A three year old boy named Adolf Hitler Campbell by his parents as well as his two sisters who were also given “Nazified” names were removed from the custody of their parents by New Jersey Youth And Family Services. The “unique” names of the children were first brought to national light when ShopRite supermarket refused to sell them a birthday cake with Adolf Hitler’s name on it. It is unknown if the children’s names were the sole reason for the removal. There were no previous official complaints of any type of abuse in the family.
Let us start with the fact that parents who would give their children such a name are either racist, anti-Semitic, mentally unbalanced or a combination of the three. It is possible they are simply Nazi history buffs but my money is on the first three. None of these in themselves constitute child abuse, or constitute an imminent danger to the children. Is that not what we are talking about when the state takes the extreme action of removing children from the home? Is there an immediate danger to the children? I am not a family law attorney but I suspect the standard has to rise above an “uncomfortable upbringing” Does naming your child Adolf Hitler(as a middle name) constitute the type of abuse in itself to warrant removal from the home? If this were enough itself , half the stars in Hollywood would be guilty of child abuse for naming giving their children whacked out names that will make things difficult for them growing up. Does the State have the power to force the parents to change the name or get a court order on their own changing the name? If the parents state that using Hitler as a middle name was a form of political expression can the state intervene? There are constitutional issues here on a number of levels. The right to privacy and freedom of expression to name a couple. There has to be more going on than meets the eye. I suspect that there was enough of an outcry when the national spotlight was on the family Hitler that prompted Youth and Family Services to take a close look at the family. It would not be shocking that the mental instability flowing from parents who would give such names to their children also manifested itself in more egregious abuse that did put the children in danger. If this was not the case, this was the ultimate abuse in state authority.
I wonder what the only decedents of Adolf Hitler living in the United States would have to say about this. They are alive and well in Long Island, New York living quietly under assumed names. I suspect that the Campbells are now wishing they had baked their own birthday cake for little Adolph’s party.