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  1. Mitnaged

    if you are here referring to the comedians who took the stage I can only half agree

    “their rigid view of themselves as being totally powerful.”

    I think anybody who successfully hits the stage needs a bit of a super-high opinion of himself. Whether the comedians were out to create a revolution I don’t know and I’d assume they would have deemed it possible only if they were nuts. (If I remember correctly quite a number of them were – Berlin – Jews) But the originals (there is a collection out there somewhere, all in German of course) which I heard a lot of on radio make one hold one’s breath. No matter what motivated them they were courageous, they risked a lot (health and livelihood) and they most likely didn’t even have police protection.

  2. modernity, Berchmans is not ignorant on the topic – he knows very well that Jews are no safer in Scotland than they are anywhere else but he is utterly incapable of admitting that to himself. He’d rather make a horse’s ass of himself here by denying that it’s the case in the vain hope that somehow it’ll be true.

    He’s sorely challenged.

  3. Silke, I wasn’t particularly referring to comedians who took to the stage, and I won’t argue with you about the dangers they faced and the courage they showed in the face of those.

    No, I was talking about the very rudimentary psychological warfare undertaken by the Allies, who realised that Nazis couldn’t take a joke and therefore made jokes at their expense.

    To any authoritarian who thinks rigidly and interacts with the world via his false self, any threat to his public persona is immensely threatening. He lacks the flexibility that would enable him to “roll with the punches” and still come out on top. Instead he overreacts to irony or satire at his expense. The public persona of such people is very brittle and easily fractured by satire and irony.

    Walt Disney did some excellent work, too:

    And the similarity between this and Hamas’ control of Palestinian children is chilling even in satire:

    and of course there’s this:

    As well as Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator.

    The way to disable all authoritarians, left, right, Islamofascists like Hamas is to ridicule them and undermine their view of themselves in this way.

  4. Mitnaged

    weird and full of unexpected consequences as life is I think the most long lasting and enjoyed by me and my think-alikes blow to Hitler’s vanity and self-image was that he had to smile publicly through Jesse Owens gold medals.
    That was one occasion where he couldn’t gnash his teeth in private …

    and to have that happen so shortly after Max Schmeling had won against Joe Louis …

    btw I remember Schmeling as a darling on TV from 1953 on when we got our first set but I don’t remember having ever been told much of his defeat the second time around … (it seems that sadly there are levels of partisanship which re-education can’t reach)

    but this devastating to the Nazis debunking of their claim of inborn Aryan superiority looks and feels probably different from afar

  5. Not necessarily, Silke. Hitler didn’t snub Jesse Owens though. According to one source Hitler did snub Cornelius Johnson, another black athlete. It happened the first day of the Games. Just before Johnson was to be decorated, Hitler left the stadium. A Nazi spokesman explained that Hitler’s exit had been pre-scheduled, but no one believed that.

    (see http://hnn.us/articles/571.html and note particularly how the Berlin crowds had cheered Owens to the rafters)

    Maybe the first cracks in the edifice of Nazi superiority began then?

  6. Mitnaged
    thanks once more
    – I really must take the time and take a look at those 2 volumes of cigarette packet picture collection photo album my mother left me on the Olympics – at first glance though they always seemed terribly boring and opaque.

    I don’t know about 1936 but I can assure you that Jesse Owens gave my generation a strong and effective argument and ridicule whenever somebody dared to come up with something that sounded at the vaguest like a claim for supremacy

    I’ve probably heard the Johnson story somewhere but don’t remember it, but that explains of course why he HAD to smile through Owens
    – I hope it ruined his dentures or teeth –
    when a kid after the war I was told quite often that Hitler had a habit of rolling on the floor biting the carpet – hopefully his teeth made him suffer afterwards that also.