Hitler’s Long Shadow

In many countries, the stereotype of Germans as Nazis has never vanished completely. The current eurozone crisis has sparked new life into this image, especially in financially troubled countries like Greece and Italy. Many people resent Germany’s insistence on severe reforms in their countries, seeing it as an unwarranted intrusion on their national sovereignty. Some even perceive the European Union as the “Fourth Reich”, insisting that the Germans have finally achieved their old Nazi dream of continental domination. On this poster, the Italian Partito Comunista exploits these sentiments by portraying German Chancellor Angela Merkel in military uniform, wearing a euro sign instead of a swastika on her arm.

Literature

• Manfred Koch-Hillebrecht, Die Deutschen sind schrecklich: Geschichte eines europäischen Feindbildes (Berlin 2008)
• Elisabeth Demleitner, Gentlemen und Nazis? Nationale Stereotype in deutschen und britischen Printmedien (2009)

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