… my answer to him was three words: “Dear god yes.”
Here, appearing for the first time, is Ron Rosenbaum’s characteristically brilliant response to all the important updates that have occurred in Hitler studies in the past 15 years…
Ron Rosenbaum is one of the greats.
Here, he talks about (among other things) what those Hitler Downfall parody videos tell us about ourselves; the “Holocaust discourse police” (and their unhinged reactions to such things as the baby picture of Hitler that adorned the cover of the first edition); the evolving “was Stalin worse than Hitler/Is the Holocaust unique?” debate; Godwin’s Law and much more.
Do read the whole thing. You won’t be sorry.
Of course, I’m delighted to learn that Rosenbaum shares my disgust with Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, although he comes at it from a different direction.
I’m really less annoyed by the film itself (which I think Rosenbaum misinterprets a bit; at times he sounds like Malcolm Muggeridge fuming over Life of Brian..) than with the widespread belief that it was a “brave” and “important” film.
But yes, Chaplin’s closing speech is THE problematic, nay, sinister, aspect of the film, not the “Jewish bankers”/balloon globe bits that were establishing the Great Dictator’s character — we weren’t meant to endorse or approve of them.