In Defense of the Swastika

Obviously there is nothing to defend about the ideology of Nazi Germany, nor would I undertake such a defense. Yet I think our friends -- Sen. Cruz, for example -- got this one wrong. This was a matter of honor, and we have failed it.

The news story predictably and characteristically fails to explain the side with which it disagrees, if it bothered to try to understand it in the first place. You are left with the impression that there was one side that was clearly and authoritatively correct, and no other side but hate.

Yet that is not the case. The only reason there ever were Nazi swastikas on those grave markers was that the United States signed a treaty governing the honorable treatment of prisoners of war. This treaty required us, by our given word, to bury prisoners of war who died in our custody with all ranks and honors they were entitled to by their own national laws. This was not for reasons of 'preserving history,' because it wasn't history at the time: it was a matter of ongoing action, at a time when we had soldiers being held as prisoners of war by the Nazi regime as well. Our word was given for the succor of our own, and we should have kept it as we honor our own.

Nothing should make one regret standing over a Nazi's grave in any case. There is no more fit place for a swastika, or a Communist sickle-and-hammer, than on a tombstone. If anything, we have too few such tombstones. 

1 comment:

ymarsakar said...

A Dead Republic has no requirement to abide by agreements signed by a living one.

Either way.

Also the swastika is just the inverse spinning symbol of India's arguably most sacred symbol for pacifism.

This is the kind of human shenanigan that makes me not use that label.