The Tea Party and its supporters should keep their hands off German history, argues Charles Hawley for Der Spiegel. It seems many of them can't stop themselves from comparing Barack Obama to Hitler, or talking about death panels, or, in one case, dressing up like a Nazi, he writes. And now, Joe Miller is calling for a Berlin Wall-style border fence. This may pack rhetorical punch, but "flippant" references to German history are both ignorant and offensive.
"You can't talk about Hitler without also referring to the historically unique, industrialized slaughter of the Holocaust," writes Hawley. "Similarly, you can't talk about East Germany's Berlin Wall and ignore the appalling oppression the regime visited on its citizens." To do so "relativizes" the horror, making it easier to ignore. And that is truly dangerous. (Click here to read Dana Milbank's take on Glenn Beck "Nazi fetish.")