Hitler is the Grotesque Face of AIDS in German Ad

September 9, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Adolf Hitler represents infinite evil and he is a sensitive and shameful subject in Germany’s dark history. And now, the grotesque visage of Hitler with his menacing eyes and iconic toothbrush mustache is being used for its shock value in an AIDS awareness ad.

The controversial ad begins running on German television on Wednesday and is being condemned by many AIDS organizations and Jewish leaders as “disgusting.” The ad is indeed disgusting, grotesque and shocking, which is exactly the point says the AIDs group, Rainbow, responsible for the ad. It first debuted online, already receiving thousands of hits.

Jan Schwertner, spokesman for Rainbow, defends the use of Hitler’s face in the ad as a way to remind people of the deadly consequences of having unprotected sex.

The ad reserves its shock value for the very end. The ad begins with a dark scene of a couple having steamy sex, with the sounds of panting and moaning heard beneath the steady beat of disturbing techno music. During the ad, the man’s face is not shown until the very end, when he is revealed as a Hitler look-alike. The ad ends with the message: “AIDS is a mass murderer.”

The ad hits the viewer over the head with the comparison of the global face of evil to the AIDS virus. Rainbow’s Aids awareness effort is an equal opportunity campaign for other dictators. The complimentary print ads also feature the use of images of Stalin and Saddam Hussein to make their point that AIDS is a mass murderer.

“We want to give this terrible virus a face. AIDS is a forgotten issue in Germany. It’s been swept under the carpet. This shock campaign is necessary to get people thinking again,” explained Schwertner.

The German ad agency, Hamburg-based Das Comitee created the ad and is also defending the use of Hitler’s image. Creative director Hans Weishäupl said, “AIDS is the mass murderer of the 21st century, and we have to show people how awful it is.” He added, “But how would you visualize a terrible virus?”

Other groups in Germany are outraged, despite the rising incidence of AIDS in the country. The country’s largest HIV/AIDS group, Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe denounces the ad, as “disgusting” and is calling for the ad campaign to cease immediately. The group says people need factual information and education on prevention, not scare tactics that provoke anxiety.

Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe is also concerned that the shocking ad may depict AIDS sufferers as evil. Spokeswoman Carolin Vierneisel says, “The video ridicules all victims of the Nazi regime and it equates HIV-positive people with mass murderers.”

According to Rainbow, HIV/AIDS is reaching epidemic proportions in Germany, with eight people every day becoming infected with the disease and 60,000 people already living with HIV in the country.

Still, the provocative ad may ultimately become too controversial in a country that outlaws Nazi symbols and slogans and seeks to bury reminders of the atrocities of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.



One Response to “Hitler is the Grotesque Face of AIDS in German Ad”

  1. Pencegahan HIV AIDS on September 10th, 2009 2:34 am

    hehe.. very interesting ads 😀
    Hope it will make good impact on hiv prevention.

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