In an era of increasing political strife when everything seems unprecedented, it can be hard to remember that bad shit has been happening for millennia. Even before the highly controversial invention of agriculture, humans were coming up with countless reasons to hurt one another. In somewhat recent memory is the abject horror of the second world war, when an alliance of imperial powers squared off against a nightmarish alliance of actual fascists. However, in spite of the death toll and damage of the war, today nerds of all stripes can bicker about the details like a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Despite the fact that history must be learned in order to avoid its repetition, for some, “just liking the history” seems like more of a cover story.
“I know I have a LOT of Nazi stuff, but it’s not like I agree with them or anything! The history is just really cool to me,” responded local history nerd Jeff Bauer when asked about the numerous portraits of top Nazi officials that lined his bedroom walls.
According to Bauer, he’s been a history buff since he was a young child.
“Whenever I’d visit my granddad Hans down in Argentina he’d tell me all these stories about the war, and since then I’ve been hooked,” Bauer said. “I’m still not sure how grandpa knew so much about it, or honestly how he got to Argentina in the first place, but I’m sure there’s nothing shady about it!”
Although Bauer claims to be unbiased, his collection of memorabilia seems to have a suspicious absence of American, British, or Soviet artifacts.
“Look,” Bauer replied when pressed. “I just don’t think the American or British stuff is all that cool, but the Germans! They just had so much style with everything. Not that I agree with the politics, but the Hugo Boss uniforms are dope, and honestly it’s not like the allies were perfect. I mean the Russians were COMMIES, and as we all know, communism and fascism are basically the same.”
Despite Bauer’s insistence that he isn’t actually a fascist, other local history nerds tell a slightly different story.
Kyra Lane, a history student at UW-Madison commented, “Jeff? Oh yeah, that guy. We had to kick him out of the history club because he wouldn’t stop talking about how we ‘needed to see both sides’ of the war.”
Brian Cook, a former friend of Bauer, recounted that when asked, Bauer wasn’t able to name a single figure in the war that wasn’t on the German side.
When asked for a final comment, Bauer had only this to say:
“The woke mob wants you to think I’m some sort of fascist, but I swear I’m not! I just really appreciate German history from 1933 to 1945, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that!”