Don’t mention the H-word

Hitler, Hitler, Hitler! There! Said it! But some people get a bit worked up about mention of Herr H, so much so that they want to censor jokes about him.

It’s happening in Sweden, where The Local, the country’s English-language online news outlet, tells us that a radio presenter who said the verboten word on his programme has got a few people twitching, and reporting him to the Swedish Broadcasting Commission.

On Tuesday, presenter Rickard Olsson made a joke on live TV about Germans and Nazis when referring to the German women’s football team’s loss against the Brazilians in the Olympic semi-final.

“There is something about Hitler and Germany that somehow makes it difficult to feel sorry for them when they get slaughtered at football. You just think, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Hitler”, said Olsson on his live chat show Olsson’s Studio.

But jokes about Hitler have been around ever since – well, ever since Hitler. And one has only to think back to the seventies and a rather elaborate Monty Python sketch, not to mention the mildly amusing “Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler?”, the theme song to the sitcom Dad’s Army.

In fact we at Mediawatchwatch feel a competition coming on. Best Hitler jokes, anyone?

10 Responses to “Don’t mention the H-word”

  1. Andrew Nixon says:

    Though not a joke, I sometimes chuckle at the Jim Morrison (he of The Doors) “poem” entitled Adolf Hitler. It goes as follows:

    Adolf Hitler is still alive.
    I slept with her last night.
    Come out from behind that false moustache Adolf,
    I know you’re in there.

  2. Sentinel says:

    This is really a visual joke, but nevermind.

    How tall was Hitler and where did he live?

    *Hand to moustache level* That tall,

    *Nazi salute* And over there.

  3. Alfster says:

    Well, why tick one taboo when you can tick off two of them in one go:

    Who is the greatest Jewish cook ever?

  4. I’m sorry Alfster, but that’s not funny! I’m not laughing. It’s more than a taboo but it’s not funny!

  5. Colin says:

    Apologies for disagreeing but the comment by Rickard Olsen is implying that all Germans alive today are to blame for the crimes of Adolf Hitler. That’s just a tad prejudice and racist. Like saying “I can’t feel sorry for the British they produced the Kray twins”

  6. Jim Barker says:

    It’s funny, but I thought that the further away in time you got from a traumatic event, the less touchy you were about it. This constant obsession with the Nazis, and the endless offense caused by even mentioning them doesn’t bode well for future human relations. Will the next generation start a war over Hitler jokes?!

  7. PrimalFest says:

    I don’t have any Hitler jokes I’m afraid, but I must say I’m surprised that this happened in Sweden as they’re known for their free-thinking attitude. Perhaps they have mixed feelings about their connections with the Nazis?

    I attended a very thought-provoking exhibition at the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm a few months ago. The exhibition focused on things we prefer not to see or talk about, including several items of Swedish Nazi memorabilia. Apparently the Nazis had something of a following in Sweden: even young children would attach Nazi flags to their bicycles to show support.

    I was stunned to see these items that we find uncomfortable and I was grateful the opportunity to challenge my own prejudices. I was also mightily impressed that the Swedes are willing to be so brutally honest about the more shameful aspects of their past.

    It brought me to tears, but not as much as another exhibition showing how Swedish children were christened, i.e. forced into their parents’ religion, during less enlightened times. Mainly because Nazis are a thing of the past, but religion is still alive & well today.

    Another Stockholm museum, the (quite wonderful) Historiska Museet, has a fantastic Viking exhibition which also included a small display showing the Nazis’ use of Viking iconography in their designs. The Nazis saw themselves as modern-day descendants of Vikings and were influenced by their warrior reputation.

    So perhaps the Swedes have a “don’t mention the war” attitude because they feel a certain amount of national guilt, as the Germans do?

  8. Stuart H. says:

    Re various of above – considering the favourite hidey hole of ex-Nazis and other crims I wouldn’t have thought there was much to choose between the teams!
    Maybe if Olsson had been faster on his feet he could have slipped in something suggesting the Brazilians had a coach called Bormann or Biggs.

  9. martyn says:

    Will the next generation start a war over Hitler jokes? I very much doubt it, they all seem far too busy doing well at exams or practising their Jafakean accents.

    I can’t believe no one’s mentioned the sketch from Flowery Twats. My grandfather had no problems with the nazis, he just offed them on sight and was paid for doing so.

  10. fatpie42 says:

    On the one hand, a criticism of Hitler jokes would be daft since it would be pretty much emulating Hitler himself. Jokes about Hitler and Nazism were banned within Nazi Germany.

    On the other hand, this does not appear to be criticism of Nazi Germany, but rather a disparagement of modern Germans implying that they are Nazi-supporters. Asides from being entirely unfunny (which is pretty much a given when it comes to sports journalism) it is vulgar and insensitive. Criticism of the comments would be completely reasonable.