Man who shouted Hitler sentiments at Hippodrome should not be arrested

I am a senior citizen and my late father fought in World War II against the Nazis. Furthermore I’m a dedicated student of history and try to understand what the past can teach us today. There is no need for Baltimore police involvement right now in the “Heil Hitler” incident. (“Baltimore police have arrested thousands of poor, black people for disorderly conduct, yet they let a drunk white man go after he terrorizes a crowded theater, yelling "Heil Hitler"No Free Speech,” Nov. 16).

I’m horrified any American would avow allegiance to Nazism or shout “Heil Hitler” in public or in private (“Hippodrome incident was not free speech,” Nov. 16). However, a drunk who bellows such an avowal should not be arrested — doing so would only add fuel to the flames behind the emerging extremism in this country.

I understand there is an enormous demographic not being properly listened to and often unjustly vilified. Nevertheless, utilizing Nazism as a means to make a point is frightening, Those Americans desperately need to seek other role models. Right now, I suggest anyone who finds solace in a system that unleashed so much misery and suffering study the root causes of Nazism. But please don’t equate this with a “re-education camp” approach, it is not.

I’m horrified by any hint of Nazism in America. However using that vile system as a protest mechanism indicates something is very wrong. I know about Nazism from my studies, and when I watch documentaries like Leni Riefenstahl’s brilliant Triumph of the Will, I shudder.

There is much justified anger today, but those of us who feel maligned and voiceless must never use fascism as a means to an end. I consider anyone who shouts “Heil Hitler” in public knows nothing about the man. Nevertheless arresting an ignoramus like the jerk at the Hippodrome Theatre is not the way to solve problems.

R. N. Ellis-Heid, Baltimore

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