Nazism In Popular Culture
Nazism is alive and all around us. The Third Reich is arguably the most studied and talked about regime of the modern era yet most people don’t understand that we are virtually surrounded by Nazism in our pop culture. Everything from: bands, slang terms and fashion are influenced by the powerful images and branding of the Nazi party. Branding that was the face of terror and genocide.
Every day we hear terms on the streets, film or television. Phrases like "Open Source Nazi", "Grammar Nazi", "ubergeek" and "Feminazi" are examples of those in use. These uses should be offensive and controversial. Seinfeld’s "Soup Nazi" episode is universally known and laughed at. It seems that it’s accepted by the public but should they be?
More innocent terms, like "fashion police" also bear some resemblance to Nazi terminology (GESTAPO, Geheime Staatspolizei, secret state police) as well as references to Police states in general.
My experience with Nazism as a 15 year old is quite remarkable once I started to really pay attention. Being a musician in the music industry I noticed that I was immersed with references and images of the Third Reich. Nazi influence is all around us in the music & fashion industry. I was shocked to see it.
A couple of years ago I had the chance to go backstage to a Slayer/Megadeth concert at the Hard Rock in Orlando. My dad was producing a segment for ESP Guitars on Slayer Lead Guitarist Jeff Hanneman. This meant that we would get to see his guitars and guitar rig. His guitar tech told us that Jeff was a huge World War 2 historian and was fascinated with the Third Reich. One of Jeff’s guitars (picture included) had the fret inlays made of the “SS” symbol and the 12th fret has the famous SS Skull that the officers wore on their Officer dress hats. Jeff would also wear Nazi medals on his leather jackets. I held this guitar and it left a lasting impression on me. Jeff died in 2013.
A year ago this month I had the honor of playing at the Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles along with Marilyn Manson drummer Jason Sutter. Jason was telling a story backstage about how Marilyn was sued by his keyboard player some years back and that part of the lawsuit included the claim that band funds were used to buy Nazi memorabilia totaling in the millions. (From mtv.com) According to the suit, band money also paid for Manson’s collection of Nazi artifacts, including “SS typewriters, swastika wall tiles he had installed in his home library ceiling with custom rugs made to match and Nazi government coat hangers owned by Adolf Hitler.”
The suit claims Manson also bought a handbag that once belonged to Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun, which he later gave to his then-fiancee, Dita Von Teese. But that’s not where the collecting ended: Manson also collected taxidermy models of animals, including a California grizzly and two baboons, as well as the “full skeleton of a 17th-century male in a wheelchair.” Several...