In a scene that suddenly seems all too real nowadays, uniformed Nazis stood guard in downtown Vancouver yesterday while filming Amazon’s speculative fiction TV show The Man in the High Castle.
Based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name. the show—set in 1962—depicts what could have happened had the Axis powers won the Second World War, and concentrates on events in a United States which has been carved up by Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
The filming saw part of the main post office on Georgia Street refashioned into “The Ahnenerbe Institute”. (Ahnenerbe was a actual pseudoscientific Nazi project, founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1935, to research the history of the Aryan race.) With this scene set in New York, numerous vintage Mercedes cabs were parked outside, along with a Mercedes limousine and period American cars.
The bulk of filming appeared to be taking place inside the actual building, where at least one actor could be seen in an SS officer’s uniform. Outside, six SS soldiers stood guard, with some wearing the traditional Nazi armbands and others wearing red, white, and blue armbands signifying the American occupation. A number were carrying Second World War–era German submachine guns, and an American flag bearing a large swastika could be seen inside the building.
Clearly aware of the incendiary nature of Nazi symbols, the film crew made a concerted effort to keep swastikas and military uniforms under wraps, with the SS soldiers covered in ponchos until the last moment before filming began. Similarly, Nazi iconography on the building itself was kept shrouded when not being filmed.
Multiple signs around the area stated “Some of the set dressing and costumes reflect historical Japanese and German symbols used during WWII. The public placement of this material is a very sensitive subject matter and we are doing our utmost to be respectful.”More