Thursday May 14, 2015

Hilarious Hitler? German satire plays Nazi leader for laughs

It's a hit in Germany, but how will Timur Vermes' Hitler satire land this side of the pond?

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?