New Jersey official: We didn't take the kid because he's named after Hitler

So they say.

“Just to be clear, removal of a child from a family is only done when there’s an imminent danger to a child and that wouldn’t include the child’s name alone,” spokeswoman Kate Bernyk said. “We wouldn’t remove a child based on their name.”

Dad, who’s never been shy with the media, has conspicuously clammed up on why the kids were taken. Make of that what you will. A local cop told Fox News that he’s dealt with the family for years but that the father’s always been “very good” with the children. On the other hand:

When I interviewed neighbors of the family last month, Sally Miller, who lives down the road from the Campbells, said they had trick-or-treated at her home (not dressed as storm troopers, or anything–just regular Halloween costumes).

Adolf’s mom, Deborah Campbell, was pregnant at the time, and when Miller congratulated her, she joked about fighting a lot with her husband. Miller also said other neighbors had heard the couple arguing.

Eh. I imagine the fights would have to be awfully bad for DSS to judge them a threat to the children’s safety, although they are of course grading on a curve in this case. In fact, according to a story in the Star-Ledger when the news about the kid first broke, this isn’t the first run-in the agency’s had with the family. Hmmm:

In the foyer, Heath Campbell, who said he has German ancestry and a relative who fought for the SS, took off boots he said were worn by a Nazi solider named Daniel.

He laid them next to a skull with a swastika on its forehead, the first of dozens of swastikas seen by the Campbells’ rare guests.

There are swastikas on walls, on jackets, on the freezer and on a pillow. The family car had swastikas, Heath Campbell said, until New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families told him they could endanger the children.

At the Guardian, they’re already endorsing state seizure of children from atmospheres “of obvious poison.” What could go wrong? Exit question: Given the state agency’s warning about swastikas on the car, should we be reading their statement about the kids more skeptically? It may be true, strictly speaking, that the children weren’t taken because of their names, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t taken because of the various other ways in which their parents expressed their Nazi sympathies. If the fear is that the Campbells’ politics had made them so unpopular in the neighborhood as to endanger the kids’ lives, then arguably the state’s entitled to swoop in and “rescue” any child whose parents are a target. Does that mean if a Jewish family moves into a neighborhood with a heavy white-supremacist presence that DSS gets to take their kids?