Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Heil Hitler!

So we were at the House of Pain, as we've begun to refer to the nightclub we frequent, and as university begins this week here, it was completely full of boneheads. While at the bar getting absinthe, a bunch of particularly idiotic young Russian boys -- 18, 19 -- heard our accents and started asking us where we were from and what we were doing in Vodkaberg, etc.

I never admit to being from America to such morons -- not out of any fear of being criticized, just in the hope that they'll lose interest sooner and fuck off -- and I usually say I'm from the Czech Republic or Poland. (Flatheads of this sort wouldn't know an American accent if it shot them in the forehead.) This particular evening, I said I was from Lichtenstein, however.

Bad choice as it turned out -- they thought Lichtenstein was in Germany, and despite my efforts to explain it was between France and Belgium, they insisted on sharing their Nazi sentiments with me.

"Heil Hitler!" they kept saying.

Now I've encountered a few other Nazi-types here -- some guys at a tattoo parlor, some guys at a rock concert -- and they always say, "Heil Hitler!" -- when they answer their telephones for example.

This particular evening I was drunk enough to point out something that had been bothering me.

In my bad Russian: "And how many Russians did Hitler's army kill?"

In their slurred bad Russian: "Nye znayu!"

"20 million! 20 million dead Russians! A good start, eh! Three times the number of dead Jews!"

"Cho?" (Uneducated Russian pronunciation of 'Shto?' meaning 'What'?)

"20 million Russian dead! Heil Hitler! Heil Hitler!" I raised my glass in toast. IN english: "That your grandfathers on both sides were not killed so that your intellect could live!"

At this point my colleagues led me away. One pointed out, "Well, yeah, but Stalin killled like 25 million Russians. Maybe by comparision Hitler seemed like a good leader."

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