Worried Lebanese

thought crumbs on lebanese and middle eastern politics

Sex, AIDS, Hitler & Jewish organisations: how Adolf got caught in copyrights

Posted by worriedlebanese on 08/09/2009

image-11559-gallery-vdopYesterday, a reporting on a french national television showed the way different organisations in France reacted to a controversial German Aids campaign. This campaign  features Adolf Hitler having sex with a young woman with the tag line “Aids is a mass murderer”.

To reveal how controversial these spots and posters were, the French channel not only showed extracts of the spot and pictures of the posters, but aired reactions from two organisations: an aids awareness NGO (Solidarité Sida) and a Jewish umbrella organisation, the Conseil représentatif des institutions juives. The Aids awarness NGO found the campaign’s message counterproductive because it could stigmatize HIV positive men, likening them to Adolf Hitler and considering them potential mass murderers. This effect is certainly possible. And that’s why AIDS charities worldwide have been critical of the advert even though they recognise its shock value (that put AIDS back in the centre page at a time where people are more concerned about flu and unprotected sex has become hype). But that’s not where the story is.

Richard Pasquier’s interview was far more interesting, and I believe truly controversial. The president of France’s largest Jewish Umbrella organisation expressed the shock of the Jewish community, questioned the use of Hitler’s image and denounces the comparison between genocide and an illness regardless of its importance (“ça n’a rien avoir, mais véritablement rien, avec une maladie aussi grave soit elle…”.

Listening to his arguments, I couldn’t help myself from remembering Avraham Burg’s criticism of contemporary zionist trends in his book “Defeating Hitler”. The Shoah has become so defining to contemporary  jewish identity that Hitler, its mastermind, becomes an icon (a negative one), a strong symbol directly linked to the jewish ethos to a point where his image is claimed by a jewish “representative” through his criticism of its use.


2 Responses to “Sex, AIDS, Hitler & Jewish organisations: how Adolf got caught in copyrights”

  1. Krasimira Karamfilova said

    I am a 3rd year Politics and Media & Cultural Studies Student at Kingston University of London and I am currently working on the media issues that the aids-as-a-mass-murderer campaign had raised. I seem to not be able to find the French program that this review has been written on. Do you think that you can send me a link to the channel. Thank You in advance!

    Best Regards
    Krasimira Karamfilova

    • Hey Krasimira,
      you sure kept me busy tonight.
      I’ve been searching and searching and searching for a link to the news reporting you’re looking for, but I haven’t found anything yet.
      Here’s a couple of clues that I’ve been able to reconstitute.
      It was aired on M6 (www.m6.fr), on their evening news broadcast (19h45) on monday september 7th, the presentator was Claire Barsacq.
      best of luck in your work

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