I got this comment recently from this thread. The post it self is a ways back, so I thought I'd bring this forward.
Endre Enyedy Writes:
Sorry I'm late to the party, but I just wanted to put in my two cents. This topic of Nazi painting comes up a LOT in forums, as far as I can see, at least a couple of times a year. It drives me crazy, because the person talking about this is perfectly aware of previous drama on the subject, and even acknowledges it, but brings it up anyway for a mock "OK" from the community.
Even though it's obvious all they want is attention. Why else broadcast it? From plastering pictures all over the net to just talking about how they're going to do it.
What I hate the most though, is the "free speech" argument. How it's not offensive, it's an expression, it's done for the sake of art. Or they'll pile all this "fluff" to "justify" it.
If that was the case, why aren't people designing the "Baby Raping Space Marine Chapter", which uses baby raping as a terror tactic to break down their opponent's will to fight? I bet you half the dillweeds that defend Nazi space toys draw the line at something along those lines, leaving the true dickheads who still don't get it to push it forward.
What it all boils down to is people wanting to be Carlos Mencia. They want to say "outrageous" things for attention, then look at the audience and say "oooh, did I just say that?". They swear they're funny/clever/whatever/controversial, where all they're doing is recycling bullshit and calling it their own.
(PS: there are a bunch of other really good comments in that thread too. I recommend reading them since I wont be re-posting them or addressing their content individually here.)
Good Comment, Endre. Just wanted to make sure people saw it. I think the controversy angle definitely has a role to play in the random Nazi armies that keep popping up. The only thing I'd like to add is that the controversy angle isn't the only reason this shit keeps happening.
I think there's a fair amount of stupidity involved. I think that the "nerd" automatically equals "smart" idea that many nerds delude themselves with has a role to play. The thing to remember here is: nerds, by and large are just as dumb or as smart as the rest of the world.
From the same post, comes this little gem that Willydstyle found: More Nazi Fun. This linked thread is just a kind of showcase for this guys work on his own forums. Here is a more illustrative thread from 40k forums (also found by Willydstyle): LeeHarvey gets his dick sucked.
The second link is a bit... depressing to say the least. The mods have decided that NO ONE is allowed to comment on the subject matter beyond painting skill.* Reading through the thread, you see where a few brave souls spoke out and were censored. You also see an even more distressing number of people who have overwhelmingly positive things to say to LeeHarvey and who clearly had no problems with his concept. A ton of those include comments about how good the fluff is. You know what, it is a nicely painted army, but its still dripping with swastikas.
I don't need to much help 'remembering' that in the grim darkness of the far future there is only war. I imagine that most other people don't either. Its a fictional universe. It doesn't need to be pointed out that the things that happen in it are often times awful. For the exact same reasons no one needs reminding that Emperor Palpatine and the whole Galactic Empire were bad either. Its a work of fiction and a work of pulp entertainment at that. Its not a manifesto for human behavior. A bunch of 40k players aren't going to grow up to be genocidal because nobody was there to point out the horrors of a fictional universe.
On the flip side, if your the kind of person who has trouble reconciling a fictional universe containing 'bad things' with your participation in a game, then you should just quit playing it and go back to Milton Bradley. Maybe Monopoly is more your intellectual speed. Or would you feel that everyone needs a reminder about the greed represented in the game?
Not much anyone could say that would change this guys mod or anyone link him... so all I can suggest is that if you ever run across a Nazi themed army, refuse the game. Though I sincerely doubt, and perhaps naively so, that these types of armies see much in the way of tournaments or FLGS play.
*Life tip for the day: stay the fuck away from gaming forums. You have better things to do than hang around a place where honest to goodness criticism isn't allowed.
[Last Minute Edit]: I just realized that some of my post may be a bit confusing without the proper context. From the thread in questions:
Hello everybody, I'm LeeHarvey and welcome to the log for my Space Marine chapter, The Master Race. The first time I picked up a Warhammer 40k Rulebook (3rd ed.) and read the background for the Imperium, I was amazed at how blatantly and callously evil GW had written it. In nearly every way, the Imperium screamed "Facist/Racist/Totalitarian" to me and it still does. From the way it controls it's populace to the way it deals with it's percieved threats and demands uncompromisingly strict adherence of it's citizens to the Imperial cult, and the absolute ruthlesness with which it will murder it's own innocent civilians who are unfortunate enough to call the Imperium of Man their home.
In that vein this army is themed, somewhat controversially (although that was never my intention), on WWII Germany, specifically the Nazi party. I modelled and painted my army, wrote my fluff and created Special Characters in such a manner so as to draw people's attention to the parallels and uncanny similarity between what GW has published as the Imperium's backstory and the atrocities of the second world war.