Don’t you just hate it when all you need to promote your Christian youth program is a really good quote, and the only one you can find is from Adolf Hitler? Take the quotation: “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” That’s a pretty good line, and it totally makes the point you wanted to make. But there’s that whole Hitler thing…
You clearly have only two choices: You could use the quote and not attribute it, but that feels dishonest, like you’re stealing from Adolf Hitler. (Nobody cares about plagiarism when it involves Hitler, right?!) Or you could use the quote, say who said it, and hope nobody figures out that it’s THAT Adolf Hitler. But here’s where you probably feel safe–it’s not like it’s a quote about killing Jews or the superiority of the Aryan race or anything bad like that. If someone asks, be sure to point that out.
Apparently down in Alabama, a youth bible school decided to run an ad on a billboard and they found themselves in the dilemma I laid out above. The only problem is that they didn’t come up with the obvious third alternative: DON’T USE THE QUOTE. They simply decided to throw in a verse from the Bible to balance things out. What do you think? Did it work? Read the story from the local newspaper.
3 thoughts on “Free Advice: Don’t Use the Hitler Quote”
By a strange coincidence, in the book I wrote this year, I wrote about an imagined scenario in which a quote from Hitler was used in a speech. This demonstrates rather nicely that my powers of imagination were no match for grim reality!
I’m nervously anticipating what other fiction turns fact in the coming months…
Great podcast, guys – really enjoying the show!
Can we also note how creepy it is to talk about “owning” the youth? Brainwash ’em young, control ’em forever!
I think the quote is commonly used in evangelical circles to raise the specter of oversized government involvement in child rearing. It is inartful in this billboard but I think the intent is to suggest that failure to inculcate Christian morals leaves children vulnerable to totalitarian brainwashing. I don’t think the billboard gets the message across except to perhaps to the subcultrated evangelicals who would be sending their kids to VBS. To outsiders and especially Jews it looks horrific.