Thursday, February 22, 2007

The People's Public Transportation

Speaking of graphic design, we wrote a little bit last summer about the somewhat incongruous outbursts of Aryan pride we'd been noticing around town. The explanation we got was that the swastika lacks any sort of historical resonance here, and is considered by a lot of people to be just a cool-looking symbol. Fair enough, we said. We're pretty sure that any Mexican making a sincere attempt to join the neo-Nazis would probably receive a polite rejection and maybe a short pamphlet in Spanish laying out the basic philosophy of National Socialism.

But here's another thing that's caught our eye recently. Queretaro doesn't have a municipal bus system. Instead, there's an enormous fleet of privately-owned "taxibuses" which race through the narrow, winding streets at murderous speeds competing for passengers - for which they get paid on a headcount basis. It's Darwinism at its finest, including the part about the weak dying off. Hitler would have approved. Anyway, some of the buses (a small minority, but enough that we've noticed it) sport a fairly large decal like the one shown here. (Forgive the crude mock-up....we never seem to have our camera with us when we see this.) It's a Volkswagen logo set inside a gear, nestled on top of a swastika. This is, in itself, odd, since the buses are not Volkswagens - or even Fords - but usually Chevrolets. What really unnerves us is the legend "Ein Reich."

We've got no explanation for this, and would welcome any information, not just about the taxibuses, but about the image itself, which is obviously mass-produced but for which we can find nothing on the internets. (And if you've stumbled upon this page because you were searching for the word "Nazi," I'm six feet tall, with blonde hair and blue eyes. So you can talk to me.)


Anonymous said...

What you said it's true, people here don't have an idea of what was the mission of the Nazi party, neither the meaning of the swastika for the nazis, since the swastika is an old symbol with many meanings.

Mexico fought in the WWII, but the war has not the same meaning for us than for French or US, it was a payback war because a german sub destroyed two mexican boats.

People in Mexico do think Hitler was mad and evil, don't support his ideals, but don't understand german.

Burro Hall said...

I'm not sure fluency in German is required in order to get the whole whole "Nazis=Bad" thing. Especially, as you say, when the only reason Mexico entered the war was because it was directly attacked by Germany.