But not because they brought a megalomaniacal murderer into the world. We’re not talking about Adolf Hitler, the deceased German dictator, but about Adolf Hitler Campbell, a little boy living in New Jersey.
The idea of some poor kid running around with the name “Adolf Hitler” might be amusing on its own, but the story here is also serious and sad. The AP reports:
A New Jersey couple who gave their children Nazi-inspired names should not regain custody of them, a state appeals court ruled Thursday, citing the parents’ own disabilities and the risk of serious injury to their children.
The state removed Heath and Deborah Campbell’s three small children from their home in January 2009. A month earlier, the family drew attention when a supermarket refused to decorate a birthday cake for their son, Adolf Hitler Campbell.
First they won’t let him have Leningrad; now he can’t get a birthday cake. Poor Adolf Hitler just can’t catch a break.
So what did the New Jersey appellate court decide?
Adolf Hitler and his colorfully named siblings, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, have been in foster care since they were removed from the Campbell family home in 2009. The appeals court had to decide whether to return the three kids to their parents:
A family court had earlier determined that there was insufficient evidence that the parents had abused or neglected the children. That decision was stayed until the appeals court could review it.
On Thursday, the three-judge appeals panel determined there was enough evidence and that the children should not be returned. The panel sent the case back to family court for further monitoring.
Naming your kid “Adolf Hitler,” knowing full well what American playgrounds and public schools are like in 2010, does sound like it might be abusive. But it turns out there were other grounds for taking away the tykes:
The court found that there were myriad other reasons that proved the need for continued protection services for the children. According to court records, both parents are unemployed and both suffer from unspecified physical and psychological disabilities.
The court concluded that parents who named their kids “Adolf Hitler” and “JoyceLynn Aryan Nation” — “Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie” got off easy — suffer from psychological disabilities. Shocking.
The court found that both parents were themselves victims of childhood abuse and said neither “have received adequate treatment for their serious psychological conditions.” Heath Campbell, 37, cannot read and Deborah Campbell dropped out of high school before finishing the 10th grade, according to court records….
The judges considered a typo-riddled note signed by Deborah Campbell and given to a neighbor. In it, Campbell says that if she were found dead, her husband was to blame.
“Hes thrend to have me killed or kill me himself hes alread tried it a few times. Im afread that he might hurt my children if they are keeped in his care. He teaches my son how to kill someone at the age of 3,” the letter read in part.
I’m sorry — is this New Jersey, or the Ozarks?
(Speaking of the Ozarks, here’s a movie recommendation: Winter’s Bone. And no, it’s not a porno.)
Let’s end this story on a happy note. As it turns out, Adolf Hitler was able to get his birthday cake decorated:
The [Campbell] family made headlines when a ShopRite supermarket in Greenwich, near the family’s home in Holland Township in west-central New Jersey, refused to decorate a birthday cake with their son’s name.
A Wal-Mart in Pennsylvania wound up decorating the cake….
That’s the Wal-Mart we all know and love, putting the customer first no matter what.
Nazi-naming parents of Adolf Hitler Campbell should not regain custody of kids, N.J. court rules [Associated Press via New York Daily News]