Trinkets Of Genocide

Goldblog visited the Dachau gift shop:

I admire the country’s willingness to memorialize its atrocious past and to make sites like Dachau accessible to tourists, especially when compared with Austria’s unwillingness to do the same. But I’m not sure I’ll ever warm up to the idea of concentration camp gift shops, particularly those that sell Woody Allen biographies. (The last time I visited Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust memorial, the gift shop was selling key chains, so this isn’t just about Germany.) In the absence of dispositive answers but knowing a bit about how modern-day German culture objectifies Jews in odd and somewhat disconcerting ways, my best guess is that these biographies are meant to suggest to visitors, especially German ones, that Jews are, in fact, really quite excellent — for one thing, they’re funny! — and therefore the Nazis were idiots for trying to annihilate them.