Human Rights Watch & Nazi Memorabilia

Sharon Weinberger’s got an interesting post up at Danger Room on Mark Garlasco, “a former Pentagon official” who “rose to prominence as a senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch, looking at, among other things, Israel’s use of white phosphorous during Operation Cast Lead.” Weinberger writes that Garlasco, who “has also worked on reports looking at civilian casualties in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Georgia, among others,” has just been suspended from Human Rights Watch after being outed on the web as an alleged Nazi paraphernalia fetishist.

Weinberger makes some good points about the case, and notes the cultural and legal implications, at least in Germany, of collecting Nazi relics and artifacts.  I thought that was interesting. When I was based in Sarajevo a few years ago, I’d come across old Nazi paraphernalia all the time.  Unit patches from the 1992-1995 Yugoslav wars were commonly available, including a range of mujahedin unit insignia and even one of the Black Swans, an Iranian sponsored and trained paramilitary. But there’s also a market among dealers in the former Yugoslav states for the older, WWII Nazi stuff, sourced out of Croatia – the Independent State of Croatia was a Nazi puppet state, and where the Nazis first trialed a lot of the death camp technologies used later in the war.

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