Whatever you do, don’t mention the war. It’s not just a Fawlty Towers catchphrase, for Germany it’s pretty much been their mandate since the end of World War II. Call it national guilt, call it denial, whatever. But when it comes to talking about World War II or the Nazi party, for a long time it’s been a huge taboo in Germany. In fact, when the Nazi-themed Star Trek episode “Patterns of Force” debuted in 1968, Germany refused to show it in publicly aired broadcasts. And they’ve kept right on refusing to air it… until now.
For those who haven’t seen it, the episode revolves around the Enterprise showing up at a planet where a rogue Starfleet officer has landed and tried to remake the natives in the image of the Nazi party. He believes that the Nazi ideals are the best way to run a civilization, if you can keep the bigotry out of it. Of course he’s wrong and it’s up to Kirk and Spock to stop him. Germany on the other hand wasn’t comfortable with all this talk about the war and how wrong they were, so they never aired the episode on public TV. This week they did, but they still restricted it to being aired on the German station ZDF, only after 10pm.
It took them more than 40 years, and they still sound pretty hesitant about showing it. But show it they did, according to the Daily Mail.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, get a taste for all the “Patterns of Force” action by watching the trailer below, in which Spock says to Captain Kirk: “you should make a very convincing Nazi.”