Recently I have been doing quite a bit of reading on The Second World War, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, etc. It is a vast and complicated topic which turns up many surprises. When you undertake a study on any topic, especially one like this, you never know where it might lead, and this is one the weirder things I discovered in relation to all this: the Asian fascination with Nazi era styles: http://www.chinasmack.com/2011/pictures/nazi-chic-cosplay-chinese-netizen-reactions.html. Apparently there is quite a bit of this in China. The irony of all this is that, of course, to the actual Nazi’s themselves, the Chinese certainly would have been on the list of Hitler’s undesirables. They were not Aryans, after all. Seeing some Chinese wearing Nazi regalia is amusing, to say the least. But is there something deeper going on here? I wonder if more than a few Chinese are viewing Nazi era Germany with some sort of admiration and sense of similarity: a country which wants respect, is motivated by racial purity, has a hostility towards Western democracies and is building its military to do God knows what. If so, this should be a bit worrying to the West. After all, the structure of the Chinese society is closer to that of Nazi Germany than it is to that of our own. China is still a communist dictatorship with no real freedom. Its people are told how and what to think. There is much oppression and many political prisoners locked away in labor and concentration type camp prisons. It would not be a large step for at least some Chinese to embrace some of the ideas of National Socialism, Chinese style. As I read recently, the world outside of Europe, Russia and North America does not share the same unease as most in the West do with Nazi imagery, or even Nazi ideas, hence we see quite a bit of it in the Middle East and Asia. For instance, Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, which outlines all that he was later to do, is a best seller in Turkey. This Third Reich sartorial trend in China might be a another example. Such images would be looked down upon in the West. Just remember the controversy that occurred when one of the British royals showed up at a party dressed up as Nazi. Even as joke, such things are still highly controversial in our own society.
The world if full of strange contradictions.
I will say however, the Nazis had the best uniforms. Most people don’t understand that the German army uniform predates the Nazi era, and it has its origins in Prussian military traditions. The Third Reich merely appropriated the German army and its traditions. In the process the Nazis did perfect the look. I once read a book (I can’t remember the name), which rated the best military uniforms of the modern world. His choice: the Nazi SS and the United States Marines. It is hard to argue against that judgement.