With all the major official sites closed the day after Christmas, my wife and I headed over to Madame Tussaud’s to take in the famed tourist trap. As we strolled the halls filled with famous cultural figures, most from the 20th century, we came across the wax doll for Albert Einstein. And there, crowded around the figure, stood five young Muslims – two male, three female. While other guests stood next to the model and smiled, or put an arm around it, these Muslim worthies stood next to the wax model – and put their hands around its throat, simulating strangling it. At first, I couldn’t believe what I was watching – did Einstein do something to offend these people? – but then it dawned on me that they were doing this because Einstein was a Jew. In fact, Einstein was the only prominent Jew in Tussaud’s. And who wouldn’t want to strangle a prominent Jew, after all?And from Edgar Davidson:
That suspicion was confirmed a few minutes later when we reached the wax statue of Adolf Hitler. Britons and Americans tried to choke the figure, or pointed their fingers at it in imaginary guns, or yelled at it. These young Muslims happily stood next to it, and took smiling photographs with it as though they’d stumbled upon a friendly uncle. Which, in a way, they had.
And, of course, nobody said anything to these delightfully diverse young people. Mustn’t show evidence of that old, imperialist spirit, you know.
I was not actually going to post about my visit to Madame Tussaud's in London yesterday because I wasn't sure how much could be extrapolated from a single visit, but by a remarkable coincidence, Daphne Anson reports today on a very similar recent experience written by American Ben Shapiro.
What I saw were several different groups of Muslims (women with hijabs and men) queuing to have their photo taken with the Hitler waxwork and two of the men actually gave the Nazi salute. As it was a bank holiday (and raining heavily) it was incredibly crowded in there and I did not want to stay long. I looked at the scene around Hitler for about 3 minutes. I also saw two other European looking men have their photo taken while giving the Nazi salue, so it would be wrong to say this was a uniquely Muslim phenomenum, although these two guys seem to be doing it as a joke. In contrast the Muslims, as similarly observed by Ben Shapiro, seemed to regard Hitler is a genuinely admired leader.
Unlike Ben Shapiro I did not witness any anti-semitic scenes around the Einstein waxwork. Perhaps not many people know he was Jewish.
(h/t Daphne Anson)