It seems utterly absurd on the surface - really, a Nazi Christmas? - but it's a lot more chilling when you start thinking in hypotheticals. The proposed changes to the holiday didn't catch on, but was that because of long-standing tradition or simply because the war didn't go well for Germany? Would people have embraced sun wheel cookies and Odin as Santa Claus more readily if the Nazi campaign had been more successful, if not completely victorious? Again, it may sound ridiculous, but consider this:
"Of course the festival of Christmas has been largely secularized in much of the world over since the start of the 20th century, but the Nazi treatment was different. This had nothing to do with commercialism or growing secularism, but was based on their racist ideology and a yearning for a mythical Germanic past.
One particular sinister example of the Nazi Christmas tradition is the Julleuchter ('Yule lantern'), a kind of candlestick which can also be seen in the exhibition. Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS, had the supposedly "Germanic" lantern produced by inmates in the Dachau and Neuengamme concentration camps to give as a present to members of the SS. The same version of the Julleuchter that Himmler had made is still sold today in certain shops with a New Age bent as a traditional Christmas decoration.
And many of the myths that the Nazis invented are still circulating. 'You can still read in places about how Christmas is really an ancient Germanic festival of the winter solstice,' Breuer says, pointing out that there is little evidence of any such celebration.
It makes me wonder about how easily culture and tradition can be manipulated, as well as how much of what we all believe is potentially based on lies.