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May 9, 2011

Rudolph Herzog discusses Nazis and comedy on Leonard Lopate and at Bookcourt

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Rare (and very creepy) color picture of Hitler on his 50th birthday

The remarkable Rudolph Herzog will be on The Leonard Lopate Show today at 1:00 p.m. to discuss his new book, Dead Funny: Humor in Hitler’s Germany. Tonight at 7:00 p.m. he will be at Bookcourt in conversation with Ron Rosenbaum, author of How the End Begins: The Road to Nuclear War III, to discuss Nazism, atomic Armageddon, and the philosophy of black comedy.

Herzog has made documentaries about crossing the Atlantic in a raft made of reeds, a gang of criminals committing the “perfect” crime, and led an Arctic expedition to find the icy grave of Norway’s great explorer, Roald Amundson. He wrote Dead Funny while living in the Atacama desert, the driest place on Earth. It is the first book to provide a full look at the whispered jokes, political cartoons, and underground cabarets that made fun of Hitler and the Nazis during the rise of the Third Reich.

For more on the fascinating Mr. Herzog, read these interviews at Flavorwire, the LA WEEKLY, and The Brooklyn Rail. (And if you still haven’t gotten your fix of surprising and disturbing bits of Nazi history, check out this New Yorker profile of Hitler, written in 1936, that focuses primarily on his sleeping habits and his love of Bavarian gruel.)

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