When you hear of a group called Human Rights Watch…what do you think this group does? In the simplest definition, even before going to their website, one can deduce that it’s an organization that watches, and probably, for the sake of argument, protects the rights of humans. So when it came out this month that one of their analysts, Marc Garlasco, was not just an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia, but also a giddy one at that (he actually used the adjective "cool" to describe certain pieces…and more than once, too), people got a lil’ pissy. Garlasco has been suspended while his "hobby" is further investigated…suspended with pay, mind you. I’m all for hobbies, but when your hobbies specifically contradict your life’s work, one needs to wonder what the hell is going on there. It would be like finding out your buddies at PETA were having weekly Veal Pie Eating Contests…first you’re confused, then you’re shocked, then you’re gagging at the thought. Who even eats veal pie anyway?
It’s no news that Third Reich paraphernalia collectors are alive and well, and living amongst us. It’s just when one of them is supposed to be an advocate for human rights that one’s brain is sort of thrown for a loop. Garlasco blames his infatuation with these pieces on his German grandfather’s draft into Hitler’s army. I’m not really buying it. Granted, I don’t know this Marc Garlasco fella personally, but my grandfather had his indiscretions too: you don’t see me taking up heroin just because he spent some quality time in opium dens in Vietnam in the early 1960s. In further Hitler-related news, it was discovered that Hitler was a woman. Well, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. According to the BBC, US scientists have revealed that part of a skull that was once believed to be Hitler’s actually belongs to a woman…between 20 and 40 years old. Even before DNA testing, scientist Nick Bellantoni said he "suspected" that the bone didn’t come from an adult male, because "normally male bones are much more robust." Does anyone really think of Hitler as "robust"?
Alas, DNA has proven that the skull fragment is indeed that of a woman, but who? Eva Braun was 33 years old when she and her new husband committed suicide in that bunker, but it doesn’t seem to belong to Eva Braun…or they would’ve said so, I would imagine. Eva and Adolf were married for less than forty hours when they did themselves in, so I guess that says something about the two of them. I’m not judging, of course, but even celebrity marriages last a few days longer and we all know how awful and self-involved that lot is.
So in light of this new information, how did Hitler go out of this world? The general consensus is that he shot himself, while Eva popped a cyanide pill. Granted, he popped a pill too, but when it didn’t kick in fast enough, he decided to shoot himself in the head…because that’s what cowards do. (I watch movies, so I know this to be a fact.) There will always be speculation, I suppose. And in the same vein of Elvis Presley, there will always be those who believe he didn’t die in that bunker and actually escaped with his beloved Eva and is living on an island with Tupac Shakur or whatever. Even Stalin had reservations about believing that Hitler had actually died. They say there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. There were no witnesses to the actual suicides of Hitler and Eva Braun. There was an autopsy on what was thought to be their bodies, but secrecy on the part of the KGB and the discovery of DNA being decades away, nothing will ever be conclusive. If there’s even a chance that Hitler is still around, what does one do? Well, in the words of Mort Goldman from Family Guy, "We save Jon Stewart! He’s our most important Jew!" ‘Nuff said.