“It’s a bit like Bruce Springsteen supporting Donald Trump” – an interview with my dad about Captain America
by Charlotte Amelia
My dad was born in 1943, in one of the most bombed towns in England. His father, my grandfather, fought in the war. I sat down and asked him about his thoughts on the war and his feelings on Captain America’s new position on Nazism.
Me: What can you tell me about the war that people might not know?
Dad: People might not realise how many foreign people fought in the war, i.e. Indians, Australians. It seems to be dominated by English and American history.
Me: Your dad fought in the war, can you tell me about that?
Dad: He got mentioned in Dispatches, which means he did something exceptional.
Me: When you were older, what did you think about Nazis?
Dad: I think the Nazis were misguided and got caught up in the megalomania and I don’t think they all wanted to do what they were forced to do, but I don’t think they had much choice.
Me:What do you think about increased anti-Semitism and the rise of Neo-Nazism today?
Dad: I don’t understand it, I think they need to get a life.
Me: You remember rationing, what was that like?
Dad: For a kid it wasn’t a big problem, but I was only concerned by the sweet ration. Food was a lot simpler then and lasted a lot longer. But it used to be a mathematical trial.
Me: What was it like after the war?
Dad: There were derelict houses everywhere which you could go into and play around in, it took a while to clean up. Obviously it was dangerous but it didn’t seem to matter.
Me: How do you feel about Captain America, a hero created by two Jewish men, being turned into a Nazi for shock value?
Dad: I don’t think it’s shock value, I believe it’s commercial value. I believe it’s a purely commercial proposition – opportunistic desperation.
Me: How do you feel Ethan [my nephew, his grandson] would react to this?
Dad: It’s unethical. He’s old enough to know that it’s a bad thing. He would be disappointed in Captain America. It would certainly confuse him. I think it’s a step too far really. Sensationalism for the sake of it.
(My dad, bless him, has asked that nobody troll him. I explained if anyone was going to be trolled, it would be me. I hope this interview helps add a new perspective to the fray – indeed I wasn’t aware of India or Australia’s involvement in the war effort. It just goes to show how far reaching this thing is.)