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September 17, 2013 6

Hitler As Pitchman In Saudi Satellite Station Ad Campaign

hitler-saudi-arabia-mbc-inglourious-basterds

Screen­shot of MBC ad

Update — 9/23/13: Accord­ing to an arti­cle pub­lished on the Ara­bian Busi­ness web­site, a spokesper­son for MBC said that the ad has been removed.

The Mid­dle East Broad­cast­ing Cen­ter (MBC), a Saudi-owned com­pany based in Dubai that oper­ates sev­eral satel­lite tele­vi­sion sta­tions, is using Hitler and Nazi imagery in its lat­est adver­tise­ment cam­paign. The use of such imagery con­tributes to the triv­i­al­iza­tion of and desen­si­ti­za­tion to the unpar­al­leled hor­rors of the Holocaust.

The ad, air­ing on var­i­ous MBC sta­tions, uses clips from the 2009 Quentin Taran­tino film Inglou­ri­ous Bas­terds where Hitler is speak­ing to other Nazis in room. The Ara­bic sub­ti­tles added by MBC Action to the clip focus on the station’s new pro­gram­ming dur­ing the month of Sep­tem­ber. “Look into the achieve­ments of MBC Action,” the sub­ti­tles read. “They will con­trol the entire region. They are prepar­ing for a cam­paign called “Sep­tem­ber to Remember.”

The ad is yet another exam­ple of how offen­sive Hitler and Nazi imagery occa­sion­ally appears in adver­tis­ing around the world.

In March 2012, film footage of Adolf Hitler was used in a Turk­ish com­mer­cial for men’s sham­poo. The ad for Bio­men, which appeared on Turk­ish tele­vi­sion, fea­tured a video of Hitler angrily ges­tic­u­lat­ing, with a Turk­ish voiceover call­ing on men to pur­chase the sham­poo. The Hitler sham­poo ads were pulled after pub­lic and gov­ern­ment pres­sure on the adver­tiser in Turkey.

Ear­lier in 2012, pho­tos of a Nazi con­cen­tra­tion camp were used in a pro­mo­tional cam­paign for a Dubai gym, includ­ing an image of the rail­road lead­ing to Auschwitz-Birkenau with the slo­gan, “Kiss your calo­ries good­bye.” After receiv­ing com­plaints, the founder of The Cir­cuit Fac­tory gym in Dubai, Phil Parkin­son, apol­o­gized and removed the photo.

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January 24, 2013 8

Holocaust Imagery Taints Gun Control Debate

Update 1/17/14: The polit­i­cal debate over gun con­trol con­tin­ues to be marked by the inap­pro­pri­ate use of Holo­caust imagery by some gun advo­cates. Musi­cian and gun advo­cate Ted Nugent com­pared film pro­ducer Har­vey Wein­stein to a Nazi pro­pa­gan­dist.

Update 3/5/12: The list of inap­pro­pri­ate Holo­caust analo­gies regard­ing gun con­trol con­tin­ues to grow. NRA Pres­i­dent David Keene defended the depic­tion of New York Gov­er­nor Andrew Cuomo as Hitler at a rally in Albany protest­ing new state gun reg­u­la­tions. In an inter­view on March 1, Keene said, “Folks that are cog­nizant of the his­tory, not just in Ger­many but else­where, look back to the his­tory, and say we can’t let that sort of thing hap­pen here.”

The charged polit­i­cal debate over gun con­trol in the after­math of the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School shoot­ing con­tin­ues to be tainted by inap­pro­pri­ate invo­ca­tions of Hitler, Nazis, and gen­eral Holo­caust imagery.

These com­par­isons, made by polit­i­cal pun­dits on national news pro­grams as well by oth­ers out­side pol­i­tics, are not only mis­placed and offen­sive, rely­ing on fac­tu­ally incor­rect premises and exag­ger­a­tions, but also deflect atten­tion away from an impor­tant national discussion.

One anal­ogy sug­gests that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama is some­how rem­i­nis­cent of Hitler because of his gun con­trol pro­pos­als. For exam­ple, on Jan­u­ary 9, the home­page of The Drudge Report fea­tured an image of Hitler and Stalin with the cap­tion “WHITE HOUSE THREATENSEXECUTIVE ORDERSON GUNS.”

A sim­i­lar com­par­i­son was made by Ohio State Board of Edu­ca­tion Pres­i­dent Debe Tehrar, who posted a num­ber of pro-gun and anti-Obama mes­sages on her Face­book page, includ­ing a photo of Hitler with the cap­tion: “Never for­get what this tyrant said: ‘To con­quer a nation, first dis­arm its cit­i­zens.’ — Adolf Hitler.”

Another com­mon theme that has emerged in recent weeks is that if only the vic­tims of the Holo­caust had bet­ter access to guns, the Nazi regime would not have been able to sys­tem­at­i­cally mur­der so many people.

For exam­ple, Fox News’ Andrew Napoli­tano made this argu­ment in a Jan­u­ary 10 col­umn on FoxNews.com. Napoli­tano wrote that, “If the Jews in the War­saw ghetto had had the fire­power and ammu­ni­tion that the Nazis did, some of Poland might have stayed free and more per­sons would have sur­vived the Holocaust.”

Indi­vid­u­als on the fringes of the polit­i­cal debate also have weighed in with this nar­ra­tive. In a Jan­u­ary 15 col­umn for the web­site World­Net­Daily, dis­graced for­mer Major League Base­ball pitcher John Rocker wrote that “the Holo­caust would have never taken place had the Jew­ish cit­i­zenry of Hitler’s Ger­many had the right to bear arms and defended them­selves with those arms.”

It should be noted that the small num­ber of per­sonal firearms in the hands of the small num­ber of Germany’s Jews (about 214,000) remain­ing in Ger­many in 1938 could in no way have stopped the total­i­tar­ian power of the Nazi Ger­man state. When they had weapons, Jews could sym­bol­i­cally resist, as they did in the 1943 War­saw Upris­ing and else­where, but could not stop the Nazi geno­cide machine. Gun con­trol did not cause the Holo­caust; Nazism and anti-Semitism did.

Invok­ing the Holo­caust in dis­cus­sions of con­tro­ver­sial issues is noth­ing new. Con­spir­acy the­o­rist Lyn­don LaRouche, leader of a fringe polit­i­cal cult that defies cat­e­go­riza­tion, and his sup­port­ers have con­tributed to the divi­sive­ness sur­round­ing the pub­lic debate on health care reform by pro­duc­ing and dis­sem­i­nat­ing mate­ri­als com­par­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and other gov­ern­ment offi­cials to Hitler, Nazis and fas­cists.

Offen­sive Holo­caust analo­gies have also been used by Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans alike on a num­ber of issues, and by pub­lic fig­ures from var­i­ous sec­tors of soci­ety when dis­cussing top­ics rang­ing from abor­tion to ani­mal rights to the Israeli-Palestinian con­flict to LGBT rights.

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January 10, 2013 1

App On Google Play Delivers Hitler’s Vile Messages To Arabic Speaking Audience

Update: The app is no longer avail­able as of Jan­u­ary 22.

A free appli­ca­tion pro­vid­ing users with vile quotes attrib­uted to Hitler has been installed by over 10,000 users in the last 30 days through Google Play, the app store for Android products.

The Arabic-language app, “Hitler’s Say­ings,” allows users to read and share what it describes as Hitler’s “beau­ti­ful say­ings that we could ben­e­fit from in our lives” via social media networks.

A descrip­tion of the app says, “Hitler com­bines the charisma of the skill­ful physi­cian and the grand juggler…Read in this appli­ca­tion all of Hitler’s say­ings and share them with your friends.”

Among the quotes made avail­able to users are:

  • Jews are like the mos­qui­tos that suck our blood.”
  • I dis­cov­ered that the Jews are behind every immoral­ity or crime against society.”
  • I could have killed all the Jews in the world, but I spared some of them so you know why I killed the rest.”
  • Oh Ger­mans defend your­selves and never buy any­thing from the Jews.”

Other quotes attrib­uted to Hitler include, “The needs of soci­ety super­sede the needs of the indi­vid­ual” and “I will not have mercy over the weak until they become strong, and when they become strong they will not deserve mercy.”

Hitler con­tin­ues to be a point of fas­ci­na­tion and exploita­tion by those who seek to pro­mote his mes­sages as inspi­ra­tion to audi­ences around the world.

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