Normalizing the Nazis
The Nazi era stands as an exceptionally horrific period of global history. But in recent years the perception of Hitler and the Third Reich has changed. In Internet culture, where irony rules supreme, the visage of Hitler has been recontextualized, often in humorous ways, to undercut the terrible reality of the Holocaust. Memes like “Hipster Hitler” and “Disco Hitler” represent a paradigmatic sea change not only in how Hitler and the Holocaust are understood, but in how irony works to normalize dreadful events into historical narrative.
Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, the author of Hi Hitler!, sat down with us to explain the realities and dangers of normalizing the Nazis in contemporary culture.