By Kyle | July 22, 2011
I totally disagree with my senior colleague Lou that there’s something vaguely suspicious about “Captain America: The First Avenger” and its relationship with Hitler. As far as I could tell, the writers had this thought: Hitler was way too serious to turn into a comic-book villain. So we need to put the focus of the evil in the movie on a different character, one with supernatural backing, so we can all relax and forget about the grim history of what really happened. It’s much easier to hiss Red Skull than it is to hiss Hitler, because after all Hitler succeeded in murdering millions of people. Let’s not trivialize that by turning Hitler, or even Nazism in general, into the heavy of a comic-book movie. I think it was a wise choice. (As commenters point out, Red Skull has anyway always been Captain America’s opponent.)
Moreover, as someone who lived in Germany for nearly two years while serving in the Third Infantry division (and at one time spoke pretty fair German, though leider ich habe gleich alles vergessen), I find it slightly hilarious that Lou thinks contemporary Germany has mixed feelings about Hitler or gets offended by references to Hitler or something. Germans in general are super-liberal. Except for a few teen jerks and cuckoos, the rightmost boundary of respectable opinion is a bit to the left of Bill Clinton. Some Germans, particularly older ones, may be slightly touchy about how much responsibility the average man in the street bore for the atrocities of the war but they are utterly united in their loathing for Hitler and have no problem at all with Hitler being portrayed as the ultimate villain.