratic Party Headquarters, and students prom-posing with Nazi symbolism.
What the heck is going on?!
Now an important question arises from a recent production by German hardcore rock band, Rammstein, known for such vocal-shredding pieces like "Du Hast."
If you're unfamiliar with the band, here's one of their videos.
Rammstein - Du Hast (Official Video) www.youtube.com
Yeah, don't listen to this too loud.
Recently, Rammstein produced a nine minute long music video for the song "Deutschland" that includes footage of the band in concentration camp uniforms with nooses around their necks.
Deutschland is the name for Germany in German.
This “ Rammstein “ clip , using the Holocaust for advertisement purposes, is shameful and uncalled for . We join th… https://t.co/lE8fagdtQM— Emmanuel Nahshon (@Emmanuel Nahshon)1553779697.0
After news of the video broke, Emmanuel Nahson, Israel's Foreign Ministry Spokesman, called the footage "shameful" and "uncalled for."
Rammstein appear to be trivialising the holocaust in latest promo for their new single 'Deutschland'. The german ba… https://t.co/hSkF82ollB— STK ARTICLES (@STK ARTICLES)1553813343.0
And here is a rough english translation of Deutschland by Rammstein (?) = Unsure/not perfectly understood passage… https://t.co/IPk90qTa2B— Owlem (@Owlem)1553794925.0
Childish Gambino: This is America, the most politically controversial video. Rammstein: Deutschland: HOLD MY BEER.… https://t.co/9wJDfibbNy— オ (@オ)1553812192.0
But "Deutschland," the song, appears to be a thorough criticism of Germany and its history.
This prompted some people to believe that the imagery was not used to trivialize the Holocaust, but rather to fully represent and educate about the dark history of Germany.
Rammstein have just released a jaw-dropping video for new single Deutschland – but what exactly is it all about? We… https://t.co/9YBMZKc24x— Metal Hammer (@Metal Hammer)1553871867.0
Me during and after watching Deutschland. #Rammstein https://t.co/0pPmQEewic— Baker (@Baker)1553827902.0
Heya, #Rammstein fans!! Their last video clip "Deutschland" is an absolute astonishing piece of art! And there's lo… https://t.co/0avetd0WZv— David Cardero Ozarín (@David Cardero Ozarín)1553863572.0
People replied directly to Nahshon that they didn't fully buy his reading of the video.
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo This opinion is very shortsighted. The video and the song both are masterpieces.— Victor Moroz (@Victor Moroz)1553880469.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo the video depicts german history.. sadly that's a part of the history of germany..— Slifty💕 (@Slifty💕)1553868224.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo They're not using Holocaust for advertisement. It's a warning and a… https://t.co/Jmu4vpozcr— Spectral Tiger (@Spectral Tiger)1553805356.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo I suggest that you watch Rammstein's new video,as that scene forms… https://t.co/YDZ2OsgwyX— 🇸🇲🇮🇸🇳🇴 Lidia 🇸🇲🇮🇸🇳🇴 (@🇸🇲🇮🇸🇳🇴 Lidia 🇸🇲🇮🇸🇳🇴)1553802651.0
Nahshon is holding tight to his view however.
@kruspetiddies @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo Watched it of course ( and yes, I speak German). Still think it’s a m… https://t.co/kkBPhqFJpw— Emmanuel Nahshon (@Emmanuel Nahshon)1553866204.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo You should have giving yourself the time until the whole clip was r… https://t.co/S6hJ63lx7m— bernd salomon (@bernd salomon)1553818712.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo As much as that period of German history is vile, we can't ignore t… https://t.co/eDpCLjRF5Z— Aoife (@Aoife)1553887932.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo I'm wondering why you went straight to "publicity purposes" rather… https://t.co/fw8V5B906n— Robbie Wallis (@Robbie Wallis)1553884382.0
In 2017, a New Jersey high school's production of Ragtime, a musical that explores the themes of racism in early 20th century America, was hit with an injunction by the NAACP for its usage of the n-word in the script.
While not a direct parallel to Rammstein's depiction of atrocities of the Holocaust, the school won its case, citing that censorship of the word in context of the show does a disservice to the people who suffer at the mercy of that word to this day.
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo The video is not meant to mock or extenuate Holocaust. Quite the op… https://t.co/QQLNbtOlb6— Anet Mertová (@Anet Mertová)1553888148.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo It's odd, how when I ask young Germans today about Germany's atroci… https://t.co/c9COJ2z8rm— KarlPuttekula (@KarlPuttekula)1553867724.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo I mean the song and actual video is about acknowledging the terribl… https://t.co/kXbj4YTlxz— LedZep1 (@LedZep1)1553804800.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo The video is about German history and the terrible things that happ… https://t.co/rORDdkv7Yj— MichelleMyBelle (@MichelleMyBelle)1553871920.0
Also, people are pointing out the irony of censorship: something fascists like the Nazi Party embraced.
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo Yes, silencing people worked so well in the past. The fact that th… https://t.co/AKrV2Mp1c0— Drew Scott (@Drew Scott)1553877804.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo I'm Jewish / German and I think this song and clip is amazing. how… https://t.co/AkoJ9Qq5kT— Elize (@Elize)1553871913.0
@EmmanuelNahshon @IsraelinGermany @GermanyDiplo Desacralization is not desecration. The video is transgressive beca… https://t.co/OcZxda8LVR— The Orthogon (@The Orthogon)1553895478.0
Again, there is no clear answer. The Holocaust is clearly not a topic to be taken lightly.
But is removing the Holocaust from the collective consciousness a solution? Or, will it lead to Holocaust deniers and the resurgence of Nazi symbolism?
The atrocities of World War II could easily die with a generation. It is important that rather than forget, as we wish we could, we remember--so that we can rise up to stop it should we see history repeating itself.