Jewish, Shmewish:

Above the Law notes an e-mail at a law firm (likely inadvertently circulated via "Reply All") and the ruckus it caused. The e-mail was:

From: ...
To: DL All Attorneys - US
Cc: ...
Sent: Mon Dec 17 11:00:29 2007
Subject: German Translation - Completed

Dear All,

Thank you for your many quick responses [to a request for translation of a German document]. The translation has been completed.

Regards, ...

From: ...
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 11:02 AM To: ...; DL All Attorneys - US Subject: Re: German Translation - Completed

Zieg Heil!!!!!!

Sent from my Blackberry Wireless Handheld

This then prompted apologies, including the "Zieg Heil" author's statement that, "Given my many friends in the firm, common sense and my own Jewish heritage, I know that these are words that should have never been spoken or written."

But come now — connecting German translations with "Sieg Heil" isn't anti-Jewish; it's (in context, mildly) anti-German. It expresses no endorsement of Nazism; at worst (from Jews' perspective) it in some measure trivializes Nazism, but only to a very small degree and not in a manner that is tremendously offensive.

To the extent the phrase has any real meaning, it seems to me, it unfairly connects modern German matters with the atrocities of generations ago (kind of like calling German cars Nazimobiles, though I realize that that also sometimes involves an allusion to the specific history of the Volkswagen). Germans, not Jews, ought to be the ones who feel offended by it.