April 27, 2008
To be honest, the use of Adolf Hitler for either political or comedic effect makes us uncomfortable, unless it somehow involves Mel Brooks. That said, there is some real comedic inspiration on display in the video below, which envisions the Philadelphia Flyers' brain-trust as a Nazi war room dealing with everything from fictional arrests at a Montreal club to overpaying free agents last summer to Canadiens fans pouring beer on Mike Richards in the penalty box.
Again, not exactly our mug of Becks, but it's certainly a different take on the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Beware some NSFW language that appears in the English subtitles:
The clip comes from the 2004 Bruno Ganz film "Downfall," and this YouTube video appears to have been inspired by one that used the same footage to discuss the Vancouver Canucks' elimination from postseason contention (video). The videos are part of an Internet meme featuring the German film footage that's surging in popularity; but one that is also being condemned just as quickly. A video featuring Hitler as a University of North Dakota fan ranting about North Dakota State University's successful athletics department was demonized by both colleges last week due to an unfortunate coincidence:
"All I can say is there's nothing about Adolf Hitler than I find amusing," said Keith Bjerke, North Dakota State's vice president for university relations. "We don't support, condone or endorse anything he's babbling about."
The video, which was circulated widely on Wednesday and Thursday, was dropped from its host Web site Thursday night and replaced by a statement: "In light of recent unfortunate, unrelated events, this video has been voluntarily withdrawn." It was an apparent reference to reports about a Jewish UND student's statements that he had moved out of his dorm last week after he was harassed with anti-Semitic slurs, and a swastika was drawn on the stairwell of his building.