By Gilad Atzmon
He’s Back Again: A new Hitler Satire Tops Germany’s Best-Seller List
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Adolf Hitler woke up and found himself in modern-day, vibrant, multicultural, metropolitan Berlin?
Well, this is the precise theme of a new bestseller by German journalist Timur Vermes. It’s called Er Ist Wieder Da (He’s Back Again).
The Germans love the book but the Brits and the Jews are a bit confused. After all, no one ever expects the Germans to crack jokes and certainly not about the war, the Holocaust or Hitler. And, as you may expect, the Guardian of Judea is not one bit impressed: “the opening chapters of He’s Back Again in particular can be a bit of a slog,” writes Philip Oltermann, the paper Berlin’s correspondent.
Last night, BBC Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman hosted a discussion between the author Timur Vermes and writer Sophie Hardach. Ms Hardach, a relatively unknown Jewish writer was definitely not amused. She advised the best selling German author how best to develop his plot and, surprise, surprise, to incorporate the plight of the Jews. Never was the word Chutzpah more appropriate!
But Timur Vermes just seemed to be amused by it all and confirmed that his fictional Hitler is no Holocaust denier – on the contrary, he is pretty proud of it all.
I guess it’s all inevitable. The Germans have decided to move on and are freeing themselves from their traumatic past and the oppressive manner with which it has been handled.
Let’s hope it won’t be long before they start, once more, to write great symphonies and the best philosophy ever.