Jewish comedians from Mel Brooks to Sarah Silverman have turned the Third Reich into a punchline. Humor is tragedy plus time, Mark Twain famously quipped. But the Internet meme “Hipster Hitler” seems to have pushed the boundaries of taste too far for some people.
The web comic, now available as a book, portrays the genocidal Nazi dictator as a trendy urban bohemian, wearing black-rimmed glasses, cuffed jeans, a cardigan, and ironic t-shirts that read “Save the Panzer” and “Death Camp for Cutie” (which the site even sells). He derives war strategies from playing Pac-Man and rides his fixie in the Swiss Alps. Look around online and you’ll even see “Hipster Hitler” Halloween costumes.
The folks behind the comic say it’s meant as satire and parody, though some Jewish groups have called it “anti-Semitic” and “sick.” Hitler may have had some things in common with the Williamsburg crowd (the failed artist was famously a vegetarian) and some German neo-Nazis are now embracing the hipster lifestyle – but whether you find the site funny or offensive is up to you. What’s your vote?