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prince harry

Prince Harry was forced to issue an apology, after he wore a Nazi costume to a party:

Early editions of Thursday’s issue of “The Sun,” showed Prince Harry, the second son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, clutching a cigarette and a drink and wearing a swastika armband.

The newspaper said the 20-year-old prince had attended a fancy dress party in the uniform of a fascist soldier.

In a statement, the prince said he was “very sorry if I caused any offense or embarrassment to anyone.” He added, “It was a poor choice of costume and I apologize.”

That’s all very well and good but what on earth would possess him to think this is a good idea in the first place?

Maybe he should have tried wearing his costume in France instead, where – according to Jean Marie Le Pen, the Nazi occupation of France was “not particularly inhumane”. (Hat tip: Damian.) I bet the French would have laughed.

It’s starting to become clearer that the rise in anti-Americanism in Europe is not entirely unrelated to the increased whitewashing of the Holocaust. When the US replies to anti-American sentiment with a “well, you weren’t complaining when we saved your collective asses from the Nazis”, the Europeans can just respond with a “hell, those Nazis weren’t so bad”.

History has a way of lessening the emotional impact of the very terrible or very tragic. And right now is a historical turning point. The survivor generation that bears witness is dying. “Nazi” is being used as an epitheth to describe just about anyone, from the “Zionists are Nazis” crowd to the “soup Nazi” on Seinfeld. The Holocaust is starting to be viewed not as anything particularly horrible or unique, but just as yet another chapter in the endless saga of the human race’s capacity for cruelty and evil and destruction. Maybe it’s even inevitable. When, only sixty-five years after Churchill’s “blood, sweat and tears” speech, a British prince is sporting a swastika, that has to mean something.

And of course, it’s easier to rationalize hating Jews if you believe that the Holocaust was just a minor blip, and that the concentration camps were just summer camps with bad food.