St. Nick Scandal in Germany: Is Santa Claus a Nazi?
Christmas shoppers in Germany are horrified. Across the country, models of Santa Claus in shop windows appear to be giving the Nazi salute. Some chains have already removed them from the shelves.
A Hitler-saluting Santa in Germany's Bild newspaper.
Readers of Germany's largest-circulation paper have reported seeing the saluting St. Nicks in a number of shops around the country. Indeed, one of Germany's largest drug stores, Rossmann, even went so far as to take the offending Santas off the shelves.
But are they really giving the Hitler salute? In any other country, people likely wouldn't think twice about seeing jolly old St. Nick with a stiff right arm -- and to be fair, he looks more like he is pointing to his reindeer flying overhead than attending a neo-Nazi rally. Still, the design -- as an unscientific office poll at SPIEGEL ONLINE showed -- could easily be misinterpreted.
The toymaker behind the Nazi Santas is unimpressed with the unwanted attention their product is receiving. "We are surprised that a Santa pointing skyward has been associated with the Hitler salute," he told Bild.
Stay informed with our free news services:
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2006
All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH
Corriere della Sera
MORE FROM SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL
German PoliticsMerkel's Moves: Power Struggles in Berlin
World War IITruth and Reconciliation: Why the War Still Haunts Europe
EnergyGreen Power: The Future of Energy
European UnionUnited Europe: A Continental Project
Climate ChangeGlobal Warming: Curbing Carbon Before It's Too Late