Ask Amy: Partner is offended by tasteless gift
Dear Perplexed: Using information supplied by you, I verified that the place where your partner purchased this artifact is less a “museum” and more an individual’s private collection located in the dealer’s home.
Diving into this disturbing topic, I’ve also learned that there is quite a market for these artifacts, and that collectors use various justifications for purchasing them.
In my opinion, unless a purchaser intends to use artifacts as teaching tools to illustrate both the banality (“calling cards”) and the monstrosity of evil, then there is absolutely no ethical reason to purchase them.
It is certainly not “funny,” in any context.
So yes, I’d say that at the least, your “nice and kind” guy is sensitive regarding himself (he didn’t want your reaction to “ruin his day”), and not actually sensitive to the reality of suffering experienced by millions of people that should be brought to mind by any Hitler artifact.
So yes, I agree that the act itself of purchasing this item as an “amusing” gift is tasteless and troubling. Additionally, his reaction to your honest feedback and concern will quite naturally make you ponder his personal ethics.
You ask how to be “at peace” with this choice. Perhaps – when you are less reactive and he is less defensive – you two will be able to come to an understanding about his choice.
But there are times when you should stand up for your own values. Doing so is rarely peaceful.
Dear Amy: A dear friend, whom I met through my ex-husband, recently died.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the deceased's favorite charity. I intend to make such a donation.