An actor dressed as Hitler on the streets of Germany was begged to bring back labour camps, kissed and made to feel like ‘a pop star’ — casting an uncomfortable light on growing support for right-wing extremism in the country.
Oliver Masucci plays the Nazi leader in ‘He’s Back’ (‘Er ist wieder da’), a biting social satire by author Timur Vermes which was released in German cinemas this week.
However, it is not his performance, but the reactions of people on the street to ‘Hitler’ which have got the country talking as it prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees this year alone.
‘He’s Back’ is based on Vermes’ ‘what-if’ best-seller of the same name, published three years ago. In it, Hitler is baffled to find himself in a multicultural Germany led by a woman, Chancellor Angela Merkel.
He discovers TV chefs, Wikipedia and the fact that Poland still exists before he ends up a small-screen star, in a social commentary on society, mass media and celebrity hype.