Post # 1
Hi everyone, my house is being fumigated due to a bedbug infestation and I need somewhere to stay. My friend said I could crash on her couch. We are all Covid 19 negative and don’t leave our homes other than to do shopping. I would feel much safer from infection there than in a hotel.
However, when I was over there last year, I was looking for the bathroom and found a room with what I believed to be nazi memorabilia. I found uniforms, flags, model planes and pins, with nazi symbols on them. I quickly left and closed the door. I continued to hang out with them, they were having a cookout, but I felt weird about it. When I got home and looked them up online, I found that they were nazi symbols.
I am a mixed woman. My friend’s grandpa has been nothing but nice to me. He seems like a kindly old man but I felt weird about him ever since. Would you feel safe staying there if you were in my shoes? Do you think non racists would collect these types of items?
Post # 2
I think there are people who collect war memorabilia who may have some of those items. The question to me would be does he only collect things related to Nazi’s or does he also collect other war time memorabilia.
Post # 3
That’s true, I don’t remember seeing anything else but that’s what stuck out to me so that may be bias on my part. Do you think I should ask my friend about it? I never mentioned it to her because it seems accusatory.
Post # 4
Can you ask your friend what the deal is with that room? Would your friend be honest? He could be racist. But as slomotion mentioned, he could be a war history fanatic or memorabilia collector.
Edit to add – I don’t think it is accusatory to ask your friend. Any good friend would understand the concern.
Post # 5
I am a POC and I purchased a Nazi military medal I found for sale in Athens, Greece. I am a history buff and find items like that super interesting and I sure as hell do not believe in anything the Nazi’s stand for.
Some of those items are worth a ton of money and he might just be interested in the history of it all. If you are concern, I think asking your friend about it should be okay. I would not get offended if someone asked about my Nazi medal in my home office along with all my other historical artifacts I have collected throughout my travels.
Post # 6
Are you mixed and primarily raised around white people? I ask because you sound like you are giving him and this situation the benefit of a WHOLE LOT of doubt and being concerned about your own bias much more than you should be. You need to be more concerned for your own safety and well being. Anyone who has Nazi shit in their home had better be prepared to answer for it.
Nazis are violent and terrible people. Period. There’s no good person who also is a Nazi. There’s nothing negotiable about that. The entire premise of their beliefs is that everyone who is not a certain kind of white person is less than them. That includes YOU. No matter how kindly someone might be to your face.
I wouldn’t be willing to sleep in a house with a room with Nazi paraphernalia. I wouldn’t be able to rest. Especially sleeping on a couch (which means that while you are resting ANYONE can walk through the room). And you’re considering doing that without even asking about it?! Because you don’t want to sound accusatory? One of the first questions I asked my friend the next time we were alone would have been “Why the fuck is there a room with Nazi memorabilia in your house, friend?”
I’m Black. I spent the night at my best friend’s house when I was 14/15. Her family was white. Her sister had a white friend spending the night as well. I noticed, when I arrived, that that friend had a confederate flag in her car window. The next morning, MY friend got a message on her beeper and when she called the number, it was a KKK rally message. My friend was confused but I was scared and pissed. I NEVER slept at her house again and her sister has always been someone who hangs out with racists and goes in for racial terrorism. Fuck that bitch. Forever. She might he nice but my safety and well being are more important to me. You get ONE time to align with terrorists and I’m done with you.
I think you should find somewhere else to stay and you should absolutely ask your friend why the there is a room with Nazi memorabilia in her house.
You need to take your own safety and well being more seriously, OP. There are entirely too many cases of Black/Brown/mixed people disappearing or being harmed because they ignored the clues in their faces about the white folks they were spending time with. It’s nice of your friend to offer you a place to stay. You still need to ask questions.
Post # 7
@gingerbee1234: @anotherb33: @TwilightRarity:
You all are right. I’m going to ask her about that room and why he had so much nazi stuff.
The reason I gave him the benefit of the doubt is because my bf collects wartime memorabilia. Not nazi stuff at all, but he did not support the wars.
Post # 8
I would definitely ask your friend (in a non-accusatory way- be clear you are in no way accusing her of being a nazi supporter). Just say something along the lines of “By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask about this stuff in your home. I know lots of people collect this stuff so i assumed there was nothing more to it but I just thought I should ask you for clarity”. A good friend would understand.
Post # 9
If I found a Nazi flag in my friend’s house, I would legit just ask what the hell it was doing there. You can do it in a non-accusatory way. Your friend should understand that it’s not a wild question for someone to question why there is Nazi stuff in their home. Most people would be weirded out by it.
Post # 10
There is no chance in hell I would stay in a home that had Nazi memorabilia. I don’t care what the excuse was.
Post # 11
There is a big difference to me in collecting wartime items from a history perspective and displaying a nazi flag.
I am a woman of colour and when we were going through my grandfathers belongings when we were moving him to a care home we found some Nazi items. He served in London during WW2 and had collected them from sites where planes (or parts of) had come down. He kept them to remember. To remind him to never be like that and to try to not let the world become like that ever again. But he did not display them.
I think outside of a museum/education centre anyone displaying certain items is being an arsehole and is most likely racist or at a minimum thinks racism isn’t real anymore. Why would you want to associate witn that, no matter if your black, brown or white?
Also really happy to see no one is excusing this behaviour with the typical bs of “he comes from a different time”. That has been a tool to diminish concerns raised by PIC for generations. @rainingteadrops:
Post # 12
If the person is older then it’s definitely from their generation. What’s the harm in asking? I would ask the owner of the room. Just make sure you are genuinely curious and not defensive. You can’t control the answer.
Post # 13
I disagree that just because it’s there means you need to totally lose your cool but I think you should definitely ask about it. I always think you should assume the best but prepare for the worst. Protect yourself by asking and hopefully he just collects historical items.
Post # 14
Some people collect Nazi materials as souvenirs of the time evil SOBs were defeated. Some are Nazi sympathizers. Some are war buffs who collect everything from the period.
You can’t know the reason behind a collection, especially if you only saw a small slice of it. People collect memorabilia of slavery for racist, anti-racist, or historical reasons. It’s definitely worthwhile to ask your friend more about it. You might be pleasantly surprised (or find out that your discomfort was completely warranted).
Post # 15
Thanks everyone for your input!
I did get a response from her but it was weird and sad. She broke down and said her grandpa is developing dementia and thinks he was a nazi soldier from ww2 who was forced to join the nazi Party against his will. She said the items were passed down to him from his father but he doesn’t think so anymore. He thinks he was a Nazi because of the memorabilia and has forgotten who he actually is. He renounces the ideology and hates hitler but believes he was in the war. She also says he thinks spies are following him and he will be asasinated for going against the nazis.
I don’t really know what to think about that… I know some people can develop severe dementia and forget who they are but I haven’t heard of someone taking on a new identity with new memories. I’m not sure if going over there is a good idea anymore. Even if it’s true I don’t know if it would be dangerous to be around someone who thinks spies are going to attack him. Thoughts?