Deep Thought for the 70th Anniversary of Gotterdammerung

Deep Thought for the 70th Anniversary of Gotterdammerung April 30, 2015

“Hitler wasn’t all bad.. I mean.. he killed Hitler.” – Dan Shea, Hilarious Nephew

I can think of no better way to commemorate such a man than by laughing at him. The satanic deification of the man Tolkien aptly described as an “ignorant little cad” and his exaltation into a figure of mythic proportions is an insult to his victims. Laugh the little man to scorn. In the end of ends, he will either bow the knee willingly or he shall be utterly forgotten, even by God. God grant that he–even he–somehow have found the grace to repent and find salvation. I don’t think it likely, but then what do I know? So we pray, as we are commanded, for the salvation of all, especially those most in need of God’s mercy

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  • Not quite sure why you’d refer to Hitler’s suicide as “Twilight of the Gods” other than it’s “Wagnerian” and German.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I had to look it up, too. Apparently, Gotterdammerung is what Hitler’s last days have been called by historians.

      • antigon

        Just in passim – & with apologies for the want of theological acumen in its regard – am not sure God forgets or even stops loving the damned, so much as that, perhaps something like Gollum’s devotion to the Ring, they continue eternally to reject Him for the lesser good they chose while in this realm.

      • Vision_From_Afar

        Thanks for that. Seriously was ready to go all “angry pagan”, since I had never seen that usage before. No vitriol for Shea today, it seems, just history being history.
        Interesting bit about the anniversary, tho. 😀

      • Comrade

        In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Shirer talks about how prominently Wagner figured in Hitler’s mind. Hitler figured if the Germans couldn’t win, they’d go out in an orgy of fire and blood. That’s pretty much what was happening as the Soviets tore the Reich apart and the Fuhrer took the easy way out. That’s why historians use that term.

  • James H, London

    The quote from The Professor’s letter that I remember was, ‘I have a burning private grudge in this war against that ruddy little tyrant Hitler for taking and forever perverting that great Northern spirit’, which he had admired all his life.

  • Rob

    So I understand, that has been Mel Brooks’ mission since WW II (The big one.) However, does anyone wonder if in ridiculing so evil a person, we might also trivialize the evil he did? Should we not show more respect for the victims?

    • chezami

      I think “The Producers” is a way for the victims to have the last laugh.

    • Mariana Baca

      Evil is not something that just exists in the past. Evil is a lie, and thus it must seek to seduce. By ridicule, we rob it of that power.

      Your concern is that, the perception of being killed by a mighty power, albeit evil, instead of by a puny and funny power, gives victims greater dignity? That it is more respectable to die or suffer before a worthy opponent than that of a contemptible one? I disagree. I think it gives victims more power (both in the past and present) to realize that evil can be conquered and laughed at and is not equal to Good.

      I think of how powerful a movie like “The Great Dictator” by Chaplin was, filmed during WWII. It was in contrast to all those great propaganda films of the Nazis, like Triumph of the Will. It brought evil down from the status of pretending to be gods, to just being ordinary people. And ordinary people can be beat.

  • Tweck

    Wow! The Holy Spirit at work! I had a similar conversation with a friend the other day… and another friend just yesterday… and now you are blogging about it. 🙂 Wonderful! The Spirit flows among us, sharing our thoughts with each other. I think that’s what’s happening in any case. Thanks for another wonderful post. I also love how you ended it with part of the Fatima prayer.

    O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

  • TheConductor

    For the record, it’s a known historical fact that Hitler, like all bullies, was very thin-skinned about being ridiculed – by all accounts, he had no concept of self-deprecating humor and his reaction to any ridicule was essentially (insert your best German accent here) “SHTOP LAUGHINK AT ME!” So what could be more just than to make the man have to listen to us not only laugh at him, but POINT and laugh….

  • Honestly, until this post, I hadn’t even thought of the anniversary. I like your nephew’s line though.

    We take Hitler too seriously, I agree, but national socialism not seriously enough. My formal education about the nazis was pretty lacking. My grandfather was against them as he had transformed from coal miner to landowner by then and he didn’t like their socialism long before the bodies started piling up. So family history led me to dig deeper. I’m glad I did.

    Because we don’t understand their economic policies very well, the movement retains an appeal as something that will work in times of economic trouble and it simply doesn’t deserve to appeal on that basis. Their 1930s economic performance was founded on fraud. This dynamic is something that you can’t laugh away.

  • Edgewise