Sunday, April 20, 2008

Springtime for Hitler

Adolf Hitler
Born this day in 1889

Let us pray in this hour that nothing can divide us, and that God will help us against the Devil! Almighty Lord, bless our fight!

~ Adolf Hitler (1930)

Time's 100 Most Important People of the Century had this to say of Adolf Hitler:
Adolf Hitler or the incarnation of absolute evil; this is how future generations will remember the all-powerful Fuehrer of the criminal Third Reich. Compared with him, his peers Mussolini and Franco were novices. Under his hypnotic gaze, humanity crossed a threshold from which one could see the abyss.
There is a tendency to characterize Adolf Hitler as the epitome of evil. Evil he was. Yet, evil is not merely the province of Hitler. Rather, if we classify him as the apex of evil, do we not run the risk that we may overlook evil on the horizon or that which may be even closer? Remember, in order to honor the promise of "Never Again," we need to be ever vigilant.

Via Stephen Gimbel of Philosophers' Playground, who notes this "auspicious" day, in It's Springtime for Hitler, querying whether humor can be appropriate in circumstances where the subject of the humor is the source of such horror and devastation. I believe so. And I have to say that Springtime for Hitler is one of my favorites:

Clearly the Bush Administration is not on the same level as Hitler or the Nazi regime, yet it has done tremendous damage to America and beyond in innumerable ways. And I believe that satirizing Bush and his cronies is but one way of dealing with the misery they have wrought, without dismissing or minimizing the reality of it. It's not only perfectly acceptable to do so, it's a necessary anecdote to prevent depression from setting in.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there.

I agree with you on satire, but that's a fine line to walk between satire and pure bad taste. (Not a reference to Springtime, just a comment.)

Dick Cheney's jokes to the media dinner, those were in bad taste. I know a few people who couldn't watch that segment on Countdown, but I thought about a little, and came to the conclusion that maybe it would be wise to notice that even a man who has some evil ideas and convictions can seem like your everyday sort of politician who tells bad jokes. I'd say it's probably important to keep in mind that those who would do damage to our country and many other people don't always look like a stereotypical villain or a terrorist in robes. As you said, "Never again" so we must all be vigilant.

Aurora B.