ADL Statement On Lars von Trier's Bizarre 'Nazi' Outburst
New York, NY, May 18, 2011 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement in response to comments by Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier at the Cannes Film Festival, in which he remarked at a press conference that he admitted being "a Nazi," said that he understands Hitler, and suggested that he might name his next film, "The Final Solution."
Lars von Trier seems to be struggling with some personal ghosts from his past, but this was nonetheless the wrong way for him to resolve them. It was a bizarre outburst, with him making inappropriate and shocking jokes about Nazis and the Holocaust, and taking pot shots at Israel as his diatribe reached a crescendo.
Hitler, the Nazis and the Holocaust are matters that should be treated with seriousness, not satire. It is ironic that von Trier made his comments on the occasion of the Cannes Film Festival, which was created in the 1930s in response to fascist intervention in filmmaking.
Von Trier's outburst is just the latest in a number of recent incidents involving celebrities who seem to reach a crisis moment in their lives and bring up the Holocaust or engage in anti-Semitic wordplay.
It is unfortunate and disturbing that Jews continue to serve as a whipping boy for all kinds of personal conflicts. We sincerely hope that von Trier will reconsider his words, which ultimately serve to trivialize the Holocaust at a very public forum where this type of outburst clearly has no place.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.