- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 5701 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Melville House (26 April 2011)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004C43G9M
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #444,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Dead Funny: Telling Jokes in Hitler's Germany Kindle Edition
|Length: 256 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Herzog in this book, aimed at the general readership (Barthes and his jargon seems to have wandered off the scanner)Barthes: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions), fully armed with a gutsy assortment of brief witty cracks and longer waggish yarns, informs British readers that German laughter is not akin to British humour; that political jokes existed previously throughout the Kaiser's reign, that neither the arrival of Hitler to the Chancellorship in January 1933 marked the death of cabaret night-life or of funny artistes, nor that humour and in particular political genre thereafter became totally verboten.
Wit, the author considered, acted as the essential release valve against growing stress and anger.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book is a good read that will make one think. It is sometimes difficult to understand the jokes passed during these times if one is not familiar with the German/Jewish cultures before and during the WWII era. For those who are interested in history, this book is a good glimpse into the mindset of those during this time.
I did think that this book was going to share more of the specific comics/jokes that were written/voiced during Hitler's Germany and it does, dispersed throughout, share some specific ones. However, it is more of a history of the time and the people's attitudes, with some examples of `humor' that circulated. Interestingly, the jokes did not often center around the Nazi brutality but instead was more popularly politically themed. Goring was made fun of for the excessive number of medals on his suit- and his enjoyment of food.
Herzog does recount some of the deaths that were the result of the public jokes against Hitler and those in power but I gathered that the deaths (many from being in concentration camps) were ordered later in Hitler's reign. After the Reich was losing the war and was becoming much less popular.
Some examples of the `jokes':
A 'law' that was rumored to be passed by the Nazis is as follows:
1. Anyone who does something or fails to do something will be punished.
2. Punishment will be handed down according to popular opinion.
3. Popular opinion is defined by the Nazi district leader [Gauleiter].
A high-ranking Nazi official visiting Switzerland asks what a certain public building is for. "That's our Navy Ministry," his Swiss host explains. The Nazi laughs and says: "Why does Switzerland need a ministry of the navy? You've only got two or three ships." The Swiss answers, "Why not? Germany has a ministry of justice."
But as Herzog goes on to say after telling of over 250 well-known authors who were stripped of their citizenship, prominent culture figures and the friends of these individuals generally `adapted to the times'.
"Jokes...like this didn't aim any serious criticism at the paramilitary nature of Nazi organizations. At most, such witticisms targeted the disruptions to normal life party duties entailed..." (in reference to jokes about party name acronyms)
If you are interested in history, WWII history, perhaps sociology, and/or a look into the mindset of some people during the WWII era, this book may be worth a read. It does contain profanity and some explicit language.
I received this book from Melville House Publishers via NetGalley.
The author briefly recounts the coming into power of the Nazis, their march towards world domination and their ultimate downfall, as described in so many other books. But in this case, the people’s discontent, low morale and negative opinions of the Nazis are reflected in jokes that they created at the time and retold. The Nazis’ reactions to these jokes and those who propagated them are also well described. Several jokes are recounted throughout the book - their themes reflecting the main events of the time.
Despite the fact that his book is a translation from the German, I found that it was very well done. The jokes are clear and the punch lines are unambiguous. When a German word used in a joke can have two meanings, both of these meanings are explained prior to providing the joke, thus enabling the reader to appreciate its nuances. I also found the author’s prose to be friendly, lively, accessible and immensely captivating. I believe that anyone can enjoy this wonderful book - especially history enthusiasts.