by Jen Gore
Timur Vermes has become a best selling author in Germany for his satirical book about Hitler called ‘He’s Back’ (Er Ist Wieder Da). The year is 2011 and Hitler wakes up on the ground of an empty Berlin lot,not so fresh from the 40’s,wondering how he got there. He interprets his tranquil surroundings as an end to the war and when he comes across three young boys, assuming they’re just out of their Hitler Youth uniforms, he gets very confused when they address him as ‘old man’ and fail to deliver a Nazi salute.
The book sees how Hitler would get on in 2011, how successful he would be and what the media would make of him. In this book he becomes a media celebrity, takes part in a Turkish reality show and enters politics but on a much smaller scale, he only wants streets free from dog crap and tackles speeding. Hitler is so ridiculous in modern society in the book that he actually becomes a famous comedian.
The book is going to be translated to English as well as a few other languages and a movie deal is already being talked about. For a man so hated by everyone, we sure are obsessed by him. All those documentaries, shows, books about this terrible man, he’s still a very popular topic and fascinates us to no end because how the hell did he get away with what he did and would he be able to do that in 2011?
Some German critics think it’s distasteful but it’s satire, takes the piss out of a very ‘serious’ man and makes us consider Hitler in a slightly different way. It’s interesting to think how he would survive in our modern world.
Vermes has said: “Often, we tell ourselves that if a new Hitler came along, it would be easy to stop him. I tried to show the opposite – that even today, Hitler might be successful. Just in a different way.”
Will you buy a copy of ‘He’s Back’?