Little Adolf Campbell is only three, but this birthday may be one he'll remember. That's because his parents decided to contact their local paper and sparked an online furor after their local ShopRite supermarket refused to fulfill their order for a birthday cake with the boy's full name - Adolf Hitler Campbell - inscribed on it.
ShopRite says that their policy prohibits inappropriate messages on cakes, and that this one was pretty clearly inappropriate. Adolf's parents refused the store's compromise offer to make them a cake with space on it to write their own message, and are bewailing a world in which their little boy cannot even have his own name on his birthday cake.
The Campbells, of Holland Township, New Jersey, were eventually able to get the cake they wanted at a nearby WalMart.
Enmeshed in this tempest in a teacup are some delicate civil rights questions. The deluge of comments which greeted the story's appearance included the inevitable ones wondering why on earth anyone would saddle their offspring with the name of history's most notorious genocidal maniac, but also others echoing the Campbells' dismay that the supermarket would penalize an innocent child because of his 'inappropriate' name. Both opinions have weight, but they run up against some strong and valid objections.
Adolf's father, Heath Campbell, is a paragon of disingenuousness. He cannot understand why people are so upset over the incident and thinks they should learn to be more tolerant. He says that he is proud of his German heritage and dubbed his son thus because he thought that it would be great for him to have a name that no one else would have. Apparently he has never heard of such distinguished and almost entirely uncontroversial Germans as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schopenhauer, Otto von Bismarck, Bertolt Brecht and Franz Beckenbauer, any of whose names would seem to serve the purpose just as well. The fact that Adolf's two sisters are named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie also gives the lie to Mr Campbell's protestations of innocence.