An understandable reaction, albeit hyperbolic in this context in light of Rommel’s explanation and the fact that not a single poster is arguing the Nazis should be celebrated.
But we also need to exercise understanding, tolerance, and appreciation for others and their differences. Rommel has explained his use of the avatar and has compromised wonderfully by removing the picture and quote. He is entitled and welcome to respect the tactical accomplishments of a skilled military commander, even if others here do not.
He should now be judged solely by the quality of his posts, not by his avatar/appearance - just as we do not judge another by the color of their skin, religion, national origin, etc.
As a on-topic musical exemplar, the Bayreuth Festival celebrates the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen, despite Wagner’s political beliefs. We respect and greatly admire his artistic output, especially in light of his revolutionary concept of Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art), by which he combined the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts. Some, of course, reject his music on the grounds of his writings and are free to do so.
A public forum is not necessarily every reader’s safe place, and there are no trigger warnings. This is the nature of public discourse.
Note also that each complaint, report of unfairness, declaration of offensive behavior I receive on any topic is countered by at least one PM message vociferously arguing the opposite. That is, no matter what I or anyone else does someone will be offended and displeased. Thus, despite the many personal attacks I receive, publicly and privately, I try to be moderate in my moderation.
While recognizing one member decries the concept as “silly,” I again note one can easily avoid Rommel’s posts by placing him in your adversary list. This is akin to avoiding books, Wikipedia articles, Internet searches, etc. on topics you find upsetting. If the appearance of the name in a forum thread is a trigger for you, it is entirely in your control and perfectly reasonable to avoid the trigger.
Query: Is this discussion an example of Godwin’s Law, or does it fall outside of its application?
And yes, I know there will be those offended by this post.