Friday, July 31, 2015

Summertime For Hitler!


Hitler! The name still resonates in the culture, a single man who has become the very symbol of unblinking hatred. Adolph Hitler became for the World War II generation an icon against which every atom was put to the wheel against his brutal aggression. The way in which his name is still evoked with such relative ease makes me wonder sometime if people don't miss the nostalgic glow of presumed simpler times when enemies were easy to identify and against which they were eager to rally their will. Of course those years were far more complicated, but having a shared mission is something that can give a fragmented society its identity and mission. But we forget that was the very thing Hitler was so very good at too; it's a dangerous game to play.


The current threats in the world are more complex than the evil of Hitler and his associates, a cultural struggle not between merely two societies but between two religious worldviews, neither of which is exactly as its opponent would cast it. The practitioners of terror abroad lust after the "Great Satan" they can turn their venom against, and likewise the cultures of the West seem eager for some demon of their own against which to rally their populations and their troops. Sadly that effort can result in some truly ugly notions about people who appear strange, and can create some brutal and unfair representations of who the enemy is, often seeking to reduce them to something less than human to more readily justify the terrible things which might be thought to be required in the inevitable struggle.

Here are fifty comic book covers from across the decades which showcase the terrible and sometimes terrifying image of the Hitler and in some instances his Axis allies Mussolini and Hirohito. Some of the images challenge our modern morality, but are at least understandable if not justifiable given the tenor of the times. 



















































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8 comments:

  1. What a staggering, completely butt-kicking July it’s been here at the Dojo. To quote that silly fellow on Mystic Comics #9: “HIMMEL! MINE HEAD!”

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    1. That is a whopper of a quote isn't it. I almost used it to title the post. Glad you've liked this month. August will have a wee bit more variety, as school is starting back and I'll have less time to obsess on a single topic. But it has been fun.

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    1. The Prince Harry thing I'd heard about and it is a very stupid thing to do. I had not heard about the scuffle about the Queen though. Hitler will remain controversial until every last survivor of the war is gone plus twenty-five years at least. Eventually he'll become like Napoleon, but it will take more time. Stalin and Pot were as evil if not more so and almost no one pays much attention to them anymore.

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  3. Hatred of the Other, like most hate, is born of fear. Because fear is such a primal urge, it's often used to promote uncritical, irrational hate by those who believe they can gain power as a result. I don't think the manipulators believe their rhetoric idealistically, but use it as a tool to seize and hold power. This applies to terrorists who claim a religious justification and it applies to politicians in lieu of reasoned debate. It's discouraging how well the tactic works, but it's always been an easy gauge for me. If I see a candidate primarily using the Politics of Fear (like equating EVERYTHING with Hitler or Neville Chamberlain), then I take my vote elsewhere,

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    1. Some believe and they are to be watched because they can become maniacs and some don't believe but merely manipulate and those cats are the truly evil ones. Maybe they convince themselves eventually. Over here we have the buffoon Trump who makes racist remarks and gets a pass from many because they imagine him a dope or a believer (I don't by the way - either way), but let a more reasonable person say the same thing and they are excoriated because it's just nasty to say and to think.

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  4. I love that "GOD" cover. i can imagine it being a grindhouse or 80s action movie trailer: "They crucified his son...but this April.....(da-da-dodo) HE'S BACK"

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    1. I think it's a National Lampoon cover but I'm not certain. I've seen mock up movie ads online similar to what you describe.

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