Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama honors monument to German militarism.

(was: Obama honors Hitler Monument to Nazi victories. As a commenter noted, the comparison drawn by the article was not accurate, and I should not have used it as a headline. Hitler admired the monument enough to have it moved and to make a big speech there. Hitler saw it as a symbol of what Germany could be, and used it as a symbol to his country as he prepared to conquer Europe. My new headline "monument to German Militarism", I stole from George Will)


In a never-ending string of mis-steps showing that Barack Obama isn't ready to be President, he has chosen to give a major campaign speech at a monument set up by Hitler to symbolize German dominance over Europe, a monument that celebrated Prussian victories over other European countries.

From "Is Obama Speech Site Contaminated by Nazi Past?":
Still, even as the issue of his speech's location has now been settled, a number of politicians in Berlin are still dissatisfied with the site. The Siegessäule -- or Victory Column -- was erected in memory of Prussia's victories over Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870/71). The column originally stood in front of the Reichstag, Germany's parliament building, but was moved by Adolf Hitler to its current location in 1939 to make way for his planned transformation of Berlin into the Nazi capital "Germania."
"The Siegessäule in Berlin was moved to where it is now by Adolf Hitler. He saw it as a symbol of German superiority and of the victorious wars against Denmark, Austria and France," the deputy leader of the Free Democrats, Rainer Brüderle, told Bild am Sonntag.

Obama previously was going to campaign at the Bradenburg gate, forcing the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to "dissuade" him (another of Obama's many acts which put our allies in a bad situation). Apparently he didn't think it important to actually LEARN the history of the countries he is visiting.


Isophorone said...

Don't expect the MSM to mention Bitburg, right?

Charles said...

I had forgotten that.

Remember that guy Mark Russell, who did singing commentary on PBS?

I remember him singing a song where at one point he sings:

"Bitburg, he went to Bitburg".

Anonymous said...

Hussein O nor any of his 2,000+ advisors know American history from the birth of the nation until yesterday. They just make up what they want to have happened as they go along, never mind reality. Why would you expect them to know anything about the Nazi's?

Anonymous said...

There's probably a lot to say about how little Obama has to say about the substance of the difficult issues of the day. It's quite a stretch, however, to link him to Hitler because of the proximity of the Siegessaule to Obama's Berlin speech. This thing is a "Hitler Monument to Nazi Victories" because Hitler moved it to make way for Albert Speer's grandiosities? We'd have to be very silly, uninformed people to think that, wouldn't we? The monument significantly pre-dates the Hitler era. No matter how hard I extend myself, I can't make Bismark or von Moltke into Nazis. I suppose Obama's people might have asked whether there would be some raw, latent 19th century feelings in Denmark, Austria or France. But it has nothing to do with Hitler. Can I assume that your title for the post was satire against the know-nothing element of the American political spectrum and was largely there for laughs? I would be most reassured (and join you in a chuckle) if that were the case.

NoVA Scout

Charles said...


I was mimicking the headline of the article, although I can't say I did so for laughs. :-)

The article itself I thought did a good job of explaining that the monument was from a previous era, and that the "Hitler" tie-in was limited to Hitler appreciating it as a symbol of how Germany was destined to defeat Europe.

So technically, it wasn't Hitler's "monument to nazi victory", it was really the Prussian monument to past victories that Hitler saw as a symbol of his plan for Europe.

Of course, Obama didn't "honor" it either, directly, only by his presense.

This is why I'd rather relegate this type of post to other, more campaign-centric blogs.

The real issue here is that a President needs to understand history enough to NOT pay special honor to one country's monument to the conquering of other allies. It just makes things harder with those other allies.

Anonymous said...

I realize you didn't compose the entry, Charles, but you re-published it uncritically.

If the monument is not a "Hitler Monument to Nazi Victories" and Obama didn't "honor" it, I'd say there are some significant holes in the item. To preserve what's accurate in that the tag would have to read "Obama to", which doesn't really grab the reader.

You're an intelligent guy and know better. The way to stop this dreck from getting around is for intelligent people either to refrain from re-publishing it, or to do so only to laugh at it, an intention you disclaim.

I'm a longtime (pre-2000) McCain for President enthusiast. But it demeans McCain for people to attack his opponent with this kind of nonsense.


Charles said...

Ok, Nova, you shamed me into changing the headline. I hope you like the new one. I stole if from George Will's column:

Suffering from too much of Obama's Eloquence

Anonymous said...

Much better, Charles. Thanks. I still have some reservations about the verb "honors." As an amateur student of European history and someone who spends about 30% of my time year in and year out there, any public place in most capitals has some 19th century monumument to something or other that involved an ass-whupping against a neighbor. I do think it stretches things a bit to imply that use of those public spaces "honors" anything in particular. But politics being fraught with imperfections, I'll go with a major step in the right direction and the warm glow that you and I can have a constructive dialogue from time to time.

Vote McCain!

-- NoVA Scout