Mighty Red Pen

December 17, 2008

A boy named Adolf

Every once in a while a story comes along that even MRP just doesn’t exactly know what to do with. The story of Adolf Hitler Campbell and the denial of his birthday cake is one such story.

The long and short of it is this: Heath and Deborah Campbell of Easton, Pa., Holland Township, N.J., named their son Adolf Hitler Campbell (they are also the proud parents of JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell and Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell). Adolf Hitler Campbell turned 3. His loving parents wanted to buy him a birthday cake but the ShopRite in nearby Greenwich, N.J., where they ordered it refused to fill the order. According to the article:

Karen Meleta, a ShopRite spokeswoman, said the store denied similar requests from the Campbells the last two years, including a request for a swastika.

“We reserve the right not to print anything on the cake that we deem to be inappropriate,” Meleta said. “We considered this inappropriate.”

Well-documented that MRP loves to explore the issue of bad baby names, but whether or not a person’s name can be inappropriate is a whole other ball game. Should little Adolf Hitler be penalized for a poor choice made by his parents, who obviously have their own special way of viewing the world? To wit:

Heath Campbell 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.”

Is the moral of this story that one should not  travel across state lines to buy birthday cakes or is it that one should not name one’s children after persons universally regarded as evil incarnate? Perhaps the parents were simply hoping to get a mention on Cake Wrecks. Hmm . . .


Bonus MRP moment: The sidebar of the article contained several fantastic errors, including extra apostrophes and the word by where it should have said buy.


Hat tip to Gopher.



  1. The dad is a bit misleading when he says he picked Adolf Hitler because no one else will have it. He named his other two kids after Himmler and Aryan Nations. And he has a house full of swastikas.

    Comment by Frank Drone — December 17, 2008 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

  2. It is moments like this when I remember the scene in the 1989 movie Parenthood in which Tod, played by Keanu Reeves, says, “… you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car – hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they’ll let any b*tt-reaming a**hole be a father.”

    Comment by David — December 18, 2008 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  3. I have two words for these lovely people – Betty Crocker. Betty makes icing in all sorts of colors. You can use it to spell anything you want on a cake. Of course they would probably spell their own child’s name wrong…

    Comment by cookiezim — December 18, 2008 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

  4. But if you name your child Adolf Hitler and no one at the supermarket has to write his name on a birthday cake, did you really name your child that?

    What gets me about this story is the fake “who, little old us?” attitude from the parents. If they wanted to name their child Adolf Hitler that’s one thing. But they could order a birthday cake that just says “Happy Birthday, Adolf” and no one would care. They obviously want to make waves … it annoys me that they would use their own child to do so.

    Comment by mighty red pen — December 19, 2008 @ 10:24 am | Reply

  5. For what it’s worth, the Campbells actually didn’t have to cross state lines at all.

    They live in Holland Township, N.J. The newspaper where the story originated is located in Easton, Pa., but covers areas on both sides of the river.

    Comment by Matt Ralph — December 22, 2008 @ 3:28 pm | Reply

    • Okay … thanks for keeping us honest, Matt. So I guess that answers the question of whether the problem here is crossing state lines to get a birthday cake or naming your child after evil incarnate.

      Comment by mighty red pen — December 22, 2008 @ 7:29 pm | Reply

  6. Coming a little late to the party (no pun intended) to agree with cookiezim–the moral of the story is, if you’re going to name your kid Adolf Hitler, as part of your larger quest to espouse questionable political philosophies…learn how to decorate your own cakes.

    Comment by Nancy a.k.a. Roving Lemon — December 22, 2008 @ 8:09 pm | Reply

  7. I am late to the discussion too (and I agree with the points about the name together) but am interested in what has happened to those names separately since WWII? Obviously I’m sure some people are named Adolf, which I assume was/is fairly common, but now has kinda been “ruined by association”…and also the family name Hitler. I bet many other folks had/have the surname Hitler. I wonder if people have since changed that name or kept it.

    Comment by captainmoondog — December 24, 2008 @ 10:29 am | Reply

  8. There is once a police officer named Hitler M. McLeod.

    Comment by V.E.G. — June 3, 2010 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

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