If there’s a smile on his face, it’s there to fool the public. But why did Hitler bother?

In this Caitlin Moran column she is discussing the Hitler, the Holocaust and Holocaust deniers – very serious stuff but see how she tackles it. Take note of the way she introduces her column. I am looking for your feedback on this one.

It doesn’t matter how ‘caring’ the Führer tries to look in a photo; he will always look evil.

Last week a novel item came up for auction. You can’t guess what I’m going to say, can you? Let’s face it: anything could come up at an auction. Auctions are the bingo-ball randomiser of life. I once saw, in an auction catalogue, a stuffed aardvark, on its hind legs, on a plinth. It was wearing cowboy boots and a sheriff’s badge and wielding a small gun. It was an example of Man’s true ingenuity. If we ever do find God, it will probably be at an auction house in Lincolnshire, put up for bid by “an anonymous collector”.

Anyway, this week’s novel auction item is: a 1930s Adolf Hitler sticker album! Yes! Much in the manner of Panini football stickers, it seems that the Nazis published a week-by-week, collect-the-set treasury of 138 prime Hitler shots, eventually creating a compendium of Führer moments that you’d want to keep for ever. The idea was to show, as the Mirror put it, “Hitler as a powerful dictator, with a caring side” – a difficult emotional balancing act at which, history shows, Hitler pretty much totally failed.

Read the whole thing on Times Online.


24 thoughts on “If there’s a smile on his face, it’s there to fool the public. But why did Hitler bother?

  1. Well..The beginning was a really good introduction. It easily flowed from general auctions to the stamp collection of Hitler and then to the Pope and those who deny anything actually happened. Apart from that, I found it disturbing. She wrote the column about Hitler kind of ‘sugar-coated’, which most people would like as a way to make it easy reading and less horrific, but I think that the Holocaust is nothing be humorous about. Urgh.

  2. Wow this column is good! I wish that words of wisdom and valour could flow from my brain to my fingers and produce columns of this calibre with ease, and that I would enjoy doing it. Wow. No seriously this column incorporates humour and manages to portray strong ideas subliminely so that the reader doesn’t even know that they are agreeing with her.

  3. I thought that was pretty funny, considering the subject matter.

    The way she used exaggeration and made light hearted comments just made the article bearable, and reminded us of the evils of what the Nazis did, without getting history-bookish.


    Not bad eh.

  4. The start of this makes the whole column seem more relaxed.By starting by mocking people and their auctions makes the reader know that this column is going to be funny. The whole column makes the topic more readable and we also get the information and point of view that the writer is trying to get across.

  5. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Interesting introduction which manages to incorporate the topic well. With good use of humour throughout the column.

  6. Quite humorous. She is clearly a professional column writer as it is a well written column. Very good introduction. It has a good tone.

  7. * Uses a personal account to begin with.
    * Transitions into the topic (Hitler) without offending the audience by condemning Hitler.
    * The humour the author integrates is strictly anti-Hitler.
    * Perhaps goes over the top with the comparisons between the Pope and Emperor Palpatine, as this could prove offensive to some (whereas very few readers would be offended by the charactarisation of Hitler as “evil”.)
    * Is not actually about a point – just describes Hitler and holocaust denial – perhaps makes the point that Holocaust denial is silly, which is self-evident.
    * Empty.
    * Empty of purpose of column.

  8. I think its very clever how she uses humour as a way to tackle such a serious issue and introduces the topic by writing about something as light hearted as an auction.

  9. On a sensitive topic which she seems to feel strongly about she is able to take on all points of view on the matter while keeping up humour.

  10. She obviously feels very strongly about this topic, but instead of getting really angry, she adopts a humorous tone. In doing this she was able to write a column that more people could relate to because nobody really wants to listen to an aggro rant about Hitler and the Holocaust, that has been overdone and we’ve all heard it a million times. Taking this humorous approach ‘relaxs’ the tone slightly but still manages to get across how she really feels. The way she writes, makes us want to keep on reading to see where it’s leading.

  11. I think that this column is fantastically good. She is good at writing stuff and incorporating humour. I wish I could write something this good.

  12. I think that the point she was trying to make was clear, by trying to make it easier to read and so forth but the Holocaust is really something not to make “lighthearted” or humorous as Brittany said it really is a serious topic.

  13. Ahh well I personally did not agree with the Pope Benedict comment, as I reckon he looks more like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family. But I think that although she did a good job of making such a hard topic more light hearted, I think it is a bit wrong to make it like that. But then it was also effective because the obvious way to react to non-believers of the Holocaust is with anger and she went the opposite way.

  14. I actually laughed. The column has both a humorous and a serious tone, the author has been able to talk about something very serious in a light-hearted way. If the topic wasnt approached in the right way a very large group of people would be offended by the way they were offhandly talked about.

  15. Well to be honest I lost all understanding of what this was about half way through. I could have been good but I couldn’t be bothered reading the end because I lost attention. I am interested in that kind of thing but I didn’t even know what I was reading. Maybe I’m just tired or something.

  16. Great comparison between the pope and that Star Wars dude. I thought it was great but not the most interesting topic. Its good having a humorous description of Hitler for once

  17. She writes well and made a serious topic lighthearted. Although she obviously feels strongly about this topic but has avoided the generic Hitler is evil….rant. I particularly like the introduction as it was a fresh and clever way to open this column.

  18. Despite this column starting of humorous and interest catching i thought that the middle and end got jumbled by a whole lot of jumbled stuff that really didn’t present a decent viewpoint or argument and left me disappointed.Like Ms Cowie was after she saw Slumdog Millionaire Ifelt that the column in question left a lot to be desired as it bored me and i didn’t remember the paragraphs in the middle when I got to the end.

  19. Its a good column. She gives it a more personal tone and doesn’t make it boring. She uses facts and shows opinions well. Its much better than a slap in the face..

  20. Ooozing with sarcasm.Quite cynical humor, but very witty. The use of this wit disarms the reader, and helps us drop the defensive barriers that we usually put up when discussing the Holocaust. By doing so it helps us be more open minded to what she is writing about

  21. I think she handles the topic well but I’m still not sure if it’s a topic that can be talked about relatively light heartedly in a column. Possibly though, it does have its merits in appealing more to those who would usually be put off by the usual texts about the Holocaust, it is quite easily reading. I think it was a sensitive topic but an important one and she does bring up some good historical points.

  22. I just wrote another reply but it disappeared when I had to come back to this page. So, I’ll summarise what I previously said: Humorous tone, in contrast to other Holocaust articles. Moran uses literary devices, such as hyperbole and metaphor to convey the relaxed, informal style.

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