Twenty days ago, the reddit user “red mambo_no6” asked “Add ‘and Hitler’ to the end of a movie’s title. What’s it about now?” This post received 8742 karma points, in addition to 6283 comments.
Associating Hitler and a popular movie creates an uncomfortable, yet clever, irony. Hitler is popularly understood as the archetype of evil – the face of the Holocaust, and of all things un-American and inhumane. By invoking Hitler, the redditor who posted the original question and the thousands of redditors who responded to that question, were also invoking the reasons evil is associated with Hitler – namely, the Holocaust. The responses varied. Some relying on what Hitler symbolizes, by just including his name; while others invoked specific Holocaust imagery, which was both laughed at and called out as insensitive.
One redditor – who received 14.6k karma (the most popular comment on the post) titled his response “Saving Private Ryan and Hitler.” Another redditor commented on this thread saying, “I am conflicted about this film.” The redditor who posted the comment replied, “the brave men depicted in this film were conflicted as well, but they did not let it stop them from completing their mission.” Through this comment, this redditor explicitly refers to the irony in associating Hitler with a popular American WW2 movie. Although they don’t reference the Holocaust, Hitler’s association with it creates this confliction.
In other popular comments the Holocaust is specifically referenced. One redditor responds to the original question posed: “Finding Nemo and Hitler.” On this thread another redditor comments “I’m gonna touch the valve,” while another says, “just keep gassing, just keep gassing, just keep gassing, gassing, gassing.” Indeed insensitive, but highly representative of the irony produced when Hitler is associated with popular film and warm film, such as Finding Nemo.
In class we have discussed how invoking Hitler is invoking the Holocaust. Hitler and the Holocaust do not just exist in the realm of scholarship, but in popular culture – through the way all people act and interact. It exists in our collective memory, and is expressed in daily interaction, like this example on Reddit.
How I found this:
I occasionally go on reddit for entertainment or if I have a burning question question on a topic that is not “google-able.” Unsurprisingly, I have found that there are a significant amount of Holocaust references on Reddit. After searching “Hitler,” this was one of the top results.