by Eszter Hargittai on March 28, 2005

You are spending a few days in Budapest and decide to get some souvenirs. You walk down the most famous tourist street (Váci utca) and browse the shop windows. You wonder: should it be an embroidered tablecloth or maybe a plate with a sketch of the Parliament? Neither quite makes sense for your home so you keep on looking. And voila, look no further: a little plastic Hitler figurine. Just what you needed. And so he is not lonely, you can get another guy with an armband sporting the swastika.



MCMC 03.28.05 at 8:18 am

Looks like that might be Goebbels on the right and Goering on the far left. That raises the question: who bought Himmler?


Nicholas Weininger 03.28.05 at 8:43 am

At least (as far as I can see from the photo) there’s no Szalasi figurine with him…


Barry Freed 03.28.05 at 8:57 am

Springtime for Hitler, und Germany…


John Isbell 03.28.05 at 9:36 am

I’m guessing those dolls might be illegal in Germany.


C. Schuyler 03.28.05 at 10:24 am

Great, I’ve been looking for another Nazi to balance off MY Hitler figurine.


Barry Freed 03.28.05 at 10:34 am

Hitler hummels! Does eBay think they’re kosher?


nick 03.28.05 at 11:15 am

It was all Soviet stuff on impromptu trestle-tables when I was in Budapest. Admittedly, that was in 1992, when there was a lot of that shit about; but I do wish I had picked up a few watches… and there was decidedly no Hitler memorabilia.


eszter 03.28.05 at 12:37 pm

John – you’re right, they are likely illegal in Germany. In fact, they are likely illegal in Hungary as well. But hey, this is only a shop window on one of the busiest streets in town.


no, not again, sorry 03.28.05 at 2:06 pm

I’d like to know when these were made, and by who, as well as how many are being sold and where else.


Kevin G 03.28.05 at 2:44 pm

When in Russia last summer I bought a small bust of Stalin. I was surprized at the time that such items were for sale, and I wondered why Stalin might be acceptable when Hitler clearly would not. The bust is prominently displayed in my office and no one has expressed the slightest moral unease. I’m befuddled. It is not that I can’t recognize a more evil motive to Hitler’s tyranny, I just wonder why Stalin gets a pass.


Agitprop 03.28.05 at 2:53 pm

Eszter, can you get me one? That would complete my evil dictators of the world figurine collection :P

Damn! The EU won’t like that. Scary considering Mein Kampf is a best-seller in Turkey. Is Nazism on the rise again in Europe?


dave heasman 03.28.05 at 5:55 pm

I was in Budapest a couple of weeks ago but didn’t see these figures. What shop was it?


Matt 03.28.05 at 7:23 pm

There is lots of Stalin nastolgia, mostly w/ the old but also w/ some of the pretty young, in Russia. There seems to be less of it than 5 years ago, though. I’d guess that the main reason why there is more of this than there is Hitler nastolgia is that Stalin won. If Hitler had won, I suppose we’d see more for him, too. I don’t mean that as rational, merely that Stalin is still seen as the leader who won the great patriotic war (though is seems arguable that he made it much worse than it needed to be.) Hitler doesn’t get that sort of boost.


i'm just living here 03.28.05 at 8:42 pm

I think this shop is a small tobbaconist.
I will forward Eszter’s information to a Hungarian portal, let us see what will happen…


david tiley 03.29.05 at 12:20 am

So what about the label on the photo on Eszter’s own blog?


nick 03.29.05 at 2:17 am

It is not that I can’t recognize a more evil motive to Hitler’s tyranny, I just wonder why Stalin gets a pass.

This LRB piece by Slavoj Zizek might offer an explanation:

Consider the fact that, on Stalin’s birthday, prisoners would send him congratulatory telegrams from the darkest gulags: it isn’t possible to imagine a Jew in Auschwitz sending Hitler such a telegram. It is a tasteless distinction, but it supports the contention that under Stalin, the ruling ideology presupposed a space in which the leader and his subjects could meet as servants of Historical Reason. Under Stalin, all people were, theoretically, equal.

Lots more if you follow the link. Very Zizek, but pretty decent reading.


bad Jim 03.29.05 at 4:46 am

So long as I can still get a George Bush chew toy for dogs, I don’t care what other figurines there may be. The local pet store doesn’t stock plush Cthulhu, either. Bummer.


abb1 03.29.05 at 3:16 pm

I don’t know – is this related? Probably not. Anyway: Mein Kampf sales soar in Turkey

…Analysts believe the book’s popularity is related to a rise in nationalism and anti-US sentiment since the invasion of Iraq. A survey last month by the Metropoll Strategic and Social Studies Centre showed that half Turkey’s 70 million people were convinced the country was surrounded by enemies.

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