I recently watched the German made movie Look Who’s Back released in 2015 and based on the Timur Vermes novel of the same name that was published in 2012. In the movie Adolf Hitler returns from the dead and finds himself laying on the ground of where his World War II Bunker was and he is staring at the sky. As Hitler interacts with random Germans throughout the film they first are astonished by his dedication to character, as they assume he is performing a theatrical stunt, and subsequently find themselves guiltily laughing at his over the top bigoted statements. But slowly more Germans, who according to the film reviews I read were often real people, begin to agree with Hitler’s xenophobia and commit their allegiance to his purity of race ideology.
The insidiousness of the transformation of regular hard working good natured people into agreement with how much better their society would be if they could simply rid themselves of the undesirable races was chilling.
Hitler’s coy transformation from a person considered to be a stunning comedian…to a political following and movement morphed so adroitly that if you were not paying attention you would not have known when it happened.
At one point Hitler enumerated the many frustrations that the German people were undergoing, such as; youth unemployment, old age unemployment, and an influx of refugees as this “being a time that I can work with.”
How uncomfortably close this movie hit home both in the similar issues confronting Germany and Europe and the United States. I was reminded of the Hannah Arendt book about the Adolf Eichman trial “The Banality of Evil.”
The sameness, the mediocrity, and the Conformity of the protecting of a large number of hard working, church attending, similar in political ideology and ethnicity is easy and comforting…as long as you are in the protected group!
The real Hitler was first thought of as a dangerous joke. He traveled from that to the beatified savior of Germany…the Fuhrer. When did the transformation happen…where were the good, industrious people who loved God and loved their neighbors…as themselves?