Dancing with Nazis

July 20, 2007

Schwarzenegger’s Nazi Fetish

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CONTENTS
Introduction
Schwarzenegger wearing his Nazi Belt on Cover of Time Magazine
Schwarzenegger wears Nazi Buckle again in Esquire Magazine
Schwarzenegger Flaunts a Totenkopf Ring in Austria
Other Features of the Death’s Head Buckle
What the Totenkopf Represents
Schwarzenegger’s Father, a Brown Shirt and Fanatical Nazi
Brown Shirts pose in a Burned Synagogue during Kristallnacht Pogrom
Synagogue burning in Schwarzenegger’s Home Town of Graz on Kristallnacht
Brown Shirts rounding up Jews to be shipped off to Concentration Camps
Wehrmacht Einsetzgruppen liquidated Women and Children
Wehrmacht Soldiers Lynching Partisans
Photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Father, Gustav?
Schwarzenegger giving the Hitler Salute in Sports Illustrated
Why Would Schwarzenegger Wear Such a Symbol?
Schwarzenegger Friend, Helnwein, protrays Adolf Hitler as the Messiah
Helnwein alludes to Sacrifice of Christian Children by Jews
Helnwein Images of Mutlilated Children
Mass Marketing of Nazi Fashions
Fair Use Notice
Selected Comments

Schwarzenegger’s Nazi Signal on Time Magazine Cover

The clip below is a pretty good summary of this site. If you don’t have much time and just want to get the overview, just watch this 5-minute video. If you have time and want more detail, then read on.

Schwarzenegger Slide Show

In this clip two young guys, who seem to be working with the well-known conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, confront Schwarzenegger about his Nazi Belt Buckle and other connections to Nazism, such as his friendship with Waldheim, a known war criminal. If Schwarzenegger happened to miss all of the controversy in the Internet about his Death’s Head Buckle in June of 2007 — which seems highly doubtful — Schwarzenegger can’t deny now that people perceive his belt buckle as a allusion to Nazism, because they are literally yelling at him about it in public. Sadly, it just shows that he doesn’t have any respect for his constituency.

“We Are Change” Confronts Schwarzenegger

Next a skit by Mitchell and Webb on the appropriateness of a skull design as a logo.

Are We the “Badies”?


Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on the Time Magazine Cover (June 25, 2007 issue) with Michael Bloomberg, the Jewish mayor of New York, wearing a Nazi chic belt buckle with a symbol that resembles a certain Nazi SS insignia, the SS Totenkopf.

Eichmann and Schwarzenegger set Nazi Chic Fashion Trend.Adolf Eichmann and Arnold Schwarzenegger Display their Totenkopf Fashion Statements

There is a controversial fashion trend called “Nazi chic”, which is to dress either with real Nazi symbols or with symbols that are in the Nazi style but are not exactly Nazi symbols. This trend seems to be mainly driven by Metal, Goth and Industrial rock bands, who are trying to project a dark and/or satanic image. It is also a common marketing strategy in the entertainment industry to provoke a scandal in order to get publicity. That may be what Schwarzenegger attempts to do with this image, although the scandal never fully developed, because people are not very aware what his buckle can symbolize. Is it appropriate for the Governor to be using what can be interpreted as Nazi symbolism in the media, whether it is entirely overt or not? There are a lot of articles, such as images of Che Guevara, Hammer & Sickle communist symbols, KKK symbols or Confederate Flags, that individuals may sometimes wear in public as provocative, controversial political fashions or statements of identity that a Governor probably should not be seen wearing in the international media. More detailed information is provided below to illustrate the history of this symbol and why Schwarzenegger apparently identifies with it. It seems clear that he knows what allusions can be drawn from it. He apparently just does not care if it offends anyone, or not.

Schwarzenegger’s belt buckle in the image above has a Totenkopf on it. Although it may not be commonly recognized in the US as a Nazi symbol, various forms of the Totenkopf were commonly used by the Nazis as a logo for the SS and several of their other military organizations. “Totenkopf” in German literally just means “Death’s-head” or “skull”. In this page “Totenkopf” is used to mean any skull that can be perceived as alluding to the skulls used by Nazi organizations or the German military. The “SS Totenkopf” or “Waffen SS 3rd Division Totenkopf” are specific standard skull insignia used by specific organizations. Many people use the shortend term “Totenkopf” to mean these exact, specific symbols. However, that is not the way the term is used here.

Schwarzenegger loves the Nazi look of his belt buckle and how it provokes people when he dresses like a Nazi in the International media. He knew it produced a minor scandal when he wore it on the cover of Time Magazine. As if to make sure that we know that he knows that it symbolizes Nazism, he wore it again nine months later in the March 2008 issue of Esquire Magazine.

Schwarzenegger Wearing Nazi-Buckle in Esquire Mag.
Schwarzenegger wearing his Nazi Belt Buckle in the March 2008 Issue of Esquire Magaizine

Today, Totenkopfs similar to what Schwarzenegger is wearing are often used by neo-Nazi groups, the Ku Klux Klan and other racist, right-wing extremists as a signal of their political sympathies. This site provides more detailed background information on the Totenkopf, its history, what the Totenkopf represents. More than one feature of the buckle, as is explained below, connects it to German nationalism.

The first reaction is often that maybe it is an altered photo? However, you can see the same image on Time’s Website – Click here to see the cover on the Time Website. Below is a closer view.

Schwarzenegger’s
Totenkopf Belt Buckle
Schwarzenegger’s Nazi-SS Belt Buckle

A debate broke out in the Internet about whether the symbol is the famous, classic Totenkopf insignia of the Nazi SS. This argument is a red herring, however, because — as will be shown below — extremists often use even generic skulls to signal extremist political sympathy. It resembles and suggests the classic Nazi SS Totenkopf symbol; although the bones are crossed instead of being stacked as in the classic SS-Logo and the skull is not cocked to one side slightly. From a distance or at lower resolutions, it is easy to mistake this image for a classic SS Totenkopf symbol. It certainly suggests that standardized insignia, but it is not the classic Totenkopf symbol. Below is a representation of a classic SS Totenkopf insignia taken from the ADL’s “Hate on Display” website.

Classic SS-Totenkopf
Classic SS Totenkopf Symbol

The following is said to be more clear image of the buckle from the artist who made it, Lee Downey. The Totenkopf symbol is ambiguous, but there are other features on this belt buckle, explained below, that also imply a interpretation of allusions to extremism is appropriate, if you read further.

Schwarzenegger’s
Death’s-head Buckle

Schwarzenegger’s Totenkopf Buckle

The original Nazis, today’s Neo-Nazis and other hate groups used and still use several versions of the skull in their insignia. Even the SS used other skull symbols, not just the classic Nazi Waffen SS Totenkopf symbol. So, displaying skulls of various types in the right context alludes to Nazism or right-wing extremism. Here are some other examples of a variety of skull insignia used by other Nazi organizations or the Nazi-led German Wehrmacht of WWII.

Examples of Other Nazi/Wehrmacht Totenkopfs
Storm Trooper, Kriegsmarine U-Boot and Wehrwolf Pins

The Storm trooper pin doesn’t have bones at all. The middle pin represents the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) U-Boat service. The third pin was used by the Wehrwolf, a Nazi resistance group, organized by the SS, that terrorized and murdered civilians at the end of the war that wanted to surrender. The Nazis never used only a single type of skull in their insignia.

Totenkopf on SS Standard at a rally in Munich in 1937
Totenkopf on a SS Standard at swearing in of new members in Munich in 1937.

Adolf Hitler SS Bodyguard Displaying Totenkopf Symbol
Hitler SS Bodyguard Displaying Totenkopf

The classic SS Totenkopf insignia is, by far, the most well-know of the Nazi Totenkopfs. However, just about any type of skull could be used then to signal a Nazi political sympathy and just about any kind of skull can be used today to signify Nazi sympathy. It all depends on how the person uses the skull and what the context is. The context here is that of a man whose father belonged to fanatical Nazi organizations and of whose own feelings about Nazism have been questioned. Clearly this is not someone that should be wearing symbols — as governor representing the state of California — that can be construed to indicate a sympathy for Nazism.

Also, this is not the only time that Schwarzenegger has worn this symbol in public. A weekly news magazine (Falter) in Austria reports that he also wore a Totenkopf ring on a trip to his home town in Austria, Graz. Falter implies in the article that it seems likely to be a intended as a provocation, due to a dispute he had with his home town over the death penalty. They ran a Totenkopf ring on their cover, with the title “Don’t be evil, Arnie” as a play on his appearing on the Time Magazine Cover wearing a Totenkopf Belt Buckle. Read more details here:

Sei nicht Böse, Arnie!
(Don’t be Evil, Arnie!)

Cover of Falter Magazine with Article about Schwarzenegger wearing a Totenkopf Symbol.

Don’t be Evil, Arnie! (English Translation)

Don’t be Evil, Arnie! (Original in German)

That he tried to provoke the leaders of his home town of Graz recently with another Totenkopf symbol supports the opinion that he knows full well what the Totenkopf stands for and is using it in that way intentionally.

Use of the Totenkopf by Today’s Neo-Nazis and Other Extremists

The hate symbols below, also from the ADL site, incorporate skulls into their design that are not exact replicas of any standard Nazi insignia. As a symbol for right-wing extremists, though, they are inspired by the Nazi use of the Totenkopf. The logos, from left to right, belong to the Racist Skinheads, White Aryan Resistance and the Ku Klux Klan.

Logos of Hate Groups with Death’s-Heads in Design
Current Hate Symbols based on Skulls

Below is a CD cover of the Canadian White Supremist Group RAHOWA (Racial Holy War) that openly sung about killing blacks and Jews. A Totenkopf is prominently displayed on the cover as a signal of the group’s racist politics.

CD – RAHOWA (Racial Holy War)
CD Cover of RAHOWA

If you think the KKK and Nazis are not still an active threat in America, think of the recent Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, including 19 children and wounded 500 others. Also, think of James Byrd, who was dragged to death behind a pickup truck in recent years in Jasper, Texas. These people should not be encouraged by the Governor of California.

Not the First Time some White Folk
have been Fascinated with Death
A Lynching in America

The image below is from a Neo-Nazi meeting in Germany taken from the German Documentary about neo-Nazism “Wahrheit macht Frei” (Truth makes you free). The image on the T-shirt is also not the classic Death’s Head symbol, but it does allude nonetheless to the persons extremist poltical sympathies.

Totenkopf at Neo-Nazi Meeting in Germany
Neonazi displays a Totenkopf at a Nazi meeting in Germany

The next image is from a documentary entitled “Skinheads USA – Soldiers of Race War” about the Aryan National Front and other Neo-Nazi groups in the USA. The skull and crossbones on the pickup are not a standard insignia, but it does signify the political extremism of the group.

Neo-Nazis with Totenkopf in Background
Alabama Neo-Nazis display a Totenkopf at a Nazi meeting

Clearly, a skull does not have to be in the form of the classic SS Totenkopf or any standard Nazis insignia to convey a message of Nazi political sympathy. Almost any human skull can communicate Nazi sympathies in the right context.

Why is Schwarzenegger wearing a skull? Was he going to a Halloween- or Pirate-Party afterward? That seems doubtful. It just seems that he is trying to provoke the public, Hollywood style, with a symbol that can be associated with Nazism political extremism and racism.

Other Features of the Death’s-Head Buckle

Lee Downey, the maker of this Nazi-buckle claims on his web page that the buckle is a French design because there are two “Fleur de Lis” on the buckle and the ends of the crossed bones are idealized into something that resemble “Fleur de Lis”, but this symbol in this context hardly connotes here something French as the maker claims. Rather, this same symbol is also an ancient symbol of the German Reich.Besides the Death’s-head, the belt buckle has heraldic symbols on it that are similar to symbols used on the crown of the Kaisers of the first German Reich. The Fleur de Lys is a lily emblem (“schwertlillie” in German). It is today most commonly recognized as the symbol of the French Emperor. However, it is actually an ancient symbol that was used by the so-called Holy Roman Empire, which is considered to be the 1st German Reich. France, like many other countries with Germanic roots that originally belonged to the Holy Roman Empire use it in their national heraldry. The painting below by Albrecht Dürer of Nuremberg in the 16th century, Germany shows Karl der Grosse (Karl the great, aka Charlemagne) who is thought of as the first German Kaiser, aka Charlemange in French (Latin – Karolus Magnus). Since this site deals with Charlemagne in a German historical context, he is called “Karl der Grosse” here. as the German’s refer to him. Karl started what became under his grandson the first Reich (Holy Roman Empire), to which Hitler and the Nazis claimed to be the heirs. The first German Reich actually lasted for nearly a thousand years, as Hitler hoped his Reich would reign. In the image you can see the Fleur de Lis in the upper right corner and in on the left the eagle, also a symbol of the German Reich. The Fleur de Lys, when use in imperial heraldry, is said to represent purity and the imperial right to rule.

Karl, The First “German” Kaiser. Note the Three Lilly Emblems

In Karl’s era, France was not yet differentiated from Germany. The Germans, Austrians and the French all claim Karl der Große as the founder of their respective nations. The Austrian Monarchs have used the Fleur de Lys quite a lot historically and there are Fleur de Lis symbols on the imperial Crown used be the Monarch of Austria on display in the Hofburg in Vienna. So, the Fleur de Lys can also be considered a German and Austrian national symbol. Therefore, the Totenkopf on the buckle can be interpreted as an alluding to the 3rd Reich and the Fleur de Lys was already a symbol of the 1st German Reich and was sometimes used by the 2nd and 3rd Reichs also. It combines symbols of the First German Reich with the symbol of death and mass murder that was used by the 3rd Reich.

The image below is of the crown of the last (Austrian) Kaisers of the German 1st Reich on display in the treasure room of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, the former residence of the Austrian Monarchs. It is called the Lillienkrone (Lilly Crown) because of the Fleur de Lys design. The crown and imperial death’s head buckle have a couple of similar features. You can see the pearls outline Fleur de Lis on the crown (circled in red).

Fleur-de-Lys Crown of the First German Reich
Lillienkrone (Lilly Crown of the Austrian Kaisers compared to Schwarzenegger’s Belt Buckle

Also, note the pearls on the bottom centered in rosettes with 16 white, enamel petals (circled in yellow). This corresponds to the rosettes in the corners of Schwarzenegger’s buckle (also circled in yellow). The rosettes even have exactly 16 petals both on the crown and on the Schwarzenegger Kalifornia-Reich buckle. The rosette can represent the sun, because the shape of the extended suggests the sun.

Below is the flag of the Order of New Templars (Ordo Novi Templi) founded in 1907 by Goerg Lanz von Liebenfels in Austria. The New Templars was a philosophical predecessor of the Nazi Party and this flag is said to be the first Aryan flag. It also has four Fleur de Lys.

Flag of the Order of New Templars
Flag of the Order of the New Templars, one of the philosophical predecessors of the Nazi party

The death’s head was used by Germans before the Nazis. The Prussian Hussars and the Austrian Military both used Death’s Head insignia. Below are some examples of death’s head insignia used by the Austrian military before WWII. Notice the Austrian Crown in the insignia, skulls with and without cross bones and the eagle.

Some pre-WWII Death’s Head Badges used by the Austrian Reich
Austrian Death's Head Badges

It appears that Schwarzenegger’s imperial buckle design may be using some of the same elements as these Austrian military emblems, that is, elements from the Austrian Crown (Fleur de Lys and 16-leaf rosette), idealized eagle wings and the Totenkopf symbols. If the belt buckle was inspired by this type of emblem, or not, does not change how the SS changed the meaning of the Totenkopf, how it is perceived today or the fact that is used as an insignia of Neo-Nazis and other extremist groups. An elected public official should not be using a symbol that can legitimately be interpreted as a racist symbol in public and certainly not in the national media, for obvious reasons.

What the Totenkopf Symbol Represents

Many Americans do not know the significance of the Totenkopf symbol, to which Schwarzenegger’s buckle alludes. There would probably be a massive outcry if Arnold Schwarzenegger wore the more well-known, Nazi Swastika or Confederate Flag on his belt buckle, or anything that resembled it. There would be riots in the streets, if he decided to appear on the cover of time in a white hood and sheets. However, the meaning of the Totenkopf, although less well-recognized and understood, is really worse than that of the Swastika or any of these symbols.

The Swastika is a general symbol for Nazism. However, he Totenkopf alludes to the logo of some of the most ruthless and fanatical Nazis, the SS. Some people joined the Nazi Party for social and career reasons. A particular version of the Totenkopf insignia (that of the 3rd Waffen SS Division Totenkopf) is the one that many people recognize as a Nazi symbol. However, a generic skull can be used as a symbol of Nazism, in the right context. The context here is that of a man whose father was a fanatical Nazi and whose own feelings about Nazism have been called into question. The Totenkopf symbolizes death to the enemies of the Nazis, and since the SS ran the extermination camps and einsatzgruppen, it especially is a symbol of the mass murder comitted by the Nazis and of the Holocaust.

Schwarzenegger’s Father, a Brown Shirt and Nazi

A son is, of course, not guilty of the sins of the father. But most fathers do pass some values and attitudes to their sons and it is worthwhile to consider what kind of attitudes Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father had that the son may have learned from him. USA Today reported here that his father applied to join the Nazi party on March 1, 1938, about two weeks before Austria was annexed and while it was still illegal in Austria. There is some confusion about when his application was accepted. It may not have been accepted until 1941, about the time he joined the Wehrmacht.However nearly a year after he applied to join the Nazi party, he joined the Brown Shirts (or SA), also called Nazi Storm Troopers. That means he was not just a member of the Nazi party, who may have joined for social reasons. No one joined the Brown Shirts, just because they wanted a better career or to help feed their family. They were the street fighters that fought opponents of the Nazi Dictatorship in the streets and rounded up “Undesirables” to be shipped off to concentration camps. It means that he was a fanatical supporter of the Nazi cause, who wanted to actively support the takeover at that time of Austria by the Nazi Reich and the elimination of Jews and others considered to be “undesirables by the Nazis.

Brown Shirts enforce early Boykott against Jewish Businesses, 1933
Brown Shirts enforce an early Boykott against Jewish Businesses in 1933.

Brown Shirts Pose in a Synagogue that They Burned, 1938
Nazi Brown Shirt Storm Troopers Pose in a burned-out Synagogue.

Brown Shirts send Thousands of Jews to Concentration Camps, 1938
Brown Shirts take Jews into protective custody

The Brown shirts were a paramilitary group of street thugs that enforced the Nazi political will on dissidents by acts of violence, such as beatings, murders, street-fighting with leftist paramilitary groups, instigating pogroms against minorities or by a trip to a concentration camp for slave labor in weapons factories, often times until the person is worked to death, starved or is exterminated. The Brown Shirts also led the massive national pogroms against Jews in Germany and Austria, called “Kristallnacht”, in which Jewish businesses were sacked and looted and thousands of Jews were rounded up and shipped to concentration camps. “Kristallnacht” means “night of crystal” and is called that because of the shattered glass in the streets from the windows of uncounted Jewish businesses that were broken out all over Germany and Austria.

Synagogue in Schwarzenegger’s Hometown, Graz, 1938
Crowd watching synagogue in Graz burn during Kristallnacht

Graz is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s home town. Gustav Schwarzenegger volunteered for the Brown Shirts (SA) which instigated Kristallnacht on May 1, 1938 about 6 months after it occurred. During Kristallnacht on November 9-10, 1938 the Synagogue in Graz was burned down. So, Schwarzenegger apparently did not have a problem with rounding up Jews and other such “enemies” of the Nazi Reich and having them shipped in cattle cars to concentration camps, because it was no secret that that was what the SA had done. In fact, over the next two years the 2,000 Jews that lived in Graz either fled or were rounded up and sent to extermination camps. Since Gustav volunteered to be a Brown Shirt at that time, one can assume that he probably took part in this round-up of Jews in his home town and even volunteered, because he was eager to help get rid of the local Jews.

When the war began Gustav Schwarzenegger is reported to have joined the Wehrmacht (military police or “Feldgendarmerie”, Battalion 521). The Wehrmacht routinely cooperated with the SS-Einsatzgruppen (Death Squads) to round up Jews and other civilians for extermination and assisted in the mass murder of “undesirable” populations on the Eastern Front where Gustav Schwarzenegger was deployed. The military police would have been instrumental in these operations. Gustav Schwarzenegger is reported to have been stationed in Poland, the Ukraine and East Russia an area which is the “ground zero” of the Holocaust. SS-Einsatzgruppen and assisting Wehrmacht and native groups exterminated an estimated 1.5 million people in this area and the Wehrmacht is reported to have cooperated routinely in these operations. The Wehrmacht is also reported to have performed many such atrocities on it’s own and deprived civilians populations and prisoners of war of food and supplies, so that many died of starved or died without needed supplies. Due to their expertise as police, the Feldgendarmerie would be often used to assist the operations and with the Einsatzgruppen with carrying out their atrocities. The Feldgendarmerie also fought partisans and carried out brutal atrocities on their own account. The Soviets so hated them for there treatment of prisoners of war and partisans that they offered a bounty for members of the Feldgendarmerie. Go to the link below to download a PDF file which gives and overview about how complicit the Wehrmacht was, in war crimes and how the Wehrmacht cooperated with the SS-Einsatzgruppen.

Info on Wehrmacht Warcrimes
Without the cooperation of the Wehrmacht, the Einsatzgruppen and the units of Higher SS and Police Leaders would have been unable to realize the mass murder of the Jewish population of the Soviet Union. The Wehrmacht established military administration headquarters in the field and in towns and villages; these headquarters were the seat of executive power in the area as long as a particular territory was under military administration. All such Wehrmacht headquarters were charged with registering the Jewish population of the region, forcing Jewish inhabitants to wear a readily visible mark on their clothing, and concentrating Jews in the ghettos. Besides implementing these anti-Jewish measures, Wehrmacht units were also involved in executions. Numerous commanding officers expressly legitimized the mass murder of the Jews in their daily orders.

Wehrmacht Soldiers Lynching Jews on Eastern Front
Wehrmacht Lynching of Jews

Since police experience was needed in controlling civilian populations. The military police, i.e. the Feldgendarmerie tend to be heavily involved in carrying out these above operation for the Wehrmacht. No record of war crimes has been found for Gustav Schwarzenegger. But such atrocities were an everyday occurrence in occupied Eastern Europe and the great majority of people that committed atrocities were never prosecuted. Only 10% of the 8,000 camp guards at Auschwitz were prosecuted, for example, a place where an estimated 2.5 million people were exterminated. It was mainly the leaders of the Einsatzgruppen that were punished. The men that carried out the massacre of about 1.5 million people were sent home without a record of war crimes. A camp guard at Auschwitz could probably also be said to have no record of atrocities. What is known, though, is that Gustav Schwarzenegger was a fanatical Nazi and he was a member of a group that rounded up people for the SS-Einsatzgruppen for extermination, just as the Brown Shirts did, in a place where more than million people were rounded up and mass murdered. If he personally assisted in these atrocities, there would likely be no record, since mainly higher ranking leaders were prosecuted and he did not have high enough rank to be worth prosecuting. It seems very likely that he did participate at some level, because the atrocities were so widespread and massive, the nature of his job as a military policeman and the fact that these atrocities were carried out with the routine support of all the forces available, as required.

The Einsatzgruppen were ordered by Hitler via Reichführer Himmler with exterminating Jews, Gypsies, the leaderships of occupied nations and others that were just “undesirable” such as the handicapped and insane. This was the normal method of mass killing before the extermination camps were implemented. They did this by shooting men, women and children into killing pits. The victims would be told to bring up to 40-50 pounds of belongings for “relocation” to another area. They would, of course, bring what valuables they had. They were transported to the killing area, forced to strip and hand over any valuables before being murdered. The Einsatzgruppen also used killing vans as mobile gas chambers, loaded civilians into the vans and gassed them with carbon monoxide exhaust fumes. These operations were massive, designed to exterminate entire civilian populations. Given that the numbers of SS troops, military police and other allied militia groups from the occupied land were relatively few, it seems likely that any given policeman stationed in the area participated in some way in these horrific mass murders. The murders were carried out by official order and were the norm, not the exception. It was not exactly a secret among the German military or the German public that this was what was being done. The massacres were talked about in code words sometimes in the official orders, but it was widely known what was happing to Jews and other undesirables in the area. The ultimate goal was to kill 20-30 million people in the east, transport millions more “undesirables” further east, colonize the land with Germans, absorb whatever groups that could pass for Germanic and use the survivors as slaves to build the new German Reich. Again Gustav Schwarzenegger was a fanatic believer in the Nazi cause and was deployed in this area in a organization that routinely assisted in these mass murders.

Women and Children were Liquidated in Killing Pits
Massacre of civilians in western Ukraine

In the photo above it appears a method of killing called “sardine packing” (Sardinienpackung) is being used. The victims are made to lie down with the face turned down. It is easier to shoot defenseless women and children from the back, when they are not looking at you. Then another group is brought in and made to lie face-down on top of the previous layer of corpses to be shot. This achieves a better packing efficiency of the corpses. The layers are covered with lime to make the bodies disintegrate more quickly and the pit covered with a layer of earth when the job is done. If you look closely you see several women holding children and the shooter in the bottom is apparently about to shoot a small child that is sitting on the ground.

People sometimes like to think that mass murders such is this happen as an exception, when soldiers lose control under pressure in combat. In east Europe at this time, it was different. These exterminations were routine and openly sanctioned by the Nazi-Reich. Hitler bragged before the German Parliament (Reichstag) that if a war started, he would eliminate Jewry in Europe. The mass murders were planned and usually carried out calmly, with military discipline and in cold blood. This was not a secret and the people that carried this out did so largely without extreme coercion, because they were generally well-indoctrinated fanatics, selected for the purpose, and convinced by years of Nazi propaganda that Jews and others were deadly enemies of the German Reich, even defenseless women and children. There is apparently no record of anyone being shot for refusing to murder a Jew or undesirable enemy of the Reich. There was an ample supply of people willing to do this work.

The information above has be excerpted mainly from the book The Masters of Death by Richard Rhodes, which tells the story of the Einsatzgruppen in east Europe.

As said already, a son obviously should not be held responsible for what his father did or may have may have done. However, when Schwarzenegger so blatantly uses Nazi symbolism in the national media one has to ask himself, if being raised by a fanatical Nazi, who volunteered for organizations that carried out pogroms and assisted in the officially-sanctioned, mass murders of millions of civilians, including women and children, did not have an effect on that son.

Below is a photo of Gustav Schwarzenegger, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s father. Gustav also liked to show signs that reveal his political sympathy. He is sporting a Hitler mustache probably not just because it was in fashion, but as a sign of his admiration for Hitler. The toothbrush mustache may have been popular at one time in Austria, but probably not by the time the war started unless you were a supporter if Hitler’s. No one joined the Brown Shirt’s either, unless they were a fanatical Nazi.

Many say, though, that Arnold didn’t agree much with his father and they had nothing in common.

Photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Father,
Gustav Schwarzenegger with Hitler Mustache
Gustav Schwarzenegger, Arnold's father


Others think that Arnold displays many of the same family traits. This photo below is no fake. It is real. If you want to verify it for yourself, go to the library and see the Dec. 7, 1987 issue of Sports Illustrated, page 84.

Like Father, Like Son?

As an amusing, but not too serious sidenote, Schwarzenegger’s middle name “Alois” is also the name of Adolf Hitler’s Father and Brother, who operated a bar in Berlin that was popular with the Brown Shirts. The old Brown Shirt, Gustav Schwarzenegger, gave his son the name, “Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger”. “Arnold” is uncomfortably close in sound and meaning to “Adolf” which was probably frowned upon by 1947 in Austria. “Adolf” is a Germanic name and means “Noble Wolf”. “Arnold” is also a strong, Germanic name that means “Powerful Eagle”. Maybe Gustav Schwarzenegger had a favorite brother or uncle, named “Alois”, who knows? However it seems that his father may have wanted to tie him as closely as possible to the Hitler’s. Many European countries regulate the names of babies and “Adolf” may have not have been allowed by 1947. Not that it is important, but just a side note.

Why Would Schwarzenegger Wear Such a Symbol?

Schwarzenegger has a well-known friend from Austria who is a “shock artist”. He was pretty much socially ostracized and driven out of Austria and Germany, due to reported leadership in the Secret Service of the Scientology Cult and his fascination with imagery of Nazism and mutilated children.It seems that Schwarzenegger’s display of a Nazi-like symbol on the cover of Time Magazine is similar to the shock technique used by Gottfried Helnwein. The idea is to and create controversy in an effort to get publicity. It didn’t seem to work in this case by Schwarzenegger, because most people don’t notice or clearly recognize what the symbol can be interpreted to mean. So, a scandal never fully developed. Maybe he should have worn a SS uniform with a swastika on his belt on the cover of Time? More people would have recognized it and responded. We are perhaps not as familiar with Nazi iconography in Kalifornia as in Austria. Subtlety sometimes does not work very well here. Of course, as Governor, Arnold probably feels that the Nazi symbols that he wears in the national media should be more tasteful and conservative Nazi symbols than some of Helnwein’s other more flamboyant associates, such as Marilyn Manson. (Note sarcasm.)

Schwarzenegger welcomes Leading Scientologist Cult LeaderGovernor Schwarzenegger receives his Good Friend and Cult Leader Helnwein in State Capitol


Below is a print by Helnwein, entitled “Epiphany”. The Epiphany was the adoration of Jesus by the Three Wise Men. This print is based on a historic protograph and casts Hitler as the Messiah. The original photograph had Adolf Hitler sitting where the mother and baby are sitting in this print. The baby surrounded by Nazi SS men represents baby Adolf Hitler, as the Messiah, in the place of baby Jesus, with a very Teutonic Virgin Mary and three admiring Nazi-SS officers as the Magi. Helnwein puts these adoring images of Hitler on display “in remembrance of the Holocaust”, as he says. He accuses people that object to the images of being “Nazis” even though he himself is said to be a leader in an organisation, Scientology, that has been declared to be “totalitarian” by a German court.

Baby Adolf with Aryan Mary and Three Nazi-SS MagiPainting by Manson's friend, Gottfried Helnwein, with baby Jesus or Adolf Hitler being admired by Nazi SS men.

Below is another piece of Helnwein’s art compared to the original photo that inspired the work.

Helnwein Art Compared to Historical Inspiration
Helnwein Art compared to Historical Inspiration


In the Middle Ages there was a libelous myth that Jews needed to use the blood of Christian children in their rituals for the celebration of Passover. This charge and others were also contained in the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, an anti-Semitic hoax published in the 20th century and used for Nazi propaganda purposes. This libelous myth has been used as an excuse to murder entire communities of Jews. In the photograph below, “Epiphany III, Presentation at the Temple”, Helnwein seems to revive this old blood libel against the Jews. The men are actually French war veterzns with faces deformed by war injuries, but the effect of their dark hair and dark complexions as well as the positioning of the “Aryan” child is to suggest “deformed” Jews.

“Jews” inspect a Christian Child before Passover SacrificeA Group of Jews Inspecting the Body of a Christian Child


Besides making amazing images of the heroic, messianic Nazi Dictator, Adolf Hitler and equally amazing images of evil Jews, Helnwein says that he just really loves children and accordingly he enjoys making images of innocent, small children that sometimes appear to be dead or are horribly burned, deformed and mutilated, like in the examples below. The one in the middle seems to be in the process of being strangled.

Some examples of Helnwein’s Images of ChildrenExamples of Helnwein's images of Children

Helnwein is reported to be an Auditor V(clergyman) of the “Church of Scientology” with connections to the Secret Service of the CoS. Scientology is called a cult by many in the US and the German Government has declared it a cult that has a totalitarian, anti-democratic organizational structure with aspects of criminality. Germany has declared the cult unconstitutional and is seeking to ban it. A book was published in German by one of his business associate which details his involvement with the Scientology cult, Helnwein und Scientology. Lüge und Verrat. Eine Organisation und ihr Geheimdienst (Helnwein and Scientology. Lies and Betrayal, An Organization and its Secret Service.) Helnwein sued a number of people for calling him a scientologist, but a court in Frankfurt finally ruled against him.

As explained in the Falter article, “Don’t be Evil, Arnie” towards the top of this website, Schwarzenegger likes to push the limits and provoke people, and if there is a scandal he turns the resulting publicity to his advantage. In Falter they call it the “Blockbuster” marketing strategy from Show Business. Properly carried out, a scandal gets people’s attention and the negative mass publicity can be turned into an advantage, by shrewd manipulation of public opinion, that is, the timely offering of profuse apologies to those who may have in any way been offended and well-practiced, sincere, heart-felt denials of any malevolent intent on Schwarzenegger’s part. Of course, it also energizes the supporters to immediately rally to the defense of the politician.

He used this technique with the “girlie men” episode, when he used the resulting mass publicity to attract voters to the polls that were more likely to vote for him. In this case with Time Magazine, he may have over-estimated the ability of Americans to recognize allusions to Nazi symbols, because no great outrage has occurred, so far. Most Americans seem oblivious to this allusion to the Nazi-SS.

Let us now contrast this situation with that of another politician in another time. In 1970, the then Chancellor of Germany went to the site of the rebellion at the Warsaw Ghetto. In the Warsaw Ghetto the Nazis had driven together many thousands of desparate Jews under horrible conditions of deprivation and starvation. It is remembered as the best example of almost defenseless Jewish civilian with only very few guns rising to fight the well-armed Nazi war machine. As a result of the rebellion, the entire population of the Ghetto was slaughtered or immediately shipped to the death camps.

Willi Brandt had done nothing wrong in WWII and had absolutely no need to apologize personally. He was himself persecuted by the Nazis for his political beliefs and had to flee Germany in the 1930′s, in order to avoid being put in a concentration camp. However, he expressed regret that his country had unleashed so much death, mass murder and destruction on Eastern Europe, instead of cynically mocking what had happened and those that had suffered so much from it, as some less selfless individuals might do today. However, Willi Brandt was a decent and honorable man. Probably not everyone can appreciate his humility and a true sincerety that wasn’t based on professional marketing analysis of the publicity gains possible from the shock value of the event.

Willi Brandt honors the Resistance who died
fighting Nazism at the Warsaw Ghetto.

For those that are symbolism-challenged and have difficulty recognizing such things, Chancellor Brandt represents Germany, expressing regret for his nation’s Nazi past. He is not an exact replica of Germany — as some protest that Schwarzenegger’s Totenkopf is not an exact replica of a SS-Totenkopf — but we know, somehow, that he is representing Germany in this image. The shame is that Schwarzenegger, as Governor, represents us (California) on that cover of Time Magazine with his Nazi Belt Buckle.

A Brief Introduction to Nazi Symbolism

Recently, it has become fairly common place to see people in public, whose dress has symbols that can be associated with Nazism. It is obvious that not all of the people wearing these styles know what the symbolism means, but many do know and use them on purpose, either as a political statement, to provoke others or for both reasons.If you know what to look for, you can see people daily in public in the U.S. and in Europe that are wearing clothes that hint or suggest support of Nazism and/or right-wing extremism. The most common signs are use of the colors of the Nazi Reich (black/white/red) or storm trooper brown. The colors can be combined with other symbols to indicate a Nazi preference.

Examples of the Nazi colors
black/white/red (flag colors)
Nazi Black/White/Red Kriegsmarine Flag

Nazi Storm Trooper Brown
SA (Brown Shirts) on Parade
Nazi Brown Shirt Storm Troopers on Parade

Common symbols often used in combination with the Nazi color scheme are Totenkopf skulls, Iron Crosses, the word “skin” (short for Nazi skinheads), sieg runes, etc. The symbols worn may not be exactly the same as the real thing to allow some deniability, but just close enough to hint at a Nazi political outlook. ADL provides a database of commonly used extremist symbols. To see it click here the following link:

- ADL Database, Hate on Display

Common Nazi symbols the SS (Double Sieg Rune) Logo,
the Totenkopf (skull) and Iron Cross
Nazi Symbols, SS, Iron Cross and Totenkopf Symbols.

As shown earlier, the skull does not have to be a classic SS Totenkopf to imply a association with Nazism. The meaning depends on who is using it and the context of the situation.

Mass-Marketing of Nazi Fashions

There are several reasons that people may be wearing skull symbols, besides as a Nazi political signal. However, this Death’s Head fashion statement does not seem to have caught on among Blacks, Mexicans and other non-white minorities. Curiously, it seems to be mostly Whites that enjoy sporting this symbol of death and sometimes symbol of Nazism. The people that display this symbol will also sometimes display a large “A” for “Aryan” and/other other white power symbols at the same time.Popular rock bands that integrate Nazi symbolism into their performances, such as Rammstein, Marilyn Manson and others help drive the mass-market for Nazi clothing. Below is an example of the type of Pop Nazi music that excites some interest for Nazi iconography among youthful fans. Marilyn Manson uses a stage name that comes from the name of an overt admirer of Adolf Hitler (Charlie Manson) and often uses Nazi symbolism in his performances as you see and hear in the video. This is a video made by a Manson fan. There are a number of Pop Nazi bands that promote Nazi symbolism in their performances. This seems likely a major reason that Nazi symbolism is becoming popular in youth culture. Gottfried Helnwein also consults by the way with Marilyn Manson and other bands such as Rammstein on their stage and album art including art alluding to Nazism.

The Golden age of Grotesque (Fan Video)

Marilyn Manson was a protégé of Boyd Rice who was one of the principle founders of the pop Nazi style of electronic “industrial” music, which influence many other derivative genres of “white” music, which in turn inspired the Nazi chic style of clothes. Next is a interview of Boyd Rice by the well-know Nazi leader, Tom Metzger, produced around 1986. Incorporation of Nazi symbolism and imagery into pop music began about 25-30 years ago.

Tom Metzger Interview of Boyd Rice (excerpts)

Following are a few examples of Nazi Chic items that are mass-marketed and that can be used to demonstrate Nazi sympathies. It is not being claimed that these symbols can’t be used innocently, just that they may be used in combination with other accessories to signal to others a Nazi political sympathy. The Nazis didn’t invent any symbols. All of the symbols of the Nazis have been used by other people at other times for other purposes. The meaning of a symbol depends on the context, who is using it and why they are using it. The examples below are provided to show some example of things that may be used in this way, but do not always have this meaning.

The image below is the, by now, infamous Nazi Totenkopf T-Shirt that was marketed by Wal-Mart and was reported by many Internet bloggers. The skull is an exact image of the SS Totenkopf symbol on a storm-trooper brown T-Shirt. It is not entirely clear what the “since 1978″ phrase means, but it may refer to the start of Nazi punk and Skinhead music scene, which began about that time.

Wal-Mart’s classic SS-Totenkopf
on storm-trooper brown T-Shirt

Another example is “Skin Industries” that sells a line of clothing, in which many items can be taken to have a neo-Nazi meaning. The image of a stripper gives the symbol ambiguity so that the wearer can plausibly deny any neo-Nazi association.

Skin Industries Iron Cross in the Nazi Colors
Skin Industries Iron Cross

National stores, such as Target and until recently Wal-Mart, are marketing Nazi Chic items that can be used to publicly demonstrate political affinity for Nazism, especially when worn in combination with the Nazi colors other Nazi-like symbols. The classic Totenkopf on the T-Shirt above was not the only design that the Nazis or Neo-Nazis use. It is just the most familiar form. Other slightly different designs, such as this pendent below can also be used to suggest a Nazi political orientation. It depends on how the image is used and who is using it.

A Totenkopf Pendant sold by Target
A Totenkopf Skull sold by Target Stores.

Some of the next examples may seem a bit silly, but the point is that so many people are wearing skulls that the distinction is blurred between innocent usage and usage that indicates an association with Nazism. A skull can indicate a Pirates-of-the-Caribbean fan, a Halloween party or, displayed in the right way, make an association with Nazism, even if the skull is childlike. People that promote the symbols in popular entertainment media are trying to reach a young audience aged from the early teens.

Below is a photo of Lynx and Lamb Gaede, who have a musical group called “Prussian Blue” that promotes White Supremacy. Just because something is cute, doesn’t mean it can’t be used to promote Nazism. Here they model Hilter shirts for kids.

Singers – Lynx and Lamb Gaede
Lynx and Lamb Gaede Model Nazi Wear.

Here is an item for the very junior Nazis-Kids, a more child-like Totenkopf design sold by KMART Stores. At KMART the Nazi lifestyle can start early.

A Totenkopf Purse sold by KMART
A Totenkopf Purse sold by Kmart Stores.

This is a girls belt buckle sold by Aryanwear.com a Internet retailer of Nazi-wear for kids. Some of the items are basically the same is the regular retailers sell, but obviously meant to express sympathy for right-wing extremism.

Totenkopf Buckle – Aryanwear.com
A girls belt buckle from Aryanwear.com

Here is a Totenkopf T-shirt sold by Sears. Add a red accessory and you have a Totenkopf with the Nazi colors.

A Totenkopf T-Shirt sold by Sears
A Totenkopf T-Shirt sold by Sears Stores.

And here is a girls blouse from Aryanwear.com.

Totenkopf T-Shirt – Ayanwear.com
A Totenkopf T-Shirt sold by Aryanwear.com.

And here’s a blouse on red/white sold by JCPenny. Add a black accessory to get the appropriate effect with Nazi colors. It’s the perfect attire for that young lady that wants to show solidarity with those super-cool, future SS death camp guards.

A Totenkopf T-shirt Sold by JCPenny
A Totenkopf T-Shirt sold by JCPenny Stores.



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