Comes now news that Sears, Wal-Mart, and Amazon have removed a photographic poster depicting the famous Dachau Nazi concentration camp sign that reads: "Arbeit Macht Frei", after savvy shoppers allegedly complained that Nazi motifs just weren't in style this season.
Although the actual seller was a third party linked to the major retailers' sites, Sears & Wal-Mart wasted no time distancing themselves from the fact the poster had been linked at all. And the Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors organization suggested that the poster's listing implied that modern Nazis were the product's targeted customers.
Perhaps cadres of skinheads in Idaho decorate their walls with the AMF image. But I take a different stance, believing that the grandparents of the Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors would be outraged at that organiztion's myopic view. As someone who personally met and shook hands with famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal (Vienna, 1974), I strongly counter that the survivors - and the souls of those who perished - would cry out not to blot the images from being displayed, but to ensure that successive generations would see the image, ask questions, and learn what those sonsofbitches did to their fellow human beings, lest we forget.
The image isn't pretty - it's not supposed to be. But art - photographic decor in the instant case - is not always about pretty flowers and idyllic pastures & waterfalls. Sometimes it makes you think. That seems not excessively in vogue these days, much to the chagrin of my buddy So-crates.
That last line of the article torques me just a bit, as I find it to be either apocryphal, or someone's asinine attempt to be clever.