I've never spoken about this before, because I am not German and I wasn't sure exactly how to phrase things and explain things as a member of the international community of earth, that is/was/could or can be affected by something German.
Swastikas aren't allowed in Germany, even when used as part of a faith and civilization older than Germany - even though the emblem itself was appropriated by a faction of Germany. Also not allowed? Nazi propaganda films. I would have to look a little closer to find out if there's a museum exception or the like, but my general interactions showed no such thing.
Germany comes across as extremely ashamed of its Nazi related past. It puts the insistence of American Jews to never forget, to have and hold memorials and historically accurate exhibits into sharp relief when it seems very much as if Germany is so ashamed of it's Nazi related past that it attempts to expunge all mention; to forget. As if a symbol alone, a pamphlet alone, a film and more, by denying their existence, forbidding them, it would somehow bring back all the dead, all the lost, stolen, burned, destroyed property, all the lives crashed and disturbed and never again the same.
It's a shame merged with terror; an indescribable loss of face. And as I said in the beginning, it's a difficult thing for me to contemplate as I am not German. I do not assume to understand German culture, or German sensibility (or Austrian Culture & Sensibility).
But I do live in America. I have encountered the word Nigger. I've also encountered. "You know those kinds of people" and "Ghetto" and "Your kind are always..." and "Race Card". And and and...
Do the people - I'm not even sure what word to use, it's more than white washing, it's sort of privilege washing with a dash of convenient excising; do these people attempting to erase the word Nigger from Huckleberry Finn, will they ever be able to admit they do this out of shame?
Aside: Re-reading before posting, I'm struck by the similarity to object aversion similar to what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Survivors sometimes deal with. US-America, North America as traumatized by all the various genocides and indigenous torture it helped commit. But more even than the victims, refusing to confront the pain it's caused so it can heal. And thus never being able to meet across the table from anyone who refuses to deny the truth of all that's happened.
No wonder there are two and three and four Americas. The idealized dream, and the broken realities the victims are trying to fix.
It's not as if people reading the book won't have come across the word. Nigger, before. They just won't get a chance to see it used in context, from a certain time period, and associate it with how people thought then, how people think now, the weight of words and terms etc. There will be no chance to grow for people reading this shame-marked book.
I understand in America that many things are simplified and modified under guise of accessible to a wider audience. I can never forget my disgust in picking up a Bible and reading it, and watching Johnathon and David solemnly shake hands, vs the weeping and hugging and far more emotive expressions of friendship, joy, relief and more. It struck me as gender policing and homophobic and completely erasing the historical context (such as it is after hundreds of years and myriad scribing) and also the cultural context.
It seems there's a vein, a streak in American culture production that likes to deny history, and the changes in society, the good and the bad, and all in-between. And now, like the Bible's been changed, Huckleberry Finn will be changed.
And this change comes from fear and shame. This change means teachers and parents don't have to discuss America's past another bit extra than they already don't discuss it now. It's part of the whole 'Oh, Slavery was so long ago - why even Huckleberry Finn has 'respectful' terminology. So why bring up possible present day effects'
It's Post Racial BS, is what it is.
Other countries, other cultures and peoples are preserving the Nazi legacy, if only as a warning, if only so history can be learned from. But in this age of American Commercial Imperialism, who's going to be keeping as non adulterated as possible a time-line via historical artifacts and literature and art, the lessons and relevance of Chattle Slavery; You had a bed, a chair, a horse and a slave. And the horse cost more than the nigger.
Funny isn't it, how White Supremacy gets to decide when a thing is done, has passed it's time, is no longer needed or relevant. How it gets upset when lynching photos are preserved and slave and more often ex-slave, child of ex-slaves diaries and journals are preserved and when history is preserved.
Again I'm reminded of military PTSD survivors , who perhaps don't want to accept and move on past what they did in action. Because it clashes with their concept of themselves as nice people. Even though they're still hypervigilant and trigger happy and apt to respond as if still in that haze of battle chaos and objectification necessary to kill and maim others.
I can't even get into the whole thing with 'Ijun', because to me, Ijun leads to Stolen Generations. You can't separate the two. A dehumanizing word had a purpose and that purpose had means and programs and politics and governments, actions and massacres, justifications, denials and now, in the present day, some shame.
Sometimes the USA (and I expect, Canada as well) is like a being who insists that reality is what they SAY it is, rather than what it actually is. When someone in our households or on the street insists on their reality instead of the one the rest of the world can see, hear, smell, taste and touch - we say they're sick and try to find them help (or some just avoid them, fearful they're dangerous). But Northern America? It's the Emperor With No Clothes, constantly believing it somehow has the power to warp reality to be what it sees in it's inner eye. Water isn't wet. Snow isn't cold. Nigger isn't a painful word of its past and present. Injun was never spoken. Faggot is not a word associated with blood and death.
Hate is Love. War is Peace.