Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

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Hitler is “W‑a-a‑y” Popular in Pakistan

Com­ment: The Lega­cy of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Third Reich geopol­i­tics–before, dur­ing and AFTER World War II–looms large here.

“Ger­mans Cringe at Hitler’s Pop­u­lar­i­ty in Pak­istan” by Has­nain Kazin; Spiegel Online; 3/17/2090.

Ger­mans are pop­u­lar in India and Pak­istan, but not always for the right rea­sons. Many in South Asia have noth­ing but admi­ra­tion for Adolf Hitler and still asso­ciate Ger­many with the Third Reich. Every­day encoun­ters with the love of all things Nazi makes Ger­man vis­i­tors cringe.

Pak­istan is the oppo­site of Ger­many. The moun­tains are in the north, the sea is in the south, the eco­nom­ic prob­lems are in the west and the east is doing well. It’s not hard for a Ger­man liv­ing in Pak­istan to get used to these dif­fer­ences, but one con­trast is hard to stom­ach: Most peo­ple like Hitler.

I was recent­ly at the hair­dress­er, an elder­ly man who does­n’t resort to elec­tric clip­pers. All he has is creaky pair of scis­sors, a comb, an aerosol with water. He did a neat job but I was­n’t entire­ly hap­py.

I said: “I look like Hitler.”

He looked at me in the mir­ror, gave a sat­is­fied smile and said: “Yes, yes, very nice.”

I decid­ed not to chal­lenge him, went home and tried to get rid of the strict part­ing he’d giv­en me.

Embar­rass­ing Moments

I was glad I avoid­ed the usu­al Hitler con­ver­sa­tion. Pak­ista­nis always hone in on that top­ic when­ev­er they talk to Ger­mans. “We’re Aryans too,” they say, because there was an Indo-Ger­man­ic race, the Aryas. Besides, Hitler was a mil­i­tary genius, they add.

Some­times it’s bet­ter to keep qui­et about one’s Ger­man ori­gins. It’s embar­rass­ing because peo­ple here think they’re doing you a favor by express­ing their admi­ra­tion for the Nazi leader. I sus­pect most Indi­ans and Pak­ista­nis have no idea what this man did. They see him as the bold Führer who took on the British and Amer­i­cans.

In the Islam­ic world, not just in Pak­istan but right across from Iran to north­ern Africa, anti-Semit­ic sen­ti­ment of course plays a role. Con­ver­sa­tions with Ger­man vis­i­tors rapid­ly turn to the injus­tice being suf­fered by the Pales­tini­ans who were robbed of their land.

The Desire to be Swal­lowed up by the Ground

One can try to cut such con­ver­sa­tions short, like a Ger­man acquain­tance of mine did recent­ly. He told a taxi dri­ver in Iran he should stop talk­ing non­sense because he as a dark-skinned per­son would­n’t have sur­vived long in Nazi Ger­many. The taxi dri­ver looked at him sur­prised and said: “But I’m Aryan!” . . .


One comment for “Hitler is “W‑a-a‑y” Popular in Pakistan”

  1. Howdy D,

    I’ve been a reg­u­lar lis­ten­er of your show since the late 1980’s on KPFK.
    Love your work and want to thank you for the sac­ri­fices you’ve made to make this extreme­ly impor­tant infor­ma­tion avail­able to the pub­lic con­sis­tent­ly for so many years. On the mat­ter of the word “Aryan”. I once googled images of Aryan’s and found MANY thumb­nails and links to sites were Per­sians and Pak­istani’s were announc­ing their Aryan her­itage. How­ev­er, I did not see it at the time as an effort to align them­selves with Nation­al Social­ist. It seemed to me these links were sim­ply show­ing women and men of mid-east­ern descent who are con­sid­ered Aryan also, as if it were anthro­po­log­i­cal. How­ev­er, I did sense that in some of the sites instances there was smug­ness of supe­ri­or­i­ty and I don’t know why.

    Posted by D.E.H | March 24, 2010, 4:36 pm

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