I love Mel Brooks. His movies crack me up, from his skewering of the Third Reich in The Producers to his bumbling Nazis in To Be or Not To Be, Brooks made it a point to ridicule Nazis and Nazism, taking down their evil by mocking them.
When the television show Hogan’s Heroes came out, most of the cast were survivors of Nazi atrocities, some of them were survivors of death camps, while others fought in the resistance or partisan movements. Warner Klemperer played Col. Klink, the most incompetent Nazi in the force. Klemperer insisted that he would never wear a Swastika nor would he ever allow Klink to be victorious in his schemes. The Nazis always had to be the losers and the butt of every joke. When a swastika appeared in that show, it was upside down and the majority of the Nazis in the show were played by Death Camp survivors who saw it as a victory to be able to, after suffering the way they did, play Nazis as fools.
The times have changed. It is amazing in a world that is super-sensitive, a world where careers and reputations are ended by the utterance of monosyllabic words, a world where a 70 year old recording of G-d Bless America is pulled from stadiums and a statue of her is covered up and then removed because the singer, Kate Smith, once sang a song that may be perceived as racist, that Netflix found it appropriate to produce a show that “roasts” a young teen, Anne Frank, murdered during the Holocaust.
Using the term “roasting” a Holocaust victim is extremely disturbing considering that millions of Jews were “roasted” in the ovens of Auschwitz, Birkenau, Majdanek and Treblinka. The imagery that the “roast” brings up is not pleasant or funny to descendants of people murdered in these prisons. I’m sure the writers of the show found the double entendre hilarious, but it only goes to prove that insulting comedy has come to a screeching halt, unless it’s about Jews.
Imagine for a second if the subject of the show would have been a “roast” of Emmet Till, a 14 year old Black child who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955. His mother’s decision to show his beat up, decomposing body at his funeral was one of the catalysts of the Civil Rights Movement that finally brought down segregation and brought equality under the law (in theory) to all races in the US.
What would happen if the show used characters like the woman who accused Till of cat calling her, the three men who beat him up, tied a rope around his neck and drowned him and the Judge who acquitted his murders as characters to “roast” and mock him. I’m sure the writers of the Anne Frank episode would recoil in horror at the thought and Netflix would never allow it to go to air. Society would freak out, Netflix would have a major public relations disaster to deal with and the “comedians” involved in the episode would be blacklisted forever. Yet somehow, it’s ok to roast and mock Anne Frank, a girl of about the same age when she died a horrific death because of her religion.
The producers of the show are saying lighten up, it’s comedy. The “comedians” used in the episode are all Jewish, which makes it even more horrific, all dressed in Nazi costumes with proper swastikas and all willingly participants in this abomination.
When Mel Brooks and the producers of Hogan’s Heroes went the Nazi comedy route, their goal was to ridicule Nazis, Netflix decided to ridicule the victims. There is a thick line between the two and although there has been substantial kickback from a segment of society who finds shaming and mocking Holocaust victims distasteful, there have been no calls for boycotts or major pressure put on Netflix to pull the show and destroy the tapes. There have been no calling out of the “comedians” in the show, no ruining of careers, no freakout whatsoever. Just a passive sigh, a nod, a few angry articles and silence.
The memory of Holocaust victims deserve more than that. Never again is an empty phrase if we continue to allow the memory of the Holocaust and its victims sullied by garbage such as this. To think that a little more than 70 years after the attempted genocide of the Jewish people that Jews would be part of this project is sickening, deplorable and condemnable. The fact that the Director of Programming for Netflix is a Jewish descendant of Holocaust survivors is even more deplorable.
This should be a wake-up call for all Jews. In North America and around the world, Jewish life is expendable, murdered Jews are to be mocked. By allowing this show to be produced, Netflix is saying that empathy, compassion and caring for the Jewish people is over, I’m sure all the Anti-Jewites are listening.