The Garlasco-Wehrmacht thing gets creepy


I’ve been holding back on the Nazi memorabilia revelations sweeping the right blogosphere about Marc Gerlasco, the military analyst at Human Rights Watch, and an author of a report accusing Israel of excessive use of white phosphorous in Gaza.

Unsettling, yes, not my taste, G-d, yes, but not necessarily indicative. Gerlasco is a military historian, and his grandfather served in the Wehrmacht.

The Guardian quotes him as saying in his introduction to a massive photo-book in which he compiles his collection (he ain’t exactly been hiding this) as saying:

The war was horrible and cruel, Germany lost and for that we should be thankful.

But now, Noah Pollak at Commentary* has uncovered a comment Gerlasco left on a fellow collector’s page on a memorabilia website in 2004 (when Garlasco was at the Pentagon, serving as a chief of targeting during the Iraq War). It’s about an SS uniform. (The pictures have either been removed, or are visible, perhaps, only to the site’s subscribers.)

That is so cool! The leather SS jacket makes my blood go cold it is so COOL!


Here’s what the displayer replies:

Great feedback mein Freund! Thank you!

Gott mit uns!

R. Mooyman

Let me put this succinctly: Ewwwww.

HRW says this is an attempt to deflect attention from its critical reports of Israel, and claims that Garlasco also collects American World War II memorabilia. The eagerness with which Ron Dermer, a top adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the lead man on bashing human rights groups, leapt into the fray suggests there is something to this.

But really: Thrilled-to-be-chilled exchanges with folks who quote the Wehrmacht’s belt-buckle inscription back atcha?

As Omri Ceren, the Mere Rhetoric blogger who uncovered Gerlasco’s hobby through terrific reporting, put it:

He should never have been tasked with producing reports about the Middle East if for no other reason than there’s something moving him other than level-headed analysis. It’s not straightforward and its not vulgar, but it’s obviously doing work.

*UPDATE: I’ve been told NGO Monitor was first to track Garlasco’s comment.

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