By Calvin Palmer
The father who was refused a birthday cake,with the message “Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler,” by a New Jersey supermarket is calling for a little tolerance.
The cake’s decoration was not in honor of the Fuhrer but Heath Campbell’s three-year-old son, Adolf Hitler Campbell.
Campbell, 35, and his wife, Deborah, are upset not only by the decision by ShopRite but also the angry Internet postings that followed an article in a local newspaper about the couple’s anger at the store’s refusal to ice the cake with that message.
“I think people need to take their heads out of the clouds they’ve been in and start focusing on the future and not on the past,” Campbell said in an interview yesterday.
“There’s a new president and he says it’s time for a change,” he said. “Well, then it’s time for a change. They need to accept a name. A name’s a name. The kid isn’t going to grow up and do what (Hitler) did.”
Deborah Campbell, 25, said she phoned in her order last week to ShopRite in Greenwich. When she told the bakery department how she wanted her son’s name spelled out, she was referred to a supervisor who denied the request.
A spokeswoman for ShopRite said that it was not the bakery’s department first run in with the Campbells – a similar request was denied two years ago when the shop also refused to daub swastikas on baked goods for the family.
“We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate,” Karen Meleta said. “We considered this request inappropriate.”
The Campbells ultimately got their cake decorated at a Wal-Mart store in Pennsylvania, across the Delaware River.
The birthday party was held Sunday and attended byy 12 people, including several children of mixed race, according to Heath Campbell.
“If we’re so racist, then why would I have them come into my home?” he asked.
The couple’s other two children are named JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, who turns two in a few months, and Honszlynn Hinler (sic – apparently in tribute to Heinrich Himmler) Jeannie Campbell who will be one in April.
Heath Campbell, sporting a pair of black boots worn by a German soldier during the Second World War, said he named his son after Adolf Hitler because he liked the name and because “no one else in the world would have that name.”
Campbell was surprised by the controversy the dispute had generated. “Other kids get their cake,” he complained. “I get a hard time. It’s not fair to my children. How can a name be offensive?”
He said his ancestors are German and he has lived his entire life in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. He was raised not to avoid people of other races but not to mix with them socially or romantically.
Campbell said he would try to raise his children differently. “Say he grows up and hangs out with black people,” he said. “That’s fine, I don’t really care. That’s his choice.”
[Based on reports by the Associated Press and The Times.]