q

Hilarious Hitler? German satire plays Nazi leader for laughs

Is a German satire about Hitler a positive way to deal with the Nazi past or as the history becomes more distant, is there danger in the desire for humour?
It's a hit in Germany, but how will Timur Vermes' Hitler satire land this side of the pond? (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)

Adolf Hitler is alive, living in Berlin, and being embraced as an entertainer. That's the premise of Look Who's Back a newly-translated German novel by Timur Vermes.

The story, which is written from the perspective of the infamous Nazi leader, is a bestseller in Germany. After time travelling to 2011, a confused Hitler is taken for a stubborn and increasingly popular impersonator. 

Vermes joins Shad to discuss his satirical story and speak to criticisms of a lighthearted take on the notorious dictator. 

Shad also checks in with Gavriel Rosenfeld, author of a nonfiction book called Hi Hitler! -- How the Nazi Past Is Being Normalized in Contemporary Culture.

q: Is a German satire about Hitler a positive way to deal with the Nazi past or as the history becomes more distant, is there danger in the desire for humour?

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.