Adolf Hitler slowly raises his trembling hand and removes his glasses from his sneering, sweat-drenched face. He bellows profanities at his officers, who stare back in horror.
And what has provoked Der Fuhrer's outrage?
He has been banned from playing Xbox Live.
This is only one example of over a hundred parody videos on YouTube of a climactic scene from the 2004 movie, "Downfall," in which Hitler displays a frightening tantrum in the presence of his officers. YouTube posters have taken to pasting humorous subtitles over the action.
But not everyone is laughing. The film itself was criticized for its humanizing portrayal of the Nazi dictator. Now some people are complaining about the YouTube parodies, which play Hitler up for laughs.
An umbrella organization representing Holocaust survivors in Israel asked YouTube on Tuesday to take down one of the spoofs, in which Hitler complains about the lack of parking spaces in Tel Aviv, according to The Jerusalem Post. The organization said that the clip was grossly insensitive to the feelings of elderly Holocaust survivors.
But others say the clips are simply funny — not offensive.
"This clip has nothing to do with disrespect," a YouTube user named "tzahico" said in a comment on the parking spot video. "No one has laughed about holocaust survivors, concentration or death camps, but rather on Hitler. It is one of the best comedy clips I have ever seen, and the creative writers deserve an 'yishar koach' (bravo) for making people smile!"
No one is smiling at Constantin Film Production, which distributes the original "Downfall." It has called on YouTube to remove many of the videos because of a copyright claim.
Here are some of the most popular videos on YouTube along this theme:
Description: Hitler is seen bellowing to his fellow Nazis about how outrageous the lack of parking is in Tel Aviv, Israel. The officers tell him that they got a 250 shekel (about $60) ticket for parking illegally because they couldn't find a parking space.
Synopsis: Even Hitler can go to pieces over a parking ticket.
Posted: February 17, 2009
Comment(s): User LesnyDziadek8:"HA HA HA HA This was a funny clip."
Description: "YOU HOMOSEXUAL BLOOD ELF!" Hitler screams at an officer after he hears he has been booted from World of Warcraft.
Synopsis: For all those who are addicted to this popular role-playing game, you can empathize with Hitler's anguish at the realization that he has been banned from World of Warcraft. Over 2 million views and that probably still doesn't add up to the amount of hours "WOW"-obsessed gamers play, but who's counting?
Posted: February 13, 2008
Comment(s): User Bendetoma: "I know that's a joke. And it's not funny.
Description: The Housing Bubble bursts on a speculator. Hitler the real estate investor screams when he buys a house to flip, faces foreclosure, and now wants to be bailed out.
Synopsis: How ironic. Hitler gets himself into a sticky situation and when given the boot, loses his mind. The story dubbed here definitely parallels history at its worst.
Posted: November 3, 2008
Comment(s): User drunkenmonkeyrage: "lol good video."
User TSquared2001: "Disturbingly hilarious."
Description: "You won't be able to play on Microsoft Live ever again," the subtitle of a Hitler accomplice reads. Hitler raises a Parkinson's-diseased hand to remove his glasses. Then the furious Fuhrer takes over the scene, angrily shouting that he won't be able to play Xbox anymore.
Synopsis: The creator of this spoof probably should have realized that Hitler would have a very difficult time playing Xbox with Parkinson's Disease.
Posted: June 7, 2007
Views: 1, 006, 799
Comment(s): User alf121996: "That is hilarious and he should get a Playstation3."
Description: The title is self-explanatory. Hitler flips out when it is suggested that he buy a Mustang. Yet again, Hitler is seen spewing out subtitles, only this time, he's mocking American-made cars. He finally declares, "I should get ... a BMW."
Synopsis: As if we didn't foresee Hitler mocking American-made cars.
Posted: January 31, 2007
Comment(s): User fmdelcastel88:"Thumbs down. This parody doesn't deserve almost 800,000 views."
Description: The video shows viewers how some may view Windows Vista negatively.
Synopsis: Never mind the fact that Hitler never even used a computer — that isn't the point. What better way to show frustration than to show the angriest man in history having a meltdown?
Posted: September 7, 2007
Comment(s): User General Fuhao commented, "I laughed and laughed. Thanks. Brilliant."
Description: The video shows Hitler freaking out when he finds that the Cowboys have been defeated by the Giants.
Synopsis: Apparently, Hitler was more than a bloodthirsty dictator — he was a Cowboys fan, too.
Posted: January 31, 2008
User: Martin 2020a
Comment(s): Mostly football fans commented, seeing the video as more of a joke than something offensive.
User mackdady412: "Says something 'bout Cowboys. Go Steelers!!!"
Description: Hitler loses it when most of his friends aren't going to Burning Man.
Synopsis: No one wants to be Hitler's friend.
Posted: May 13, 2008
Comment(s): User trickylaa: "GET A LIFE."
User ilovefredandgeorge: "holy crap this is awesome!"
Description: The Nazi Party becomes transformed into the Democratic Party via subtitles. Hitler, portrayed as a Democrat, complains about how detrimental Sarah Palin is to the Democratic Party because of her attractiveness. "We expected a Romney, we got a Bikini Babe," an assistant says to Hitler.
Posted: September 12, 2008
Comment(s): User beackerbeats: "I can't take a video that respresents our intelligent, level headed, president as a modern day Adolf Hitler..."
User grester: "Hahahaha, that was great."
Description: The video shows Hitler fuming when he is told that his name is on the leaked membership list for the British National Party. "It's been uploaded to Wikileaks," a Nazi says. Hitler explodes, as he does in every other video of this scene. "I mean, how hard can it f***ing be to keep your files secure?" he asks his accomplice. "In Windows Vista it can be a right pain," the man says.
Synopsis: Does anyone else notice a pattern with disliking Windows Vista?
Posted: November 21, 2008
Comment(s): User UKfightback wrote, "Awesome, don't vote BNP."