Best columns: Europe
Don’t call Trump a Nazi
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Germans should know better than to toss around facile comparisons to Nazis, said Michael Hanfeld. We were all offended last year when Polish media showed Chancellor Angela Merkel in Nazi regalia and claimed Germany wanted to dominate Poland once again. Yet Stern magazine did the same thing last week, with a cover showing U.S. President Donald Trump draped in the American flag, giving the Heil Hitler salute. The headline read “Sein Kampf,” which means “His struggle,” echoing the title of Hitler’s infamous memoir. Stern’s message was clear: The U.S. president was on the path to becoming a new Hitler because of his mealymouthed denunciation of the neo-Nazis who rallied in Charlottesville, Va.—an event that ended with a white supremacist ramming his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one. But Trump is no Hitler, and it’s irresponsible to portray him as such. In fact, says Josef Schuster, head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, making such a comparison “serves to downplay the genocidal actions of the Nazis.” Stern, of all magazines, should have thought twice—after all, this was the publication that was duped into publishing the fake “Hitler diaries” in the early 1980s. Apparently the magazine “still suffers from a lack of historical awareness.”
Must we segregate train cars?
London Evening Standard
Women-only train cars are a horrible idea, said Jack Monroe. After police figures were released showing that nearly 1,500 sexual assaults were reported on British trains last year, compared with 650 four years ago, parliamentarian Chris Williamson suggested that single-sex cars should be introduced. As a woman, I find the concept “frankly offensive.” Sure, most assaults on women are committed by men, “but the idea that all women are delicate flowers and all men are potential rapists is a dangerous one.” I went to an all-girls school, “and I can tell you that women in confinement can be vicious creatures, too.” So we wouldn’t necessarily be safe among our sisters.
It’s unclear, in any case, whether reports of assault are up because actual assaults have increased or because women have been encouraged to speak out, thanks to the British Transport Police’s “Report it to stop it” campaign. Instead of forcing us into an estrogen-heavy environment, rail operators should be “robustly prosecuting the perpetrators of assault and banning them from their services.” The onus should not be on me to remove myself from the proximity of potentially violent men, but rather on the train company to prevent violence. “Otherwise, where does it end? Complimentary burqas after 9 p.m.?” Let’s make our public spaces safe for all of us: men and women alike. ■