Controversial, US based fashion magazine, Vogue, has once again found itself at the centre of a row concerning its latest issue.
‘Nazi Wow’, as the magazine describes its March issue, has been condemned by Jewish communities around the globe as being, ‘hatefully insensitive’.
In particular the Holocaust Survivor group and the Jewish Defence League have taken most offence at an article entitled ‘Nazi uniforms worth queuing at the showers for’, written by lead columnist and part-time actor Jennifer Lopez.
The article describes how the 1940s German Nazi Party and in particular the SS, were ‘snappy’ dressers, and despite the horrific wave of genocide they inflicted across Europe, targeting Jews, Blacks, Gipsies and Homosexuals, the article claims, “who could not be impressed by their threads”.
Lopez suggests that their horrific level of murder was only possible because they were so fashionably focused, and that the allies, whom Lopez describes as, ‘typically scruffy, sack cloth lovers’ could really have done with an ‘SS’ eye for lines, fabrics and colours.
This is the second time this year Vogue has found itself at the centre of a moral outrage regarding its ‘extreme’ fashion ethic. Its January cover declared the magazine to be a self proclaimed ‘Lover of Child Skin’, the new fashion trend of buying the ‘back skin’ from the children of a socially deprived immigrant worker.
The skin is removed from the child and then is dyed and twisted. The procedure inevitably leads to the death of the child. The wearer wraps the ‘Child Skin’ around the neck like a scarf.
‘Child Skin’ has become all the rage with the social elite in the US, with celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker and Paris Hilton spotted as recently as Monday, wearing ‘Child skin’ at the premier of the new Robin Williams comedy, ‘Hotel Rwanda’.
In a related story, the computer game publishing giant, Activision, faces mounting pressure to remove it’s new management simulation game: Death Camp Commandant, from game store shelves around the country.
Death Camp Commandant, a so-called ‘God game’ is similar in playing style to recent blockbuster management games, ‘Al Qaeda Cell Master’, and 'Israel Suicide Bomber’.
Death Camp Commandant gives players an entire ‘Auschwitz’ size concentration camp to run as efficiently as possible, with the ultimate goal being the eradication of what the game describes as the, ‘Jewish question’.
Rob Thomas, Head of PR at Activision, defended the companies game by claiming this was part of the natural evolution of the holocaust into mainstream entertainment. “If you are going to point the finger at Activision, I suggest you point it at Spielberg first. It was Spielberg that proved the genocide can sell in a big way, and at the same time can be educational."
Thomas went onto add that Spielberg’s 1993 smash hit drama, Schindler’s List, “legitimised the holocaust and thus paved the way for Death Camp Commandant”.
Whether Activisions argument holds water or not, it is certainly true that the depiction of the death of ten million people during the Second World War at the hands of the Nazi Party has increasingly become a staple of what we find acceptable as entertainment. Nothing, it appears, is too horrific to keep us entertained for a couple of hours, whether it be the well meaning Schindler’s List or the Robin William movie, Jakob the Liar.
If this is the case then Vogue and Activision are surely just reflecting our culture, not defining it.