Monday, June 23, 2014


Edited Photograph
PROVO, UT—When Steven Ignatz took his 9th grade history project to school, he got an unexpected surprise. It turned out that the pictures that his grandparents had always told him were images of youth conference back in Germany in the 1940’s were actually images of a very different “youth conference:” Nazi Germany’s Hitler Youth gatherings.

Original Photograph
“Steven and his family are just some of the nicest, cleanest, and most organized kids in the school, so it was a real shocker,” reported 9th grade history teacher Monica Olivier. “Sure, those Ignatz kids are all natural leaders, but no one would have expected something like this,” stated a horrified Olivier.

The images were part of Steven’s family history project. One image seems to show several young women, all dressed in white and holding hands with a banner in the back. Ignatz’s history teacher noticed that the banner seemed wrong, since “it had the YW logo on it. Well, I checked some of the History image databases, and there was the original image, and it was a gathering of young female Nazis,” explained Olivier.

Steven stated that he simply took the pictures from a family history book that “his gramma spent a lot of time on” many years ago. He was just as shocked as the other students when the pictures that he thought were his grandfather and “a whole lot of very, very excited boy scouts” turned out to be thousands of parading young Arians bent on world domination.

For his part, Steven’s father Emmerich was less surprised. “Of course I didn’t think that my mother had gone so far as to change the pictures and re-write it all, but the family’s past does not surprise me,” explained Brother Ignatz. “I remember a very, very strange feeling of comfort and home when I went to the MTC.” Ignatz elaborated that there “we would line up and march into the devotionals singing ‘Called to Serve’ in our identical suits and clean white shirts, so when I ended up watching those Leni Riefenstahl films in my cinema history courses years later, those original enthusiastic feelings all made sense to me!”

Emmerich, who works in his stake’s Young Men program, also noted that “now that I know more about my family’s past, when I see all of those blond youth at the stake dances doing those line dances in complete unison, I feel the oddest mix of nostalgia and revulsion.” Concluded Ignatz, “at the last dance, when I heard the guy in the song say, ‘Everybody clap your hands,’ and saw the kids form perfect lines and move together in mindless synchronization, I just had to go wait in the van.”

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