What's up with Nazis in the news recently?
A recent study found evidence that anti-Semitism may be a deeply engrained social value in some European communities. The methodology was fairly simple. They looked at evidence for medieval hostility to Jews in towns, e.g. blaming them for the Plague and killing them in so called Black Death Pogroms, and looked to see if the same community also strongly supported the Nazi party in terms of votes cast. The researchers indeed found a correlation when they compared similarly situated cities who did not have medieval Black Death Pogroms; those cities had a much smaller share of votes for the Nazis. The findings are both interesting and deeply disturbing. If attitudes towards Jews changed so little over such a long period of time, the possibility for social change in cities with a history of anti-Semitism seems bleak. And, indeed, tentative evidence indicates this might be the case. In 2009, in one of the towns surveyed that had a medieval history of anti-Semitism and high support for the Nazis, nearly half the votes cast were for the conservative Christian Social Union party which has a strong anti-immigrant platform. The researchers plan a follow-up study to determine if, indeed, anti-Semitism and other forms of prejudice are indeed still strong in similar cities today.
And then we have Lars von Trier confessing to be a Nazi. No, that's not me twisting his words or even soundbyting him out of context. He actually says he's a Nazi. But it doesn't seem to be hateful; more of a tasteless joke that he can't dig himself out of. Kirsten Dunst is obviously uncomfortable throughout. The Danish director was banned from the Cannes film festival for his remarks and has apologized profusely.