Hitler, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and ‘their’ beetles


Anophthalmus hitleriHitler cartoon, 1939, USAThere are many comparisons between politicians.

Sometimes, these show differences.

Sometimes, they show similarities.

Practically always, they show both at the same time.

Comparisons between German dictator Adolf Hitler, and present US politicians George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, sometimes lead to emotional reactions.

At least, apart from unilaterally starting wars and violating human rights, these four men have at least one thing in common: they have small beetles named after them.

In 1933, a beetle was found, living in caves in Slovenia.

It was was named after nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

Officially, as ‘a tribute’ to Hitler.

Officially, new names for newly found animal species are not supposed to be mocking or controversial.

However, in 1989 in Dutch weekly Nieuwsweek, Dutch biologist Midas Dekkers wrote that the name was really intended to mock Hitler.
Rumsfeld and Iraq war, cartoon

Anophthalmus hitleri is brown; like Hitler’s uniforms.

But it is less than half a centimeter in size.

Eyeless, it hides in caves.

Not quite the ‘herrrrr-oic’ image which Hitler wanted for himself.

Tribute or mockery, its noxious scientific name today threatens the survival of innocent Anophthalmus hitleri, as neo-nazis catch it as a souvenir.

Agathidium rumsfeldiIn 2005, three species of North American slime-mold beetles were called after George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld.

Also, officially, as ‘tributes’ (tongue in cheek, ‘ unofficial’ comments said).

Maybe, it was insulting to the beetles to name them after these four men?

One of the scientists naming the Bush administration names earlier had named a (Bolivian water) beetle ‘Desmopachria chei’, after anti-US imperialist Che Guevara.

That was a non slime eating beetle species … which might be a clue in this question.

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