Everyone’s Talking About Harry

In the wake of British Prince Harry’s poor choice of costume, a host of condemnations have poured in from around the globe. This began at home, where the Sun Newspaper (England’s largest) reacted with “Harry the Nazi.”

I agree, of course, that Harry should have thought twice, and his advisers should have as well. But it seemed obvious that especially given his own intent to enter the British army, and thus his attention towards military protocol, his outfit with a half-open shirt wasn’t intended to honor the Third Reich.

But more to the point, I’m not sure why so many Jewish spokespersons pushed to be among the most prominent critics. As already said, condemnations were pouring in from around the world. We don’t need to antagonize the person who is fourth in line for the Crown of the British Empire over this admittedly dumb choice. Our Sages caution us to be careful with our words, and we could afford to have him as a friend.

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6 Responses

  1. I tend to agree. I was glad, under the circumstances, and indeed under any circumstances, to see that Prince Charles is sending both of his sons to visit Auschwitz — absent such a visit (or comparable educational experience) I cannot understand how any apology really could have substantive meaning.

    Given the recent hullabaloo over the low number of Britons who know what “Auschwitz” even means, I suppose this incident is a blessing in disguise, as it puts a history lesson or two in the popular media.

    People can and do make mistakes, especially young adults, and even heirs to thrones. We don’t need to pile on the rugby scrum after the kid’s been thoroughly tackled.

  2. Pesach says:

    I agree that it shows stupidity and lack of knowledge of UK history. Imagine a Bush daughter coming to a party as Tojo! She would be castigated as an airhead, at the least.
    But Jews don’t have to take the lead here, and shouldn’t.

  3. Yaakov Wise says:

    He is actually third in line to the throne. He (HRH Prince Henry of Wales) follows (1) HRH The Prince of Wales and (2) HRH Prince William of Wales – to give them their official designations. Obviously the reigning monarch is not counted in this ‘line up.’ More seriously the British royals are actually Germans (from George I onwards) so a more appropriate choice of costume would have been from Kaiser Wilhelm II’s army during WW1 rather than that upstart Austrian maniac. It seems the calls for Harry to learn more European history are well founded.

  4. Harvey Rovine says:

    Actually, doesn’t Tony Blair need the trip to Auschwitz more than the young Prince?

  5. Jack says:

    We don’t have to be silent here. We may not need to lead the charge, but the kid who may be King of England is not someone who can be given a free pass. When you have the opportunity to combat ignorance you should do so. The question is not will you do so, but how will you.

  6. Catriel Lev says:

    I believe that Harry should, of course, be castigated for his reprehensible behavior, and that it is great that he will visit Auschwitz – but, I think that the main problem here is the underlying one.
    Harry has a reputation of being an empty-headed party-goer, and generally a spoiled rich brat; and, as such, he seems to have been doing what many spoiled rich brats in England do, or think of doing – dressing up as a Nazi for “fun”.
    I doubt that Harry’s particular behavior is anti-Semitic or trribly ominous; he just seems to be emty-headedly mimicing his social peers. What seems to me to be truly disturbing is that there is enough justification of partying in Nazi-garb among the British upper classes that Harry didn’t think twice about it, and his older brother who was with him when he selected the costume didn’t see fit to warn him against such offensive behavior.
    I have seen indications in the news that the British public, and the European public in general, are insensitive to Holocaust and its reprecussions; and I think that Harry’s behavior is another warning signal of this.
    I think that the main thrust of responsible leaders should be to hold up Harry’s reprehensible act to the public, and to use it as a means to engender much more European sensitivity to the Holocaust – and to the fact that one of the reasons that Hitler succeeded as much as he did was that basically decent people did not object strongly enough, and consistently enough, and that making the Nazis into a “party item” is somewhat of a move in that direction (of not objecting strenously enough to the horros of the Nazi-instigated Holocaust).

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