Adolf Hitler in popular culture
Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers' Party and Chancellor of Nazi Germany from 1933 (Führer from 1934) to 1945. Hitler has been represented in popular culture ever since he became a well-known politician in Germany. His distinctive image was often parodied by his opponents. Parodies became much more prominent outside Germany during his period in power. Since the end of World War II representations of Hitler, both serious and satirical, have continued to be prominent in popular culture, sometimes generating significant controversy. In many periodicals, books, and movies, Hitler and Nazism fulfill the role of archetypal evil. This treatment is not confined to fiction but is widespread amongst nonfiction writers who have discussed him in this vein. Hitler has retained a fascination from other perspectives; among many comparable examples is an exhibition at the German Historical Museum which was widely attended.
Representations of Hitler during his lifetime
In Germany, before he came to power, Hitler was often portrayed satirically in newspaper cartoons and propaganda by political enemies. The photomontagist John Heartfield regularly depicted Hitler in absurd ways in his anti-Nazi poster designs. When the Nazis came to national power in January 1933, Hitler was mostly depicted as a god-like figure, loved and respected by the German people, as shown for example, in Triumph of the Will, which Hitler co-produced. An exception was the German movie Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (The Testament of Dr. Mabuse), (1933), which was banned by the Nazi propaganda ministry. Many critics consider Fritz Lang's depiction of a homicidal maniac masterminding a criminal empire from within the walls of a criminal asylum to be an allegory of the Nazi ascent to power in Germany.
Outside Germany Hitler's persona was often parodied. George Bernard Shaw's 1936 play Geneva includes a caricature of Hitler as Herr Battler, appearing at an international tribunal with his friends Signor Bombardone (Mussolini) and General Flanco (Franco). There are numerous cartoons satirising his distinctive features, such as those by David Low.
After the start of the war
Another early example of a cryptic depiction is in Bertolt Brecht's 1941 play, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, in which Hitler, in the persona of the principal character Arturo Ui, a Chicago racketeer in the cauliflower trade, is ruthlessly satirised. Brecht, who was German but left when the Nazis came to power, also expressed his opposition to the National Socialist and Fascist movements in other plays such as Mother Courage and Fear and Misery of the Third Reich.
Outside Germany, Hitler was made fun of or depicted as a maniac. There are many notable examples in contemporary Hollywood films. Several Three Stooges shorts, the first being You Nazty Spy (1940), the very first Hollywood work lampooning Hitler and the Nazis in which the boys, with Moe Howard portraying "Moe Hailstone", as the Hitler character, are made dictators of the fictional country Moronica. This short in particular implies that business interests were behind Hitler's rise to power, and was said to be Moe Howard's favorite Stooges short subject. A sequel was released a year later entitled I'll Never Heil Again. This one illustrated the disagreements between Hitler and the League of Nations. In other Three Stooges shorts, Hitler is referred to as "Schicklgruber" in reference to his father Alois Hitler's birth name. Charlie Chaplin made fun of Hitler as "Adenoid Hynkel," the buffoonish dictator of Tomainia, in his 1940 movie The Great Dictator. This is one of the most recognizable Hitler parodies.
Especially during World War II, Hitler was caricatured in numerous animated shorts, including Der Fuehrer's Face, a 1942 Disney wartime propaganda cartoon featuring Donald Duck, and Herr Meets Hare with Bugs Bunny. However, Hitler's first appearance on a Warner Brothers cartoon was in Bosko's Picture Show in 1932 in a short gag where Hitler is shown chasing after Jimmy Durante with an ax. George Grosz painted Cain, or Hitler in Hell (1944) showing the dead attacking Hitler in Hell. The photomontage artist John Heartfield made frequent use of Hitler's image as a target for his brand of barbed satire during Hitler's lifetime. In Fritz Lang's 1941 movie Man Hunt, which opened in theaters before America's entry into the war, Hitler is seen in the scope of a British hunter's rifle. In Ernst Lubitsch's 1942 movie To Be or Not to Be (as well as in Mel Brooks' remake in 1983), an actor from a Polish stage group impersonates Hitler to enable the escape of the troupe to England. In the opening scenes of Citizen Kane (1941), Charles Foster Kane is described and shown as supporting, then denouncing Hitler.
Apart from Hollywood films, Hitler was the subject for several comic book superheroes who battled Hitler directly or indirectly in comics published during World War II. Superheroes that fought Hitler include Superman, Captain America, The Shield, and Namor the Sub-Mariner. The first Captain America comic showed Captain America hitting Hitler on the jaw. Captain America's archenemy, Red Skull, was established as being an apprentice to Hitler. In Superman vol 1 #15 the dictator Razan appeared, who attempted to invade a nearby democratic nation. Superman defeated his army, and Razan was shot while trying to escape.
Hitler was mocked in satirical folk songs such as "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'" or when new lyrics were created to old songs such as "Hitler Has Only Got One Ball" (to the tune of the "Colonel Bogey March").
Representations of Hitler after his death
After his death, Hitler continued to be depicted as incompetent or foolish. However, while Hitler's anti-Semitic policies were well known during his lifetime, it was only after his death that the full extent of the Holocaust and other Nazi genocides became known. This, coupled with Hitler no longer being a threat, has meant that the way he is depicted in popular culture has resulted in Hitler being considered evil personified.
The 2003 television film Hitler: The Rise of Evil stars Robert Carlyle in the title role and depicts a semi-fictional account of Hitler's life from childhood to the new position of Führer und Reichskanzler, completing his ascension to full totalitarian, dictatorial power in Germany. However, the film has been criticized for its many inaccuracies in portraying Hitler's temperament and related events, to the point that it has been likened to fiction.
Moloch (1999), directed by Alexander Sokurov, starring Leonid Mozgovoy, deals with Hitler's life on his Berghof mountain retreat near Berchtesgaden during the war, drawing heavily from Hitler's Table Talk published after the war.
Hitler's last days have been depicted in several films, first in Der letzte Akt (1955), directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst, starring Albin Skoda as the dictator; next was the fifth and final installment of the Soviet film series Liberation (1969–72), directed by Yuri Ozerov, starring Fritz Diez (an actor who commonly portrayed Hitler in a number of East German films from 1955 onwards). The Death of Adolf Hitler, a British (7 January 1973) made-for-television production, starring Frank Finlay in the title role, and Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973), directed by Ennio de Concini, starring Sir Alec Guinness were the first Western contributions. The fifth iteration was the U.S. television film The Bunker (1981), directed by George Schaefer, starring Sir Anthony Hopkins. Finally, there was the Academy Award–nominated Downfall (2004), directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel and starring Bruno Ganz as Hitler. Also depicting Hitler's final hour in the bunker, the short film Hundert Jahre Adolf Hitler - Die letzte Stunde im Führerbunker (1989), directed by Christoph Schlingensief, starring Udo Kier, cannot be considered a remake of the above films in the proper sense.
Hitler was portrayed in the television miniseries Inside the Third Reich (1982) by Sir Derek Jacobi, who was nominated for an Emmy Award for his performance. Hitler was also portrayed in the film Valkyrie by David Bamber, which tells the story of the July 1944 bomb attempt on his life.
Another example of Hitler representations are comedy films such as Mel Brooks' comedy The Producers featured a satirical play-within-a-play called Springtime for Hitler, featuring dancing Nazis and songs about the conquest of Europe. Brooks' later comedy, History of the World, Part I, featured "Hitler on Ice."
Hitler has also been portrayed in experimental films. Hitler: A Film from Germany (1978), a 4-part, 442-minute experimental film on Hitler, directed by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, starring Heinz Schubert. A similar non-linear approach to Syberberg's, likening Hitler to a movie director as well, was used in the film The Empty Mirror (1996), directed by Barry J. Hershey, starring Norman Rodway, which speculates about Hitler surviving World War II, living in a secret subterranean bunker, and is today undergoing psychoanalysis conducted by Sigmund Freud.
Kosovar Emin Xhinovci has attracted considerable media attention for his striking resemblance to Hitler, and subsequent impersonation of him.
Hitler in fiction
- Ron Hansen's historical fiction novel Hitler's Niece parallels Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s with his relationship with his niece (and secret mistress) Geli Raubal.
- In the novel Young Adolf (1978) by English author Beryl Bainbridge, the 23-year-old Hitler travels to Liverpool to visit his English relatives.
- The 1962 short story Genesis and Catastrophe: A True Story by Roald Dahl portrays an unhappy husband in Austria in 1889 whose wife is about to give birth. The father is pessimistic about the child's survival as their previous three children have all died in infancy. Rebuked by the doctor for his gloominess, his confidence is boosted by his wife's conviction that their new baby, a boy, will survive. The father names his newborn son Adolf Hitler.
Hitler appears in many alternate history novels.
- In Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle, Hitler, after being stricken by the later stages of syphilis, was confined to a lunatic asylum shortly after World War II, and his place taken by Martin Bormann and, later, Joseph Goebbels and possibly Reinhard Heydrich.
- In Norman Spinrad's 1972 alternate history novel The Iron Dream, Hitler is a science fiction pulp novelist, author of Lord of the Swastika, the text of which is given in the book.
- In the Settling Accounts tetralogy of Harry Turtledove's Southern Victory Series of alternate history novels, Hitler is still a sergeant in the German Army due to the German Empire's victory in the Great War against the Entente powers, but a character named Jake Featherston, the dictatorial President of the Confederate States of America, assumes a role similar to the real-life Hitler's.
- In Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series, World War II is interrupted by Earth being attacked by space aliens known as The Race, and the Reich still exists and is safe when Hitler dies (cause not stated) and is succeeded by Himmler.
- In the controversial novella The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. by George Steiner Hitler survives the end of the war and escapes to the Amazon jungle, where he is found and tried by Nazi-hunters 30 years later. Hitler's defence is that since Israel owes its existence to the Holocaust, he is really the benefactor of the Jews.
- In Irving Wallace's The Seventh Secret (1985), Hitler and Eva Braun survive World War II by having doubles (a comedian named Manfred Müller and his girlfriend) murdered in their place (by Martin Bormann and others) staging the murder to look like suicide.
- In the Doctor Who Past Doctor Adventures novel The Shadow in the Glass, the Sixth Doctor and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart discover the existence of a Fourth Reich led by Hitler's son, Eva Braun having been smuggled away to give birth and a double killed in her place. At the conclusion of the novel the Fourth Reich's threat is ended when Hitler's son forces the Doctor to take him back in time to meet his father, only for Hitler to shoot his son in the head in the belief that he is nothing but a madman. The Seventh Doctor also met Hitler in the Virgin New Adventures novel Timewyrm: Exodus, where Hitler was briefly possessed by the powerful being known as the Timewyrm, learning to control its power before the Doctor tricked Hitler into banishing it by claiming that it was doing nothing to help him when in reality the Timewyrm's power was all that kept Hitler remotely stable in the early days of the war.
- In Tim Jorgenson's novel Kolossus, set in 1953, Hitler is portrayed as conniving to designate the next Pope, his favored candidate being a (fictive) American papal nuncio who is willing to provide cover for a Nazi plot to steal an American atomic bomb.
- In the novel The Berkut, Hitler is revealed to have faked his own death after staging an elaborate deception, making it appear as if he had Parkinson's disease, and then having a double apparently commit suicide in his place. Hitler escapes from Berlin with the aid of an SS-colonel and is eventually tracked down by a Russian squad of secret agents. He is captured alive, taken to Moscow, and kept in a cage beneath the Kremlin for Joseph Stalin's amusement. Immediately before Stalin's death, Hitler is executed, knowing that he has not survived Stalin.
- A similar approach is taken by Ira Levin in The Boys from Brazil, where it is revealed that Hitler conspired with Josef Mengele to clone himself prior to his death. Using Hitler's blood, Mengele begins a project in the 1960s to clone several Hitlers and distribute the Hitler infants to families similar to that of the original. Mengele later attempts to recreate the sociological environment of Hitler's youth, beginning with killing the fathers of all the Hitler clones. Mengele's plan is to eventually create a second Hitler who will come of age in the 21st century and establish the Fourth Reich.
- Forged journals of Hitler, known as the Hitler Diaries, were published in West Germany by the magazine Stern in 1983.
- The Robert Ludlum novel The Apocalypse Watch meets its climax with the destruction of a Fourth Reich set in the 1990s, and the discovery of an ancient Adolf Hitler controlling a massive multinational corporation.
- Robert Harris' 1992 novel Fatherland is based on a fictional German victory in WWII and Hitler meeting with U.S. President Joseph P. Kennedy during the 1960s.
- In the novel Making History (1996) by Stephen Fry, a history professor and a young student manage to invent a method of sending objects back through time and they send a male contraceptive pill back to 1888, placing it into the drinking water in the well at the Braunau am Inn so that Hitler's father will be rendered in-fertile, preventing his son Adolf from ever being born. However such meddling in history has un-expected repercussions.
- In The Plot Against America, 2004. Philip Roth envisions what life would have been like in the US had Charles Lindbergh defeated FDR and became President during the 1940s and allying the US with Nazi Germany.
- In the novel The Medusa Amulet by Robert Masello, protagonist David Franco discovers that Hitler has survived into the present day under the alias Auguste Linz thanks to the Medusa Amulet, an ancient mirror created with water taken from the lair of the Gorgon Medusa that renders the user immortal if they see their reflection and the full moon in the amulet at the same time. Despite the amulet's power restoring him to health, Hitler is defeated when Franco decapitates him in a fight, his still-living body and head subsequently being destroyed when his house explodes.
- Is the primary antagonist in the Sci-Fi/Adventure novel The Crisis Pendant by Charlie Patterson. Set in the near future, a squad of U.S. marines are thrust into a post-apocalyptic world where Nazism has been reborn into the century of technological advancements and redeveloped by a resurrected Hitler.
- Hitler is also the main 'protagonist' in the German dark satire novel Er ist wieder da ("Look Who's Back") by Timur Vermes, published in 2012. Hitler is shown to somehow reawaken, alive again, in Berlin of 2011 and, since no one believes him to really be Hitler, becomes popular on YouTube as a Hitler impersonator.
- Lavie Tidhar's novel, A Man Lies Dreaming (2014) features a thinly-disguised Hitler (going by the nom de guerre 'Wolf' - which Hitler used during the 1920s) as a down-at-heels private eye in a 1930s London, in a world where the communists, rather than the Nazis, came to power in Germany. Wolf's nightmarish journey - described in terms of pulp fiction - turns out to be the hallucination of a concentration camp inmate.
Hitler made it onto the stage through Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima, who wrote a play called My Friend Hitler (Wagatomo Hitora), retelling the Night of the Long Knives. Moreover, the Hungarian writer George Tabori wrote a comedy called Mein Kampf which portrayed Hitler as a poor young man who enters Vienna, wanting to become an artist. Hitler appears as a minor character in Stanley Eveling's The Dead of Night, set above the Führerbunker as the Russians are entering Berlin. Dr Freud Will See You Now Mr Hitler (2008) was a radio drama by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran presenting an imagined scenario in which Sigmund Freud treats the young Hitler. Toby Jones played Hitler. Utpal Dutt's 1975 Bengali play Barricade is set in the time that Hitler is rising to power.
- The Ace of Aces (1982), Günter Meisner plays Hitler and Hitler's half-sister Angela
- The Avengers (2012): Rogers references Hitler during his confrontation with Loki
- Blazing Saddles (1974): an actor playing Hitler in a film eats at the Warner Bros. commissary
- The Boys from Brazil (1978): a madman plots to clone Hitler
- The Bunker (1981), played by Anthony Hopkins
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011): Rogers performs in a war bond tour in which he "knocks out" Hitler; he tells the members of Bucky Barnes's unit "I've knocked out Adolf Hitler over 200 times!"
- Casino Royale (1967): Tremble dresses as Hitler for Vesper
- Chaplin (1992): Chaplin refuses to shake hands with man discussing Hitler at a party; Chaplin discusses Hitler with Sidney during pre-production on The Great Dictator
- Countdown to War (1989), played by Ian McKellen
- Daffy – The Commando (1943): Daffy conks Hitler on the head with a mallet
- Dear Friend Hitler (2011), played by Raghuvir Yadav
- The Death of Adolf Hitler (1973), played by Frank Finlay
- Fritz Diez depicted Hitler in:
- Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn (1995): Hitler escapes from Hell and attempts to take over a city
- The Empty Mirror (1996), played by Norman Rodway
- Europa, Europa (1990), played by Ryszard Pietruski
- Fatherland (1994), directed by Christopher Menaul
- Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa (2005): Edward learns from Lang that the Thule Society plans to use the weapons from his world to help Hitler in his attempt to start a revolution
- The Good Shepherd (2006): Fredericks takes Wilson to a meeting where Hitler is discussed; Murach recruits Wilson to expose Fredericks as a Nazi
- Hellboy (2004): Hellboy is told Hitler died in 1958, not in 1945
- Hitler (1962), played by Richard Basehart
- Hitler, ein Film aus Deutschland (1977) documentary by Hans-Jürgen Syberberg
- Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973), played by Alec Guinness
- Hitler Umanath (1982): a timid man who resembles Hitler becomes a leader
- Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil (1985), played by Colin Jeavons
- Inglourious Basterds (2009), played by Martin Wuttke
- Es geschah am 20. Juli (1955), directed by G. W. Pabst
- The King's Speech (2010), King George VI watches a newsreel of Hitler giving a speech
- A Kitten for Hitler (2007) by Ken Russell
- Kung Fury (2015), played by Jorma Taccone
- The Man Who Crossed Hitler (2011), played by Ian Hart
- Max (2002), played by Noah Taylor
- Mein Kampf (2009), played by Tom Schilling
- Molokh (1999), directed by Alexander Sokurov
- The Plot to Kill Hitler (1990), played by Mike Gwilym
- The Producers (1968): two men agree to produce a Broadway play about Hilter, hoping it will flop
- Rat Race (2001): a man and his family steal Hitler's car from a Nazi museum
- Udo Schenk depicted Hitler in:
- Michael Sheard depicted Hitler in:
- Timecop 2: The Berlin Decision (2003): a member of the Time Enforcement Commission travels back in time to assassinate Hitler
- They Saved Hitler's Brain (1969): Nazi madmen preserve Hitler's brain so they can resurrect him
- Der 20. Juli (1955), directed by Falk Harnack
- Der Untergang (2004), played by Bruno Ganz
- Valkyrie (2008), played by David Bamber
- War and Remembrance (1988), played by Steven Berkoff
- White Tiger (2012), directed by Karen Shakhnazarov
- The Winds of War (1983), played by Gunter Meisner
- The World at War (1974): a Thames Television series which contains much information about Hitler and Nazi Germany, including an interview with his secretary, Traudl Junge
- "Adolf Hitler's Last Days": from the BBC series Secrets of World War II, the episode tells the story of Hitler's last days
- The Nazis: A Warning From History (1997): six-part BBC TV series on how cultured and educated Germans accepted Hitler and the Nazis. Historical consultant was Ian Kershaw
- Im toten Winkel – Hitlers Sekretärin (Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary) (2002): a 90-minute interview with Traudl Junge. Made by Austrian Jewish director André Heller shortly before Junge's death from lung cancer. Junge recalls the last days in the Berlin bunker. Clips of the interview were used in Downfall.
- Undergångens arkitektur (The Architecture of Doom) (1989): documentary about the National Socialist aesthetic as envisioned by Hitler
- Das Fernsehen unter dem Hakenkreuz (Television Under the Swastika) (1999): documentary by Michael Kloft about the use of television in Nazi Germany for propaganda purposes from 1935 to 1944
- Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003): two-part TV series about the early years of Adolf Hitler and his rise to power (up to 1933), starring Robert Carlyle.
- Ruins of the Reich (2007): a four-part series detailing the rise and fall of Hitler's Reich, created by historian R.J. Adams
"Mr. Hilter" (sic) is portrayed by John Cleese in a Monty Python sketch as staying with his friends Ron Vibbentrop (Von Ribbentrop) and Reg Bimmler (Himmler) at a boarding house in Somerset and being introduced to other guests by the landlady as they plot the reunification of Taunton and Minehead.
Matt Groening's animated sitcom The Simpsons deals with the subject in a couple of episodes. In the episode "Bart vs. Australia" (1995), it is suggested that Hitler is still alive and living in Santiago, Chile when Bart Simpson (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) randomly makes a collect call to his car phone. In "The Curse of the Flying Hellfish" (1996), Sergeant Abraham Simpson (Dan Castellaneta) attempts to assassinate Hitler who is inspecting his troops, but is thwarted when a tennis ball flying off of Monty Burns's racket spoils his aim, resulting only in Hitler's hat being set spinning. In "Viva Ned Flanders" (1999), Homer (Castellaneta) states that Hitler and Barney Gumble (Castellaneta) share the same birthdate (April 20). Voiced over the years by Castellaneta and by Harry Shearer, Hitler also makes brief minor appearances in the course of jokes in "Whacking Day" (1993), "Rosebud" (1993), "The Trouble with Trillions" (1998) and "New Kids on the Blecch" (2001).
Groening's other series, sci-fi comedy Futurama, contains several references to Hitler. In the episode "A Clone of My Own" (2000), the Professor (Billy West) regards the public as being hypocritical for being in favor of saving Hitler's brain, but transplanting it into the body of a great white shark is "suddenly going too far". In the episode "The Honking" (2000), Calculon (Maurice LaMarche) claims Project Satan was built with the most evil parts of the most evil people's cars, including the steering wheel from Hitler's staff car. In the episode "I Dated a Robot" (2001), an in-universe episode of The Scary Door features a man who suddenly becomes Hitler, parodying the episode The Man in the Bottle of The Twilight Zone. The 2010 episode "The Late Philip J. Fry" sees the Professor make a pit-stop to shoot and kill Hitler when traveling the course of history following a Big Bounce.
Heil Honey I'm Home! was a controversial 1950s-styled British sitcom about Hitler and Eva Braun living in suburbia, with Jewish next door neighbors. Eight episodes were produced, but only one, the pilot, was ever broadcast (in 1990), as both television executives and the viewers alike thought the show in deplorably bad taste.
Hitler has been prominently featured in various other episodes and sketches such as Father Ted, Robot Chicken, Dragon Ball Z, Histeria!, Family Guy, Hey Arnold!, Aqua Teen Hunger Force or the Mexican TV superhero comedy El Chapulin Colorado.
In the Australian satirical comedy show The Chaser's War on Everything, comedian Andrew Hansen enters the offices at Foxtel dressed as Adolf Hitler to complain about the removal of the documentary Hitler's War by David Irving, claiming "you can't just kill something off because you disagree with it! I did, but you can't!"
In the British BBC sci-fi comedy TV show, Red Dwarf - S04E06: "Meltdown", the main characters find a matter changing device that allows them to travel anywhere in space. They end up traveling to a planet called Wax-world (a Wax-Droid theme park that has been abandoned for millions of years, during which time the droids have broken their programming and now the inhabitants of Villain World are waging war against Hero World). Two of the crew end up materializing in Villain World at their main command, the Third Reich. In the command room are Hitler and his high command which capture the two men. In another episode of Red Dwarf Timeslides a mutated developing fluid creates photographs thar the crew can walk into, Lister enters a photograph of Hitler and accidentally saves his life when he steals Hitler's briefcase, which contains a bomb.
In series 1 of the British alternative comedy series Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, Hitler (played by Paul Putner) appears in black & white newsreel-style footage making a speech in which he sarcastically derides political correctness.
In the Australian comedy series Micallef Tonight, comedian Shaun Micallef, after the previous week's episode of his show was beaten in the ratings by the mini-series Hitler: Rise of Evil on a rival channel, concluded the following episode of his show by dressing up as Hitler and singing the George Fornby song When I'm Cleaning Windows.
In the [adult swim] show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Hitler appeared as a balloon who hires Frylock to create an airborne virus to be compressed into balloons to be passed out in children birthday parties, who fight's Hitler's balloon army after learning his identity. After Frylock shows Hitler that all of the actors/comedians he is a fan of are Jewish he moves his hatred from the Jewish people to the gays. Frylock pops him shortly afterwards.
Hitler also appears in the British television series "Misfits", which features superpowers, one of which being time travel. An elderly Jewish holocaust survivor uses the power to travel back in time and kill Hitler; he fails, and Hitler finds his mobile phone, allowing the Nazis to overthrow Britain. At the end, Kelly, a main character in the show, obtains the time travel power and returns to Nazi Germany to take the phone from Hitler.
Hitler also appears in the Australian television series "Danger 5", about 5 international spies on a mission to kill Adolf Hitler.
The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone included Hitler on several occasions.
In "The Man in the Bottle," a man (Luther Adler) who has been granted four wishes by a genie attempts to find a way to wish himself into a position of wealth and power as a head of state who cannot be voted out of office, only to find he is Hitler and it is the end of World War II, with an officer handing him a bottle of cyanide "for you and Miss Braun." Shaking in horror, the man quickly uses his final wish to be restored to normal. A time traveler (Dana Andrews) tries to alter the past in several ways in "No Time Like the Past," including an attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1939. He is thwarted when a suspicious maid brings the authorities to his hotel room. The episode features newsreel footage of the real Hitler.
In a similar fashion, an episode of the 2002 Twilight Zone entitled "Cradle of Darkness" features a time traveler (Katherine Heigl) going back in time to kill Hitler as an infant. The time traveler kidnaps the infant Hitler and leaps from a bridge, killing herself and the baby. A horrified housekeeper, who has been following her and had witnessed the murder, does not tell Hitler's parents because of fear of death as punishment, but rather bribes a homeless woman to sell her baby. The baby is then returned to the Hitler household where he takes the place of the murdered infant, growing up to become the Hitler that the world knew.
Hitler appears in the three-parter episode of Justice League entitled "The Savage Time," where he is overthrown and cryogenically frozen by Vandal Savage, Savage having learned of how to win the war from his future self. After Savage is defeated by the Justice League, Hitler is thawed and reinstated as Germany's dictator. In the animated series Code Monkeys, Hitler is also cryogenically frozen (in carbonite, in reference to Han Solo) and is kept secret by the Hitler Family, and the Gamevision crew is invited there because of the game that Dave makes. Dave and Black Steve accidentally unfreeze Hitler, and they torture him by urinating on him. Hitler is then killed.
In the two-part episode Hitler's Secret Weapon in the British 1970s sci-fi series The Tomorrow People, Hitler is revealed to be not only still alive but an Alien metamorph, capable of brain-washing young people to obey his wishes.
In The Critic episode "Dial 'M' for Mother", title character Jay Sherman is rated worse than Hitler by a test audience, who say that Jay isn't as "warm or cuddly". Members of the test audience then ask if Hitler were "in a band". Another episode, "Eyes on the Prize," features a character named Adolph Hitmaker.
In the Doctor Who Season 6 Part 2 premiere, "Let's Kill Hitler", The Doctor is held at gunpoint and ordered to take a young River Song to kill Hitler. Ironically, interstellar cops were about to apprehend Hitler for his crimes when the TARDIS crashed through his office, knocking out the aliens and saving him. He gratefully thanks the Doctor and his companions, and the Doctor bluntly tells him it was totally unintentional. Rory Williams then forces Hitler to hide in a closet, much to his indignation.
In the TV series Perversions of Science, the episode "The Exile" involves a scientist (played by Jeffrey Combs) who is arrested for killing people in his experiments. He is sentenced to exile - on Earth, where he lands in Germany of the 1920s. The prison commander (David Warner) doubts that one man can do very much damage, whereupon we learned that the exiled prisoner will become Adolf Hitler.
In episode 24 of Cyber Team in Akihabara, a picture of Hitler and many other historic photos are shown during Rosenkreuz's reunion with Crane Bahnsteik.
In many different video games Hitler appears, but with varying significance and roles.
Wolfenstein 3D features Hitler as the final boss. He battles first wearing a mechanical battlesuit, then later carries two miniguns after the suit is heavily damaged. In addition, the map features Hitler-clones with flamethrowers that can be found before the final battle.
In the game Call of Duty: World at War, at the end of a victorious multiplayer match when playing as the German Army, when the march song is played the background Hitler can also be heard saying during it "Vor uns liegt Deutschland, in uns marschiert Deutschland, und hinter uns kommt Deutschland!" Translated in English as "Germany lies around us, in us marches Germany, and behind us Germany follows!"
The point and click adaptation of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade features an interactive meeting between the player and Adolf Hitler. The player can ask Hitler to give him an autograph on a book or a free pass, or can punch Hitler (which results in Indiana's death).
The main antagonist in the NES game Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode is Smirk, a cyborg version of Hitler. When one of his clones is shot during the final boss fight, its head will fly towards the screen to attack the player, clearly resembling him.
In the Japanese version of the NES game Bionic Commando, the main character has to fight futuristic Nazis. The last boss of the game is Hitler, who is resurrected by evil scientists. In the US version of the game, the name of the boss was changed to Master-D, in order to appease Nintendo's censorship policies, although he still resembles Hitler. In the modern remake Bionic Commando: Rearmed, the same character appears and though still clearly resembling Hitler, is never named.
Hitler is the main antagonist in Operation Darkness.
Small roles for Hitler are in Snoopy vs. the Red Baron (Hitler as a sidekick for Paul von Hindenburg), the game series Medal of Honor (Hitler in the opening sequence of Medal of Honor: Frontline) and in the Famicom Disk System game Time Twist: Rekishi no Katasumi de....
The idea of alternate reality is picked up for example in the PC video game series Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Here the world-renowned physicist Albert Einstein had traveled back in time and chronoshifted (or "deleted from time") Hitler before his rise to power. The resulting power vacuum led to the Soviet Union invading Europe with Joseph Stalin assuming a role very similar to Hitler's. Germany then joins the Allies in the battle against the Soviet Union, and the general who gives the player's orders in the video sequences is German. In the PC video game War Front: Turning Point, Hitler is killed in the early days of World War II. A new chancellor comes to power and under his rule, Operation Sea Lion succeeds and Nazi Germany successfully conquers Britain.
In the Assassin's Creed series, Adolf Hitler was a Templar who used a Piece of Eden to take control of Germany. In response, his fellow Templar leaders Winston Churchill, FDR, and Joseph Stalin attempted to thwart his plans. Instead of committing suicide, he was killed by the Assassins.
Players can create and use "Hitler-like" Miis on the Nintendo Wii in certain games such as Wii Sports. However, Nintendo banned Hitler-like Miis, or Miis that are even named "Hitler", from playing online in Mario Kart Wii. The recent update on the Xbox 360 can have players create avatars that also can resemble Hitler. So far, Microsoft has not banned anyone from using Hitler-like avatars.
In the game Sniper Elite V2, with the "Assassinate the Führer" bonus mission, the player has the opportunity to kill Adolf Hitler.
In the game The Saboteur, excerpts from Hitler's speeches play over loudspeakers throughout a Nazi-occupied Paris during several cutscenes.
A conspiracy theory named In-Lakech in Persona 2: Innocent Sin claims that Hitler was smuggled out of Germany by his elite guard, the Last Battalion, and moved to Antarctica. Furthermore, he wields the Lance of Longinus, referred to as the Spear Of Destiny (which the real Adolf Hitler had an interest in possessing), and plans to raise the ship Xibalba from beneath Sumaru City and awaken the Bolontiku, who guided the evolution of apes to man and will guide the evolution of man to the ultimate being, "Idealian".
Comics and cartoons
In EC Comics' Weird Fantasy #14 story Exile, Earth is revealed to be a penal planet where all people with the "evil" gene are sent and they are transporting their latest prisoner and speculating on his influence on the prison planet just as it is revealed he is Adolf Hitler.
DC Comics feature Hitler on several occasions. In Strange Adventures, in issue #3 (December 1950-January 1951), there is a story in which Hitler is captured by space aliens just before his attempted suicide. A fake corpse is left for the SS to find. As punishment for Hitler's crimes, he is imprisoned for life alone on a rocket ship which will travel through space until he dies (the rocket ship can automatically manufacture its own food for him); during his waking hours, he is forced to listen to an endless loop recording of all the speeches he has ever made. The character known as the Unknown Soldier, who first appeared in June 1966, kills Hitler, impersonates him for a short time, then pretends his death was a suicide. In Adventures of the Outsiders #33-35, a clone of Hitler is created by Baron Bedlam. Planning to give the clone the same persona as the original, Bedlam gives him a mentally retarded Jewish maid, several films of the Holocaust, and a handgun, Bedlam's intention being for the clone to embrace Nazism and ultimately murder the maid to "prove himself" as Hitler. Instead, the clone—realizing his connection to the atrocities he views— commits suicide. In DC Comics' Elseworlds imprint, The Golden Age, Hitler's brain is successfully transplanted into the brain pan of Dyna-Mite. Now pretending to be a superhero called Dynaman, he plots in resurrecting Nazi ideals with the aid of the Ultra-Humanite. He possessed a magical item, the Spear of Destiny, which gave him control over superpowered beings that entered Nazi territory, an explanation for why the Justice Society of America did not enter Berlin and end the war. In Fawcett Pre-Crisis comics he was a member of the Monster Society of Evil with Benito Mussolini and Hideki Tojo, and other Nazis like (List of Captain Marvel (DC Comics) enemies) Herr Phoul were other members of the Society. He was shown to have helped in the creation of super-strong Arayn supervillain Captain Nazi. In the Justice League episode "The Savage Time", Hitler makes an unnamed cameo. He is shown cryogenically frozen by Vandal Savage, who has replaced him as Fuhrer, not just of Germany, but the whole world. He is never named, but the character's identity is unmistakable.
In the comic book The Savage Dragon by Erik Larsen (published by Image Comics), it is revealed that Hitler did not die in 1945, but after a fight against Hellboy in Romania in 1952. His body ruined, the brain is transplanted to the body of a large gorilla. Suffering amnesia and calling himself Brainiape, the chimera possesses great psionic powers and joins the Chicago, IL criminal organization known as the Vicious Circle, eventually becoming its leader. He remembers his past only in 1996 when he encounters Hellboy again, alongside the Vicious Circle's enemy, the meta-talented policeman called Dragon. The ape body is killed, and it is revealed that Hitler's brain had mutated and could live unaided by any technology or host body, ambulatory on tiny legs.
Marvel Comics' villain Hate-Monger is revealed to be the consciousness of Hitler transferred to a cloned body by Nazi scientist Arnim Zola. The original Hitler, rather than committing suicide, was confronted by the Human Torch and his sidekick Toro after Eva Braun committed suicide. The two heroes set Hitler ablaze as he attempted to set off a bomb. As he died, he commanded one of his loyal followers nearby to tell the world he had committed suicide. The clone is killed in Fantastic Four #21 when the Invisible Girl makes him hit his own troops with his hate-ray, causing them to shoot him for getting them into a battle with the Fantastic Four. At the time of his death he was planning to start wars using a ray which caused hatred and to which only he possessed the antidote to, having started with a South American country. He preached ideas of bigotry also while in America. In another story, Hitler is seen in the Hellish realm of the demon Mephisto.
In Weird War Tales #58 (1977) "Death of a dictator" Hitler kills a raving man dressed in rags before going into suspended animation in the belief history will repeat and he will be able to rebuild the Third Reich. The story ends with our Hitler with long hair being killed in exactly the same manner the raving man dressed in rags was. The final panel reveals that the scientist was all too correct in that history would repeat as our Hitler's killer looks exactly like he did originally and he is going to his suspended animation chamber and these events will replay themselves...forever.
In the Spanish comic series Hitler (1978), published in Spain by Mercocomic and in France by Elvifrance, Hitler fakes his death by using a double, escapes Germany along with Martin Bormann (both disguised as Russian soldiers), then suffers from amnesia and, of all things, becomes an agent of the KGB with the mission of hunting down Nazis. Later on in the story, he recovers his memory and ends up in an asylum for the mentally disturbed.
The popular British comic strip Charley's War by Pat Mills which was published in Battle Picture Weekly 1979-1985 and portrayed the experiences of young British soldier Charley Bourne in the trenches of the Great War. The strip included a sequence of episodes in which the story's hero Charley and his unit are stationed opposite the regiment of young Lance Corporal Adolf Hitler in December 1917. Charley and Hitler fight hand-to-hand in one scene, nearly killing each other. Hitler is portrayed as a somewhat eccentric and scruffy soldier, ill-tempered but brave, albeit selfishly so.
*There is a well-known German satirical comic book Adolf, die Nazisau (Adolf, the Nazi pig), an absurd interpretation of Adolf Hitler in today's world, by Walter Moers.
Other examples of Hitler in comics includes Osamu Tezuka's manga Adolf (Hitler is one of the three men named Adolf around which the story revolves), the Mexican comic book series Fantômas (in which a multi-part storyline titled "The Son of Hitler" has the son of Hitler and Eva Braun raise a Fourth Reich that conquers France) and Spriggan (Neo-Nazis use clones of Hitler in order to gain access to a hidden stash of ancient artifacts somewhere in Europe by using the Holy Grail in order for his soul to enter the clone and led the Neo-Nazi remnants to its locations).
Warner Bros. produced wartime cartoons which constantly parodied Hitler and his personality traits and quirks. Most (if not all) cartoons with Hitler and the Nazis as the antagonists ended up with the American hero cartoon character (such as Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck) making a mockery out of Hitler and his people.
Hitler in music
Many songs tell a story about Hitler one way or the other, for example "Gotterdammerung" by Stratovarius directly mentions the history of Hitler and the Nazi regime. Bowie has also been quoted saying "Hitler was the first rock star" and, at one time, wanted to direct a film based on the life of Heinrich Himmler. "Heads We're Dancing" by Kate Bush tells the story of a woman who dances all night with a charming stranger, only to discover the following morning that he is Adolf Hitler. Texas Groove metal band Pantera wrote and recorded a song called "By Demons Be Driven". It tells the story of how Hitler was plagued by paranoia and began to hate the Jewish people and religion. Australian band TISM's debut single was "Defecate on My Face", which was about Adolf Hitler's supposed coprophilia. Australian comedy troupe the Doug Anthony Allstars had a song called "Mexican Hitler", which told the story of what Hitler would have been like if he was born Mexican. It made an appearance in their television show, DAAS Kapital. The song "Hitler as Kalki" by apocalyptic folk band Current 93 makes use of Savitri Devi's idea that Hitler was an avatar of the Hindu god Kalki. "Two Little Hitlers" by Elvis Costello, superficially a song about a loveless couple but reportedly a real-life reflection of the relationship between the singer and his producer Nick Lowe (who had previously recorded a song entitled "Little Hitler", the similarities leading to speculations about the origins of the later song) on the album Armed Forces. Antony and the Johnsons have released the song "Hitler in My Heart" on their debut in which the term "Hitler" is generally used as a metaphore for the bad within oneself - likewise in the song "Crack Hitler" by Faith No More from Angel Dust.
Other songs take a more serious approach and deal with Hitler's impact on the world. Thrash metal group Flotsam and Jetsam recorded the song "Der Fuhrer" for their album Doomsday for the Deceiver. The song discusses the devastation Hitler caused in Europe. New York metal band Anthrax recorded the song "The Enemy" for their album Spreading the Disease. The song discusses Hitler's role in the Holocaust.
There are some examples of parodies involving Hitler. "Der Fuehrer's Face" is an elaborate parody on Nazism created by musical comedian Spike Jones. It is one of his most well-known tunes. A novelty rap song entitled "To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap)" performed by Mel Brooks is on the movie To Be or Not to Be's soundtrack album, but it was not in the movie itself. By typing Hitler Rap into YouTube, one can view the music video, a popular YouTube favorite. Mel Brooks dressed as Hitler sings from behind a desk while male dancers in pants, harnesses and SS caps made of black leather and female dancers in fishnet stockings dance wildly with each other around Hitler on a large dance floor with a checkerboard design.
List of songs about Adolf Hitler
- "Adolf" performed by Billy Cotton and His Band; lyrics written by Annette Mills in 1939
- "Bonus Track" by Bo Burnham
- "Defecate on My Face", by TISM
- "Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend" by Mr. T Experience
- "Even Hitler Had a Mother" written by Herbert Farjeon and John Pritchett, performed by Chas & Dave
- "Der Fuehrer's Face" by Spike Jones
- "Der Fuhrer" by Flotsam & Jetsam
- "Für Immer" by the Spanish folk metal band Mägo de Oz
- "Götterdämmerung (Zenith of Power)" by the Finnish power metal band Stratovarius.
- "Heads Were Dancing" by Kate Bush
- "Hitler", by Eek-a-Mouse
- "Hitler as Kalki" by Current 93
- Hitler Has Only Got One Ball—World War II British soldiers marching song
- "Hitler Was A Sensitive Man" by Anal Cunt
- "Hitler Was a Vegetarian" by The Residents
- "Hitler's Brothers" by Paula Cole
- "Hitler's Favourite Song (Please Don't Tread On My Cheeseburger)" by Pig With The Face Of A Boy
- "Hitler's Still Alive" by The Tokens
- "Hitler's Suicide Note" by Rucka Rucka Ali
- "I Never Loved Eva Braun" by The Boomtown Rats
- "Jesus Hitler" by Carnivore
- "Narodowy Socjalizm", by Honor (band)
- "Pictures of Adolf" by Bill Fay
- "Rise of Evil" by the Swedish power metal band Sabaton.
- "Springtime for Hitler" from the film and play The Producers by Mel Brooks
- "They Saved Hitler's Cock" by Angry Samoans
- "Triumph of the Will" by Radio Werewolf
- "Triumph of the ill" by Trevor Moore
- "A Very Little Nazi" by Tommy Handley
- "Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hitler?", theme song from Dad's Army by Jimmy Perry and Derek Taverner
- "Who Is That Man (Who Looks Like Charlie Chaplin)?" by Tommy Handley
Parodied clips from the 2004 film Downfall have proliferated internationally via YouTube and other video sites. The parodies replace the subtitles from the original movie with incorrect subtitles. The most frequently used clip is the scene where Hitler receives news of the advancing Red Army vastly outnumbering the forces commanded by Felix Steiner. They are subtitled with references to Hitler becoming angry over various facets of modern pop culture such as politics, online gaming, television, music, sports and many other local or international events.
The phenomenon started in English but has spread to other languages including Japanese (massive number of videos on Nico Nico Douga on various topics), Chinese (influenced by Japan, comments on Wenzhou train collision and many other sensational topics mainly on Tudou and Youku), Bulgarian (to ridicule Bulgarian president Georgi Parvanov for being a State Security agent during the communist dictatorship and for being a poacher), Romanian (for the 2009 presidential election), Croatian (comments about frequent affairs in the government), Serbian (regarding poor results by football team FK Red Star), French (about the weather), Spanish (about a wide variety of topics mainly related to Argentine and Chilean local events), Indonesian (mainly about local politics, presidential elections, cultures, and also everyday life), and Hebrew (about the difficulty of finding parking space in Tel Aviv).
Footage and/or characters from other films, ranging from other depictions of Hitler in the likes of Inglourious Basterds or Hitler: The Last Ten Days, or even films that have little or nothing to do with Downfall, are also juxtaposed for humorous effect. A trend involving the use of computer-generated imagery or special effects, such as superimposing Hitler's head on various videos, are also starting to become popular.
On April 21, 2010, Constantin Film, the production and distribution company responsible for the film, initiated a massive removal of parody videos on YouTube. This removal was criticized by digital rights advocates and was followed by the appearance of self-referential parody videos on the very subject of Constantin's actions with respect to the parodies.
The website Cats That Look Like Hitler features pictures of cats that bear some resemblance to the German leader.
Godwin's Law states "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one". From this is derived an additional formulation, also encountered online, which states "The first person to mention the Third Reich automatically loses the argument".
In 2010, Hitler has been portrayed by EpicLLOYD in the second episode of YouTube series Epic Rap Battles of History, "Darth Vader vs. Hitler", where he faces Darth Vader (portrayed by co-creator Nice Peter) in a rap battle. This episode became the series most popular episode and it successfully lead to the popularity of the series creators Nice Peter and EpicLLOYD. In 2011, in Season two's first episode, "Hitler vs. Vader 2", EpicLLOYD and Nice Peter reprised their roles in a second rap battle between Darth Vader and Hitler and again for the start of season three, in episode "Hitler vs. Vader 3", which was uploaded on October 7, 2013 on the series YouTube channel.
Salvador Dalí painted several pictures involving Hitler. The Enigma of Hitler (1939) depicts a torn photograph of Hitler on a plate in a typically surreal landscape over which hangs a broken telephone and an umbrella. He also painted the Metamorphosis of the Face of Hitler into a Moonlit Landscape (1958). One of his late works was Hitler Masturbating (1973), depicting just that, with Hitler seen from behind in an armchair in the center of a snow-filled desolate landscape.
Hitler is depicted in a balloon overlooking marching, helmeted troops in the painting Vision of War by Indian artist A. Ramachandran. A picture of him with Gandhi by M. F. Husain was controversial with Hindutva groups in India.
The name "Hitler" is widely used for anyone is overly authoritarian in manner, but it does not have the same negative connotation as in the West. For example in the 1998 film Hitler, the disciplinarian hero nicknamed Hitler is simply a person with staunch traditional values. There are at least three other Indian films entitled "Hitler", in all of which the Hitler character is the hero (Hitler (1996 film); Hitler (1997 film); Hitler Umanath). Hitler Didi (My Sister Hitler) is a TV show about a character with a domineering elder sister.
Hitler is also used as a personal name in India, as in the case of the politician Adolf Lu Hitler Marak. The film Hero Hitler in Love is about a man called "Hitler" who tries to love everyone. Furthermore, the swastika is a common symbol in India with positive connotations. According to The Indian Republic,
A more recent cinematic outing- Gandhi to Hitler (2011) was decried for painting the man as a lost hero of India’s struggle for Independence while Hitler memorabilia, including his autobiography Mein Kampf, continues to grow in sales. In 2006, a Mumbai restaurant was forced to change its name from the ill advised "Hitler’s Cross" while in 2012, a clothing store named "Hitler" in Ahemdabad drew considerable anger (tellingly the owner of the unfortunately named store said that he had picked the name in memory of his grandfather, a strict disciplinarian who the family referred to as ‘Hitler’).
According to Navras Jaat Aafreedi, such references to Hitler are not usually linked to pro-Nazi sympathies, but some Hindu nationalist groups see Hitler's use of the swastika as a "great service to Hinduism" and link anti-Semitic ideology to anti-Islamism.
The "Hitler" clothing store in Ahmedabad in Gujarat opened in mid-August 2012. The store immediately became embroiled in controversy over its name. The store's logo even had a swastika embedded in the dot above the "i" in Hitler's name. The owner, Rajesh Shah, told media he did not expect all the commotion. He had chosen the name because the grandfather of his business partner was nicknamed "Hitler" because of his strict demeanor. He added to the media that he also hadn't known about Hitler's killing of millions of people until after the store's opening. He stated he did not intend to change the name unless somebody else paid the expenses. Among the groups that reacted negatively to the store's name was the small Jewish community in Ahmedabad. A diplomat at the Israeli embassy in New Delhi said that the embassy would protest in "the strongest terms possible" to the Indian government. The Israeli consul general in Mumbai asked state officials to ensure the store is renamed, but commented that she believes the use of the name most likely is a product of ignorance rather than antisemitism. Reports suggested that the shop owner had agreed to rename the store as a response to an offer by a Jewish organization to compensate for the costs. In October 2012, the Ahmedabad Municipal authorities allegedly removed the store sign without proper procedure. It has since then been renamed Gladiator.
Cross Cafe in Mumbai was formerly Hitler's Cross cafe. The business sought to attract attention by using the Hitler theme, and was decorated with Nazi imagery. Actor Murli Sharma attended the opening party. When asked what he thought about the name, he said "I am not really agitated as I have not read much about the man. However, from what I know about Hitler, I find this name rather amusing." Alternative names suggested included Stalin Samosa Shop, Ayatollah Khomeini's Falafels, and Kim Jong's Juicy Juice.
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