This whole state is on high alert for offensive license plates after the scandalous revelation that some racist had been driving his truck around central Minnesota with FMUSLMS on the plates.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) was shamed for issuing the hateful plate, which was out there for eight months. Gov. Mark Dayton was "appalled" and said the state should never have issued the "offensive" plate in the first place. In the wake of its embarrassment, the agency is reviewing all 98,564 vanity plates currently on the streets.
Citizens, too, seem to have their eyes open for not-so-hidden messages on people's vehicles. One brought our attention to a plate that might be deserving of extra scrutiny.
The plate in question was spotted heading into the Lowry Tunnel near downtown Minneapolis. As a City Pages reader was driving, he noticed that the sedan in front of him had the license plate: "WOLF SS." He tried to pull up alongside the car to give him or her an earful, but the windows were tinted, and he couldn't get the driver's attention.
Instead, he got ours, emailing to tip us to what is "pretty blatantly a Nazi shout-out."
Is it? "SS," short for Schutzstafel ("Protection Squadron," in translation, if not in deed) were the murderous machinery in Adolf Hitler's army. The SS massacred entire European villages, and ran the concentration camps.
As for "WOLF," there are a few direct references to the wild canine in Nazi lore. Consider this passage from Pierre Galante's book, Operation Valkyrie: The German Generals' Plot Against Hitler:
The wolf, which figures prominently in Teutonic mythology, became Hitler's personal totemic animal; the OKH command post during the Battle of France was called Wolfsschluct ("Wolf Gorge"), and a similar command post for the eastern front, Werewolf ("Werewolf"), was later established at Vinnitsa in the Ukraine. In fact, the name Adolf itself is a contraction of Adelwolf, "noble wolf."An even more interesting wolf-Nazi connection comes from Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, a B movie from 1975 that told the story of a fictional sadistic sexpot in Hitler's army. From the Wikipedia entry:
Ilsa is also portrayed as a buxom woman with a voracious sexual appetite for men. Every night, she chooses another one of her male prisoners and rapes him; however, due to her insatiable hunger, she gets disappointed when her current victim eventually ejaculates, and promptly has him castrated and put to death.We know what you're thinking: "This movie sounds great." Critics disagreed though, and it wasn't even allowed to be released in some countries. (It was, however, awarded "Best Alternative" film honors from the AVN Awards, the Oscars of the porn industry.)
As it turns out, the vanity plate-holder didn't mention either the Fuhrer or Ilsa, She Wolf in the application filed with the state. In that document, issued in October 2013, under the "Explanation of choices," the driver offers this: "I like wolf's [sic] and I drive an Impalla [sic] SS." This might just check out: The vehicle is listed as a 2008 Chevrolet. (Our tipster was unable to recall the car's make and model.)
Then again, you wouldn't write "I love the Holocaust" under the explanation field if you want your plate to get issued. In the application for "FMUSLMS," that driver had also sought a license saying either "PETALOL" or "8LUGTHG." In the "explanation" field, the truck driver said the options were "name[s] of musical bands he is in (all 3 choices)."
But, as the Star Tribune reported, there is no evidence online that any band with any of those three names ever existed.
Wolves certainly exist, and many people are pretty fond of them. Other people really like crappy old movies. Maybe that's all there is to this.
We don't know the name of the Chevy Impala's owner, as that information is not available to the public. But the state knows who the driver is. If anyone who works at the Department of Public Safety is half as sensitive about Nazi fandom as our concerned reader, we suspect there will be a couple pointed questions once the comprehensive vanity plate review gets to the letter 'W.'