Religion & Beliefs

We Even Have A Nazi

So Park Slope has a little Nazi. A small, angry Nazi. I met him this evening. Returning from an unveiling at a Queens Cemetery, I was parking the car at 8th and Garfield. The little Teuton was crossing the street … Read More

By / May 28, 2007

So Park Slope has a little Nazi. A small, angry Nazi. I met him this evening. Returning from an unveiling at a Queens Cemetery, I was parking the car at 8th and Garfield. The little Teuton was crossing the street in front of Shul against the light and I gave him a gentle toot of the horn. He barked something about the procreative act; I leaned my head out the window of the car to inquire after his health and he said, in plain English, “There weren’t enough ovens to kill you. I’d like to finish you off.” I didn’t have too much time to think, so offered what I could to the dialogue. “Go to hell you little Hitler. Where’s your Nazi armband?” He said, “I wish I had an armband. I’d like to finish you all off.” (With an armband?) Anyway, I replied that he didn’t have the biological chops to complete the task. But my language was slightly more off color. I have to say, I remain amazed that someone went right from the “intersection to the ovens.” It seemed like an extreme move. Extreme. A Nazi. Imagine. Bucolic, urban idyll: Park Slope. I can see the posters in the Real Estate Offices now: “Great schools; Prospect Park; 5th Avenue Shopping; We even have a Nazi!” When I was student in Madison in the 80s, someone I once worked with said to me after hearing that I worked at a Jewish summer camp: “Jewish Summer Camp: What, do you teach the kids about gold and stuff?” That was benevolent Prairie antisemitism. This guy from tonight was either from Central Casting or a Rod Serling script. Either way, it was weird. I wish he could have really known that the reason I was driving around was because even the Rabbi can’t get special parking privileges in front of his own Shul. If only he knew–Jewish power is a myth! But little Hitler scurried away before I could explain. Next time…