Actor David Hasselhoff and Greek soccer player Giorgos Katidis are making news today for actions surrounding German history. The former, noble, the latter, disastrous. David Hasselhoff and Giorgos Katidis emphasize the need to think global, parent local.
Markus Schreiber/Associated Press
Greek soccer star Giorgos Katidis apologized for giving the Nazi salute on the field, allegedly without knowing what the symbol meant, and actor David Hasselhoff defends the last bricks in the Berlin Wall from demolition so that future generations may both honor the dead and learn from a nation’s history. In both cases, it’s a furor over the German "fatherland" that reminds us to think globally; parent locally.
It also takes us to understanding the difference between parenting lessons to be found in objects versus in the everyday actions of people. An inanimate object, such as a remaining fragment of the Berlin Wall or the beams left standing after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center that resemble a cross, serve as memorials and lessons.
However, actions speak louder than bricks and steel. Seeing the Nazi salute on television and YouTube is an ongoing action insinuating itself into our kid’s lexicon of everyday gestures, with disastrous result.
The story of AEK Athens midfielder Mr. Katidis, 20, is a cautionary one. According to Reuters, Katidis gave the traditional stiff-arm Nazi salute after he scored his team’s winning goal. AEK's German coach Ewald Lienen told Reuters, "He is a young kid who does not have any political ideas. He most likely saw such a salute on the Internet or somewhere else and did it without knowing what it means."