Raznor's Rants

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Monday, April 05, 2004

Third Reich Humor Part I

I decided I'd introduce my long alluded-to Third Reich political jokes in daily installments, one at a time, whatever's funny, or whatever seems appropriate to the news of the moment. So consider my comments on Kathleen Parker's essay sort of a preface.

As a reminder, these aren't just jokes about the Third Reich, these were political jokes circulated among the population during the Third Reich. It was sort of dangerous to spread these jokes, but for the most part officials didn't care about political jokes, so long as people weren't doing anything more directly rebellious.

I thought I'd start with this one. This one was submitted to a compilation by a German soldier after the war as a way of proving that, yes, German citizens during the war did know what atrocities were being committed in Poland. It is one of the funniest and one of the saddest things I've ever read. So here goes:

Jewish victims were to be shot by the Gestapo. The commanding SS officer was in a good mood and went up to a Jew, snarling, "Actually, you look like an Aryan. I want to give you a chance. One of my eyes is glass, but it isn't easy to tell which. If you guess correctly, I'll let you go." Without hesitation, the Jew answered: "The left eye." "How did you know?" asked the officer. "It has such a humane expression," replied the Jew.

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