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“You Wouldn’t Buy Nazi-Themed Clothing, Would You?”
“You wouldn’t buy Nazi-themed clothing, would you?” the Baltic state’s foreign minister, Linas Linkevicius, tweeted on September 7. “We trust @Walmart’s moral stance & call to withdraw products with the symbols of mass murders.”
The hammer-and-sickle symbol is banned in Lithuania, a nation of 2.9 million that was the first republic to secede from the Soviet Union as it began to fall apart in 1990 and has since become a European Union member.
A Walmart T-shirt with a Soviet hammer-and-sickle symbol
Vilnius estimates that more than 50,000 Lithuanians died in camps, prisons, and during deportations between 1944 and 1953, while another 20,000 were killed in anti-Soviet guerrilla fighting.
Some politicians in neighboring Baltic states Estonia and Latvia, where people also suffered decades of Soviet occupation, have joined the call for the world’s biggest retailer to stop selling Soviet-themed merchandise, which appears to be trendy right now.
It is not just Lithuania that is upset that Walmart is selling Soviet-chic apparel, Latvia, and Estonia are upset about it as well.
The only thing I could say to someone from the Baltic States is that if Walmart thought they could make a buck selling clothing featuring the Totenkopf Death Head Badge with SS lightning bolts, they would. That is the question that should be put to Walmart.
Walmart did not immediately comment on the matter, but guidelines posted on its website prohibit the sale of products related to “any historical or news event” that could be considered “offensive.”
There is good reason that residents of the Baltic States wish Walmart would actually follow their own guidelines:
Published in History
Lithuania was a battleground between Nazi and Soviet troops during World War II.
It was seized by Moscow in 1940 under a secret pact with Adolf Hitler. Within a decade, some 300,000 Lithuanians had been deported, mostly to Siberia, or killed in insurgent fighting.
Lithuania joined both the EU and NATO in 2004.
Good. I once took a dive store owner to task for having a Che poster in his shop. Sent him the pages from The Black Book of Communism describing Castro and Che. He took it down.
Sent the same pages to a college professor I knew who had made admiring noises about Che. She was not impressed.
Draw your own conclusions about the relative good sense of merchants and musicologists.
Good. Then We should soon see all Nike products removed…. Right?
If the some government in some foreign land wants to ban the sale of some symbols, go right ahead. It’s no skin off my nose. In case you don’t know, the Germans have very strict laws about Nazi stuff.
No doubt there is some level of irony here because it’s likely those shirts are made in Red China or communist Vietnam. Places where the symbol is patriotic.
It is possible that the merchant had nothing to lose financially by taking down the poster, but the professor would have lost status points among her colleagues.
I doubt this reflects a policy decision by Walmart. Some low-level idiot approved it or nobody was even aware it was on their site.
Only a month or two ago they caught grief for selling MAGA hats.
Shame on Walmart. This seems to be a “marketplace” item from a smaller company. I encourage everyone to contact Walmart. Just so “no” to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol pot, …
So walmart is doing something the dems will like finally?
You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few hundred million eggs.
I think they should be required attire for all leftist candidates on the campaign trail since, apparently, voters and/or the media can’t tell the players without uniforms ;>)
That’s not a real omlet. The real omlet has never been tried.
Target! Cease fire.
They purge Confederate flag merchandise but allow the Hammer and Sickle? Eat dirt, Walmart.
Well, I can’t afford a Hugo Boss suit, so…
< devil’s advocate mode = on >
I wouldn’t be offended by someone wearing a CCCP hockey jersey. Respect for one’s sports rivals is just good sportsmanship.
I don’t think those jerseys had the hammer & sickle on ’em tho’. Proudly wearing the hammer & sickle takes it a step too far.
< devil’s advocate mode = off >
Here’s the problem: The generation of people buying these products are too young to know that these “retro” Cool Shirts are symbols of an actual, real horror. They were babies, or not even born yet, when the Berlin Wall came down or when the Soviet Union collapsed, so they just see it as ancient history. It didn’t happen to “real” people–just long ago people who are an abstraction to them. They can get behind Black Lives Matter, etc. etc. because they know actual people who may have been affected by it. But, those people in where??…Lithu-Serbi-Land?? Who were they? Just some story from the long ago. Doesn’t matter any more. The hammer and sickle thingy is cool looking.
What is interesting though is to contrast this with how quickly someone on the Right can become a Nazi.
That’s because the Left has kept the Nazi meme alive, as a boogeyman, for generations. Meanwhile, it has also kept up the “communism is just another system, man” meme alive for the same time (actively aided and abetted, if not guided, by those same commies).
Meanwhile, the U.S. flag is omitted or obscured in the Armstrong movie.
I wonder what that would be. Maybe the formation of the State of Israel? Or, a more benign interpretation might be that they’re just thinking of Sept. 11.
Why else do you think Walmart put Hilary Clinton on its board of directors?
But those on the left don’t mind that we call them socialists. The are proud of it.
I once asked a thoughtful Catholic friend why the Soviets who caused more death and mayhem still get a pass while while no one would think of such a thing with the Nazis. He said it was because the Soviet ideology had good intentions at least whereas of course there is nothing to be said for the other totalitarian camp. I guess I can see his point and I could add that the Soviets were our allies in WWII, which mattered greatly then. But it really makes no sense finally. And it is so ironic that TRUMP is accused of playing footsie with tyrants while the accusers or their friends come to praise Fidel, Che, Ho, etc.
Free enterprise at its worst. But it is free, in a free country. Hopefully Wal-Mart will pay attention to its worldwide market. Or not.
Bully to you for catching and posting this. This is a long pet-peeve of mine, and to see such a high-level official task Walmart is quite pleasing to me.
There’s a trendy restaurant in Dublin called “Mao”!
I bet the food there tastes like mousey dung.
This reminds me of a young woman in our church (SBC) who was a missionary in St. Petersburg about 10-15 years ago. She was probably in her mid-twenties then. She came back from her two-year tour sporting a CCCP hoodie around town. A town that is next to a Navy base, has a high percentage of retired military and has thousands of civilian DoD workers. A town full of people who could be said to have contributed in crucial ways to the downfall of the government represented on her hoodie.
I finally asked her if she thought she should be wearing a sweatshirt with that on the front. She “helpfully” pointed out that the CCCP stood for USSR. I replied, didn’t she know what that stood for?
Since I am a math teacher, and a subscriber to the Mel Brooks philosophy of bringing mockery to evil, I will admit to owning this t-shirt:
My favorite variation on the classic Yakov Smirnoff joke was a comment on a news story. It seems a would-be suicide bomber had his attack foiled when a spam text message prematurely detonated his vest, thus killing him and preventing his planned attack on Moscow. The caption was “In Soviet Russia, spam deletes you!”