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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Hitlerious Irony


Defining terms


Irony may be defined as a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result. Additionally, hilarious is defined as something that is extremely amusing.


Though I suspect he needs little introduction, Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Germany from 1933 until 1945, having risen to power as the leader of the Nazi Party. Regarding World War II (WWII), Germany was a member of the Axis powers.


The United States (U.S.), the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union (USSR; Russia) were among the “big three” Allies of WWII who fought against Germany. In particular, Nazism (National Socialism) was an ideology to which the Allies were directly opposed.


According to one source, “Neo-Nazism comprises the post-World War II militant, social, and political movements that seek to revive and reinstate Nazi ideology.” In the strictest terms, actual Nazis relate to Hitler’s reign and anyone following that specific period and who supports similar ideas are thought of as neo-Nazis.


Herein, I combine Hitler’s name and “hilarious” to produce the term “Hitlerious,” meaning something so outrageous that a clown-pilled individual may find it humorous—especially as it regards the irony of modern sociopolitical discourse. Not everyone will appreciate this sort of whimsy.


POLITICO


Per its official website:


POLITICO is the global authority on the intersection of politics, policy, and power. It is the most robust news operation and information service in the world specializing in politics and policy, which informs the most influential audience in the world with insight, edge, and authority.


On August 15, 2017, POLITICO staff reported on an interview with then-President Donald Trump regarding the Unite the Right rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump was criticized for allegedly not having disavowed neo-Nazis.


One can understand opposition to neo-Nazism. However, the matter for which Trump was criticized related to him having stated that he “condemn[ed] in the strongest possible terms” violence associated with the rally, though he allegedly didn’t denounced neo-Nazis.


On September 26, 2020, POLITICO staff reported:


Trump is “sort of like Goebbels,” Biden said, invoking the name of Joseph Goebbels, the mastermind of Nazi Germany’s propaganda machine. “You say the lie long enough, keep repeating it, repeating it, repeating it, it becomes common knowledge” among voters.


One is aware of political personnel associated with the Republicans and the ideological rightwing, alt-right, far-right, and conservatism as allegedly relating to Nazism. However, this form of labeling isn’t entirely useful, because it serves as little more than an ad hominem attack.


On July 16, 2022, POLITICO staff further reported, “There are dozens of these groups on both sides of the Atlantic with martial names drawn from Nazi propaganda.” Alarmingly, there is growing concern in the U.S., as government officials appear to castigate Christians and Republicans by comparing them to terrorists.


One rejects governmental authoritarianism which conflates Nazism and neo-Nazism with political opponents of the current ruling class. At any rate, it seems uncontroversial to state that POLITICO doesn’t support Nazis—that is, up until recently.


In September 2023, the Canadian parliament twice gave a standing ovation for Yaroslav Hunka, a Ukrainian man who allegedly volunteered with the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS (1st Galician)—a literal Nazi unit. Praise of the alleged Nazi then led to global controversy.


Subsequently, one source reported that Canadian officials “awarded the Order of Canada, a top civilian honor that recognizes outstanding achievement and service to the nation, to Peter Savaryn, who was praised for promoting multiculturalism in Canada. But Savaryn had a past serving in one of Adolf Hitler’s Waffen SS units.”


Following these allegations, another source reported that in “1986, an independent inquiry had looked into allegations that more than 800 Nazi war criminals slipped into the country, but their names were withheld.” I did Nazi (not see) that comin’!


As contentious as a Nazi joke may be perceived by some people, one wonders which is worse—joking about the irony of Canada awarding a presumed Nazi with a multicultural award or mocking Canadian authoritarians for their clear hypocrisy by making a Nazi joke about disbelief.


On October 2, 2023, POLITICO staff published an opinion piece entitled, “Fighting against the USSR didn’t necessarily make you a Nazi.” One imagines that the act of carrying water for alleged Nazi’s is worth examining a bit further.


The author of the article begins his piece in true Goebbels fashion by stating, “Everybody knows that a lie can make it halfway around the world before the truth has even got its boots on.” So far, the irony is Hitlerious!


The author then expands on the Hunka controversy by claiming that “history is complicated because fighting against the USSR at the time didn’t necessarily make you a Nazi, just someone who had an excruciating choice over which of these two terror regimes to resist.” Here, it appears as though the word “just” serves as a pathetic attempt to justify unscrupulous actions.


One wonders if the author would cut similar slack to Trump supporters who’ve also been purported to be Nazis. After all, the POLITICO author did write the Handbook of Russian Information Warfare, which states of disinformation, “The targets for influence are both mass and individual consciousness.”


Demonstrating use of dis-informative practices, the author states of Hunka in the POLITICO piece, “Repeated exhaustive investigations — including by not only the Nuremberg trials but also the British, Canadian and even Soviet authorities — led to the conclusion that no war crimes or atrocities had been committed by this particular unit.”


Though perhaps Nazi-adjacent, the author Hitleriously claims that Hunka’s unit committed no atrocities while fighting for the Axis powers. Under what other circumstance wouldn’t this sort of rhetoric be considered akin to that of a Nazi sympathizer?


The author continues, “In the Hunka case, commentary taking a more balanced view of the complex history does exist, but it’s rare, and when it does occur, it is by unfortunate necessity very long — a direct contrast to most propaganda narratives that are successfully spread by Russia and its agents.”


And there it is! It isn’t that the likes of Hunka, Savaryn, or 800 other presumed Nazi war criminals is the issue. No, it’s just as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted when *sort of* apologizing for the Hunka fiasco:


It’s gonna be really important that all of us push back against Russian propaganda, Russian disinformation, and continue our steadfast and unequivocal support for Ukraine.


When people hold the uncritical belief that support for a proxy war is good and Russia is bad, it stands to reason that support for actual Nazism could be excused when comparing any critique of such behavior to “Russian disinformation.” I find this sort of rationalization to be little more than Hitlerious irony.


Conclusion


Considering the information expressed herein when filtered through the lens of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), I acknowledge human fallibility. I’m imperfect, you’re flawed, Hitler was faulty, and Trudeau, Hunka, Savaryn, and the POLITICO author are all prone to err.


I can unconditionally accept that this is the case, no problem. Whether or not those who disagree with my sociopolitical views would extend me the same consideration, I remain doubtful.


Nonetheless, I laugh at the irony of Mockingbird media outlets which presumably advocate actual Nazism. Rather than self-disturbing over this matter, I mock it.


After all, I didn’t think I’d see the day that a world government would praise a Nazi. To me, that’s Hitlerious! And if you would like to know how to laugh at absurdity rather than upsetting yourself with irrational beliefs, I may be able to help.


If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—helping you to sharpen your critical thinking skills, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.


As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.


At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!



Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


Photo credit, a scene from Leni Riefenstahl’s film “Olympia” from 1938, fair use


References:


AFP. (2023, October 5). After inadvertently hailing SS vet, Trudeau may declassify list of ex-Nazis in Canada. The Times of Israel. Retrieved from https://www.timesofisrael.com/trudeau-considers-declassifying-list-of-ex-nazis-in-canada/

Arora, R. (2022, May 21). Once a liberal democracy, Canada is now an authoritarian state. New York Post. Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2022/05/21/how-canada-went-from-liberal-democracy-to-authoritarian-state/

Bender, B., Nabert, A., and Brause, C. (2022, July 16). ‘I mean you no harm’: From troubled teen to neo-Nazi foot soldier. POLITICO. Retrieved from https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/16/neo-nazi-white-supremacist-teenagers-00045589

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