Why I am uneasy about “Let’s Kill Hilter!”
I really want to be wrong, but I have an instinctive trepidation over the next episode of Doctor Who. As everyone knows, the next episode is entitled “Let’s Kill HIlter!” (not much a spoiler since it was shown attached to the last episode). Now, the BBC guide has come out with a non-spoilery summary for the episode, and my trepidation only grows. I put the description behind a cut because even this type of episode description gets some people’s dander up about spoilers, so yeah.
All I want to say is this. Admittedly this comes from someone who is ethnically Jewish, bisexual, and epileptic, which means I would be a target of the Nazis back during the time period in question. However, even if I was not any of these things, this episode would still bother me for the following reason.
When entertainment handles Hitler, one has to be careful about legitimizing Hitler. If we start to absolve him from his own actions, then we start to run into the problem of making the Holocaust seem like it isn’t as big of a deal as it is.Why is this harmful? It’s harmful in the same way the news media of today marginalizes ethnic cleansing in other countries. It’s harmful in the way that some historians try to rewrite history to reflect their own ideals. When we forget what happened and where we have come, we set ourselves up to make similar mistakes and to forget pain and tragedy that must never be repeated.
The fact this is coming from not only a family program/children’s program but also from a widespread franchise like Doctor Who makes it even more unsavory than it already is. By exposing young viewers to a potentially skewed view of the event before they even learn about it in school, how can they fully come to understand why this must never happen again? If we absolve Hitler in some form, where does that lead our own society? I know that towards the end of his life Hitler was under the influence of a drug cocktail, but he was setting these horrendous things in motion with his men long before the drug cocktail began.
My hope is that Moffat does not disappoint and does not try to absolve Hitler from what he helped put in place and the atrocities that came about because of it. I hope that Moffat can treat this time period with the respect that is lacking in parts of the world. Don’t lend more credence to those who claim the Holocaust never happened. Don’t lend more credence to people who like to use entertainment to become Hitler apologists.
I’m going to at least try to watch the episode but if it starts sliding downward into something disrespectful and unsavory, I’m not going to stay tuned.