Goebbelses, meet the Goebbelses. (via the German Federal Archive.)
A senior official at the Department of Veterans Affairs said he removed a portrait of the Ku Klux Klan’s first grand wizard from his Washington, D.C., office after offended employees began signing a petition to present to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie...
David J. Thomas Sr. [deputy executive director of VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization]... said he took down the painting Monday after a Washington Post reporter explained that its subject, Nathan Bedford Forrest, was a Confederate general and slave trader who became the KKK’s first figurehead in 1868. He professed to be unaware of Forrest’s affiliation with the hate group, which formed after the Civil War to maintain white control over newly freed blacks through violence and intimidation. — Washington Post.
Washington, D.C. — Adelbert Frommer, Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Concrete Bollards, announced today he was “with a heavy heart” removing a lifesize portrait of Joseph Goebbels that had dominated his office at Department headquarters since his appointment last summer.
Goebbels, for those of you who are not aware, was Minister of Propaganda during the reign of Adolf Hitler, who (we are told you also may not know) was leader of Germany during World War II, which country fought unsuccessfully under the Nazi banner against the United States from 1941 to 1945. The historical consensus is that Hitler was bad and Goebbels was bad (though please see our Op-Ed section for a contrary view by conservative gadfly Gavin McInnes).
The portrait has stimulated controversy since the public first became aware of it on June 23, after a tour group passed Frommer's office when the door was ajar. Though the portrait had been hanging in Frommer's office for weeks, the undersecretary insisted it had done so without incident until “those meddling Jehovah's Witnesses” spotted it and informed the Washington Post.
When members of Frommer’s staff complained to him about the portrait, Frommer responded in a memo telling his staff to “mind your own Jew business” and that “if I find out which of you (((malcontents))) ratted me out to the Soros Post I'll put your kosher asses in a camp.” When confronted by our reporters about the memo, Frommer at first denied that he had given any such response, then attacked the reporters with a Nazi ceremonial sword he had in the trunk of his car; later, after barricading himself in his office for 24 hours, during which time he blasted Bach, old German hymns, and Rachel Platten's “Fight Song” through a public address system, Frommer issued a statement, portraying himself a “victim of political correctness gone mad” and declaring that he would “never” remove the “beautiful, beautiful” portrait.
Commissioned by Goebbels himself during the war, the portrait was seized by the Russians after the fall of Berlin from the townhome of prominent Nazi financier Alger von Kresge and kept in storage in Moscow until 1993, when cronies of Russian President Boris Yeltsin appropriated it, along with many other Nazi-owned artworks, for what they said would be an “educational” touring show. The cronies and the artworks both disappeared; unlike the cronies, most of the artworks eventually resurfaced in private collections in China, the Seychelles, Pakistan, and the Republic of the Congo. The Goebbels portrait, showing the prominent Nazi viewed from a low angle, wearing a long black leather coat and holding a riding crop, had been thought lost until it turned up in Frommer's office.
In recent months Frommer has been little heard from; several of his staff have resigned, but refused to speak to the press (one, a part-time file clerk, when approached by reporters tried to run them down with her vintage McLaren P1). He is reportedly a favorite of President Trump, who was thought to be referring to Frommer at one of his September rallies when he said, “there's this guy, a great patriot, great American, and the radical Democrats have tried to destroy this man just because of his love of fine art.” Rumors circulated that Frommer — a hotel manager in Lincoln, Nebraska and Republican fundraiser before his appointment in 2010 — was being kept on only at Trump's request, and that the Department Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had hired a couple of freelancers to do his actual work.
In his statement, delivered by email, Frommer says he had no idea when he bought and mounted the portrait that it was of Joseph Goebbels, nor even who Goebbels was; “I only knew it was a beautiful picture of a distinguished gentleman whose heritage I shared. I had intended to donate it to the Steuben Society, but in the current politically-charged environment I suppose that is impossible,” said Frommer. “I only hope that under President Trump America will once again become the sort of country where a public servant can celebrate his heritage without interference and oppression from (((social justice warriors))).”