Next to apologise: mel brooks

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

Kevin Myers on Prince Hitler:

Poor Prince Harry. How could he have foreseen that the kitsch Nazi imagery that has made The Producers such a smash-hit in the West End would cause such ructions when he playfully adopted it himself? Such a naïve and unworldly youngster could not possibly have guessed that the same fancy dress that is hilarious on a London stage, when worn at a private party would embroil him in an international scandal.

Demands for Harry’s shame-faced apology are insanely excessive. It’s not as though the Prince is a Nazi, or supports Nazism; he wasn’t wearing the costume to make a point, or to express solidarity with a murderous dictatorship. That sort of thing is best left to Ted Turner, Barbara Walters, Kevin Costner, Jack Nicholson, Naomi Campbell, Steven Spielberg, Yoko Ono, Les Moonves, Tom Freston, Graydon Carter, Oliver Stone …

Posted by Tim B. on 01/17/2005 at 12:14 AM
    1. A complete overreaction.  The discipline meted out by his dad Charles was knee-jerk too.  Wasn’t Harry wearing a uniform of a German soldier to a fancy dress party?  So bloody what.

      A storm trooper in a tea cup.


      Posted by Stevo on 01/17 at 02:01 AM • #


    1. Harry should have rolled up wearing something Baath party orientated. The press would have liked him then.

      Posted by Wilbur on 01/17 at 02:10 AM • #


    1. Or wearing a T-shirt with the image of Mao, Che, Lenin or Osama … Osama is the new pinup boy in Aceh.  Louis Nowra wrote an interesting article in the SMH on 10 Jan 2005 on this.  Tim linked to it, but I couldn’t find the link.

      Posted by Stevo on 01/17 at 02:16 AM • #


    1. Over reaction, sure. Still, it was in very poor taste. I live in a community where there are still people with tattooed numbers on their forearms.  And I would loathe to wear the uniform of any army we were every at war with.

      As far as the Hollywood types flocking to Cuba, there is not an original political thought among them. They are driven by fads. One person does something, then they all have to do it.

      Posted by jooly on 01/17 at 02:17 AM • #


    1. I can see why some people would take offence.  Understood.  Taste is a matter of opinion and we disagree.  Maybe it was poor judgement on Harry’s part.  The Royal Family get scrutinised quite thoroughly.

      I think we need to move on and not get worked up about someone wearing a military uniform of a pretty awful regime to a fancy dress party.  By all means be wary and vigilant of fascism and nazism.  IMO, people should be directing their anger and energy towards these “isms” and other “isms” that probably fall under totalitarianism.  Instead, the spokespeople of today, the actors, mucisians, and celebrities, embrace dangerous and disgraced ideologies without much thought.  I agree with you there.

      BTW, isn’t Mel Brooks jewish?

      Posted by Stevo on 01/17 at 02:51 AM • #


    1. I forgot to add Islamism … say that quickly ten times.  Gotta go, want to go to sleep before Tim does.

      Posted by Stevo on 01/17 at 02:57 AM • #


    1. Can’t sleep, clown will eat me.

      Posted by ushie on 01/17 at 03:18 AM • #


    1. “Insanely excessive” � Right…

      The overtitled little fuckwit deserves every bucket of crap dumped on him.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/17 at 03:47 AM • #


    1. It’s not like he dressed up as a member of the Waffen-SS and goose-stepped in front of Buckingham Palace; he wore an Africa Corps uniform to a private costume party.  He did something silly and insensitive, but there was no obvious malice behind his actions, and he quickly apologised.  I find the storm of self-righteous manufactured outrage that has appeared around this incident more offensive than the incident itself.

      Posted by jic on 01/17 at 05:08 AM • #


    1. Funny, I was sure I wrote Afrika Corps.

      Posted by jic on 01/17 at 05:09 AM • #


    1. And what, exactly, does Mel Brooks have to apologize for?  He wrote comedy about a hapless producer who decides the single most offensive thing he can produce to deliberately lose money is a celebration of Hitler.  Instead, the elite theatre audience embraces Nazism with delight, to his ruin.

      Seems to me Mel saw Prince Harry coming years ago…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/17 at 06:09 AM • #


    1. The era of Nazism (the real thing, not the faux BusHitler kind) is probably as much old history to young Harry as Napoleon.  A century from now, no one will blink an eye at somebody in a masquerade Nazi uniform just as they don’t at seeing somebody dressed as Napoleon, because when it comes down to it, they’re just costumes.

      His real mistake was in not realizing that the tabloid press would seize on this and make a giant bloodsucking incident out of it.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 01/17 at 06:12 AM • #


    1. Personally, I’m just amazed that the thought “Hold on here—it might be a bad idea to be photographed wearing a Nazi uniform” never entered his head.

      Honestly, that disturbs me more than some kid wearing a costume.

      Posted by John Nowak on 01/17 at 07:04 AM • #


    1. RebeccaH � “They’re just costumes…” Sure.  In this soundbite, advert-driven age, all images are just images.  Wear a Che T-shirt on the street because you saw it in New Music Review or Rolling Stone, wear a swastika to a party.  Wear your Osama tee as you take a bag of rice from a Marine.  There is no context, just graphics.

      And the people who still believe the context carry on spilling their poison, cruising unnoticed among all the “just costumes…”

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/17 at 07:06 AM • #


    1. Now Prince Harry will have to wear fancy dress secretly in the wardrobe; its not fair, all the other kids in Hollwood get paid to wear theirs in public

      Posted by rog on 01/17 at 07:11 AM • #


    1. The timing was impeccable, coming as the debate over Che T shirts raged in Ausralia, demonstrating the double standard that applies to supporters of politically corrrect versus politically incorrect tryannies.

      Not that the debate was really about T shirts, it was about the double standard. And not that anyone is suggesting that Harry supports fascism.

      Posted by Rafe on 01/17 at 07:59 AM • #


    1. Rafe: Didn’t anyone tell you yet there’s no such thing as political correctness?

      Posted by Yobbo on 01/17 at 08:09 AM • #


    1. It was mentioned to me from someone in the Intelligence community that the costume party in question was a “wear a despicable costume” party.  I believe much too much is being made of this by the liberal MSM if you ask me, especially by those not aware of the facts.

      Posted by RWG on 01/17 at 08:29 AM • #


    1. Nothing to see here – just unchecking checkbox below for future comments while I remember. Delete if you want.

      Posted by Yobbo on 01/17 at 09:57 AM • #


    1. Ummm, RWG, I think we need something a little more authoritative than a mention from someone you met. Leave that to the MSM.

      Posted by Bill Peschel on 01/17 at 10:00 AM • #


    1. The Brits have been taking the piss out of Germans and Nazi`s for years why stop now.

      Posted by raider580 on 01/17 at 10:28 AM • #


    1. rwg � It was a tasteful “colonials and natives” party.  Not sure where Nazis fit in with that…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/17 at 11:50 AM • #


    1. I completely agree with Mr McEnroe – though for strange reasons. As a british taxpayer and monarchist, I’m getting increasingly angry with the Royals spending thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds on PR consultants, all of it our money, and still making buffoons of themselves in front of the press. It’s wonderful ammunition for the republicans (small r), and it does sometimes seem as if they’re trying to force themselves out of existence.

      Posted by Steve on 01/17 at 12:04 PM • #


    1. Wear a Che T-shirt on the street because you saw it in New Music Review or Rolling Stone, wear a swastika to a party. Wear your Osama tee as you take a bag of rice from a Marine. There is no context, just graphics.

      Richard, what I’m saying is:  royal or not, Harry is a kid with no emotional basis for understanding the context you’re talking about.  It’s ancient history to him.  I seriously doubt he thought he was promoting Nazism by wearing the uniform (i.e., costume).  But since he is a Royal, he should have known better than to give the paparazzi more fodder.

      In the next generation or two, even the Holy Che and Osama will lose their cachet for most people and the graphics will become just more dusty old artifacts from another time.  And you know why?  Because people who remember the real-life horror will be gone.

      It’s Ozymandias for the 21st century.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 01/17 at 12:06 PM • #


    1. Just a small point Steve – the Prince of Wales and his son, unlike the rest of the royal family, aren’t on the Civil List.

      Their income comes from the Duchy of Cornwall.

      Posted by Quentin George on 01/17 at 12:10 PM • #


    1. It was a tasteful “colonials and natives” party. Not sure where Nazis fit in with that…

      It was a Afrika Korps uniform. (the theme was sorta Africany).

      The big thing being overlooked is that Harry didn’t make the damn costume – he hired it for a shop, which has confirmed they have dozens of the things in all different sizes.

      If Harry wearing the costume is inappropriate, shouldn’t the shop also be attacked in this respect?

      Posted by Quentin George on 01/17 at 12:12 PM • #


    1. “It’s not as though the Prince is a Nazi, or supports Nazism…”

      I’ll have to disagree with you on this one Tim. He wore a Nazi brownshirt uniform to a fancy dress party – either his education as ot the enormity of Nazi attrocities is sadly lacking or he has no sense at all. True, any other kid should have been taken outside, stripped down and do a streak in Trafalgar Square. But Prince Harry, like it or not, makes a statement about acceptable behaviour when he does something.

      Drunkeness and drugs are one thing, giving the Nazis free press is another altogether.

      Brooks’ effort was satire, Harry’s was ignorance.

      Posted by Adam on 01/17 at 12:21 PM • #


    1. RebeccaH � It was ancient history for me, too, but I learned about it, and I understood why it was evil even before I went to work as a sort of shabbas goy in high school and it went from being an academic fact to something that happened to real people I knew.

      I don’t think these symbols will ever truly lose their power, once they exist, because people will always be born with the holes in their souls they fill.

      Quentin � Why not?  Got an address? An e-mail?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/17 at 12:27 PM • #


    1. There’s a line from Brecht at the end of Peckinpaugh’s Cross of Iron, his film version of Sergeant Steiner that fits this whole story:

      “Do not rejoice, you men.  For though the world stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again…”

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/17 at 12:29 PM • #


    1. Way to go Media!
      You make the Nazis seem tolerant.

      Posted by David McBryde on 01/17 at 12:38 PM • #


    1. “You make the Nazis seem tolerant”????

      Badly in need of a history lesson.

      Posted by Adam on 01/17 at 01:39 PM • #


    1. “Badly in need of a history lesson”

      Actually, I get the impression that some other “lesson” is really what is vaguely threatened via the “admonishments” to Harry (and now myself!) – one not involving the mind or reason (sound familiar?)

      Posted by David McBryde on 01/17 at 02:08 PM • #


    1. “He wore a Nazi brownshirt uniform to a fancy dress party – either his education as ot the enormity of Nazi attrocities is sadly lacking or he has no sense at all.”

      I think we all agree that Harry’s choice of costume was not wise, especially for someone as high-profile as he is.  But he didn’t dress up as “a Nazi brownshirt”, he dressed up as a member of the Afrika Corps.  While they were soldiers fighting for an evil regime, they were just ordinary soldiers.  Unlike many other German units, they did not earn themselves a reputation for atrocity.  His choice was the closest he could have got to an ‘inoffensive’ WWII German uniform (although, as events have shown, there’s really no such thing).  I think the main problem here is that, for Harry and many other people of his age, WWII is nothing more than history.  He didn’t understand that an historical uniform can have a deeper meaning to many people.  I don’t know if he was ignorant of WWII from a historical context, but he certainly was ignorant of (or undervalued) that deeper meaning.  It is a lesson he has now learned.  The media seems bent on making a careless misdemeanour into a major crime, but it was nothing more than a misdemeanour, one that he apologised for promptly.

      Posted by jic on 01/17 at 02:17 PM • #


    1. Perhaps if Harry had gone with an Amrozi face mask and jihadist uniform, he would have faced more severe criticisms from the Aussie posters on this site.

      Did anyone spot that the swastica was a hindi cross. perhaps Harry was in fact showing solidarity with Hinduism? after all his father is said to be a great admirer of islam.

      Posted by davo on 01/17 at 02:17 PM • #


    1. The symbol the Hindus use faces in the other direction.

      Posted by jic on 01/17 at 02:22 PM • #


    1. Why isn’t there anger at Mel Brooks?

      He often wears Nazi apparel in his movies and writes musicals (yes! Oh the profanity!) about nazis!

      Just like Harry he does it in jest too!

      Posted by David McBryde on 01/17 at 02:25 PM • #


    1. I blame the education system. Teachers are too busy teaching kids that Israel, Bush, Howard etc are fascist babykillers while ignoring the real obscenities that occurred under Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Castro, Mugabe etc.

      Reminds of the conversation between two Australian Big Brother contestants….neither of them knew anything about the Berlin wall. One of them (I think) was even going to uni.

      Posted by ArtVandelay on 01/17 at 04:04 PM • #


    1. richard mcenroe and adam. Thanks for the wise words in this thread.

      Tim, and other posters, seems to have forgotten that it was only sixty years ago that the scourge of the swastika was erased from Europe … and yet it still lives on in the form of National Front, White Power and other groups. Some posters on this thread say that Harry wore an Afrika Korps uniform – but he also wore a swastika armband (unless the photo that I saw of him was faked). The swastika represents an abhorrent symbol – of hatred, racism and genocide.

      By wearing that symbol, Harry (and his numerous minders at the Royal Household) were saying “this is of no importance, merely a fancy-dress joke”.

      Harry’s great grand-uncle was the abdicated King Edward. Edward and Wallis were hosted by Hitler in 1937, and are said to have held strong sympathies for him. Edward may also have been a candidate for puppet King should Britain have been inveaded in 1940/41.

      So we’re not just talking here about any Hooray Henry with no sense of history. Harry is third in line to the throne (and Head of State of Australia!). Maybe young men should sow their wild oats, but I think most people want members of their constitutional monarchy to behave in a way that minimises legitimate offense.

      Harry’s actions were thoughtless and hurtful – he and the Royal Household let everybody down. The tabloids, sleazy and useless as they usually are, got it right for once.

      I’m not sure that working in Charles’ piggeries was the ideal remedy. Certainly Harry needs to get wise about what the swastika stood for.

      Posted by Tony on 01/17 at 04:56 PM • #


    1. Mel Brooks earned his free pass to pull the piss out of the Nazis clearing land mines in the battle of the bulge.

      Posted by Harry Buttle on 01/17 at 04:58 PM • #


    1. It’s all a bit like Basil Fawlty saying, “Don’t mention the war!”

      Posted by Stevo on 01/17 at 06:43 PM • #


    1. Here in Perth when there was a showing at the Regal of “The Sound of Music”, patrons were encouraged to come in costume. A number of people came wearing Nazi uniforms, because they were in the film. This is perfectly reasonable and from the recollection of my Mum who was there, no one cared even slightly, it was a good laugh.

      Harry just wore a costume to a private party. Who cares? Its being blown out of proportion in the extreme. Tim is right in saying that the reaction has been “insanely excessive”.

      This join a whole line of beat-ups like this, Clinton being a notable example. Its the private life, who the fuck cares?

      Posted by Nic White on 01/17 at 07:03 PM • #


    1. Perhaps Prince Hary is having the last laugh as the MSM has missed the nuanced satire of wearing an Afrika Corps uniform with the Nazi symbol.  The Afrika Corps was the first Axis formation to suffer a serious setback in WWII (Tobruk – defended by the Australians and other Colonial Troops) and subsequent defeat by Allied forces (Alamein – where Australian troops made the decisive breakthrough, and subsequent battles leading to their defeat.) Rommel, Commander of the Africa Corps, was forced to commit suicide when implicated in a plot to kill Hitler.  So much nuance, so little time.

      By the way, my Nana’s wedding photograph shows a silk swastika as part of her bouquet.  Should I burn the picture?  She was married in 1924 in rural Victoria (Donald).

      Posted by Razor on 01/17 at 07:45 PM • #


    1. Nic.

      Ironic that Perth should have several dresser-uppers. I wonder whether the people who arrived in Nazi uniforms had hired them, or were simply wearing their own dress-formals!

      In “The Sound of Music” the Nazis were the clear (stupid) villains, the film attendance was a themed event (i.e. like Rocky Horror, there were dress parts) and the plot was about a principled Austrian and his family who sang to defy the Nazis, and then escaped to Switzerland.

      Harry apparently had a good look through the Nazi dress-up uniforms before selecting his choice (other black SS-style uniforms were, we are told, too small to fit him!). He was invited to a “Colonials and Natives” (the mind boggles!!) party.

      He had the choice of a range of costumes (he could have worn his jackaroo clothing!), but chose unwisely. His minders let him. Who’s more to blame, him or his minders? Your call.

      As for the “private” party bit. You’ve got to be joking! When you or I go to a private party, there’s a chance no-one will notice. Not when you’re a paparazzi poster-boy, though.

      Posted by Tony on 01/17 at 07:57 PM • #


    1. So brown is the new black?

      Posted by rog on 01/17 at 08:20 PM • #


    1. Is it possible that some critics of the Prince’s behaviour imagine that he was wearing a Nazi costume to show his personal support for genocide rather than as a joke?

      Talking of jokes, his friend and fellow live wire Guy Pelly came up with a good one when giving a speech at the same party:

      He began by saying how flattered he was to be asked to speak in honour of party host Richard Meade.

      Then, said the guest, he added: “But it’s a bit like being offered sex with the Queen�while one would be honoured, who would want to do it.”

      Posted by rexie on 01/17 at 09:05 PM • #


    1. I’ve got a necklace with a swastika that predates Nazi Germany.  The swastika also adorns some public buildings in Sydney, including the entrance to Customs House.  Both were good luck charms.  Maybe Harry was wearing it as a good luck charm, the Royal Family needs it!

      What I found in poor taste was the programming of a TV advertisement immediately after the showing of a documentary on Auschwitz about 10-15 years ago on Sydney TV.  Straight after the credits came the ad for the AGL (Australian Gas Light) company for natural gas.  Mmmm …

      Posted by Stevo on 01/18 at 06:43 AM • #


    1. I stand corrected about his source of income – but the Royals still make embarassing remarks which do them no good – for example, the Queen came out against the London 2012 Olymic bid the other day. Why don’t they just listen to their PR people?

      Posted by Steve on 01/18 at 11:32 AM • #


  1. Steve.

    You weren’t far off in your comment.

    William the Conqueror allocated Cornwall to one of his relatives and, by 1337, Edward III created the Duchy as an estate for the eldest sons of the monarch. This has remained the case down the ages, through 24 Dukes of Cornwall, to Prince Charles today.

    The Duchy of Cornwall owns 51,885 hectares, mostly in the south of England, which is run on a commercial basis – tenanted out to some 200 farms, plus 2400 acres of woodland, a few castles and mineral rights over the whole county. (Ref:

    2002 net surplus for the Duchy was GBP7.8 million.

    Although he pays taxes on his personal income, the Prince of Wales’ wealth comes inherited from royal lands retained when, in 1760, George III gave up all his lands (but the Duchy) for an income from Parliament.

    Posted by Tony on 01/18 at 09:53