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Springtime for Hitler? Ad and Doll Bring the Dictator Back

This week Mexico's top electoral body has ordered broadcasters to stop showing a TV ad that compares a firebrand leftist leading a shut down of Congress to dictators Hitler and Pinochet. The ad is funded by a Mexican businessman angry at the blockade spurred by opposition lawmakers trying to derail an oil reform plan. He says the actions of protest leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador are endangering democracy, "Who shuts congresses? In 1933, Adolf Hitler in Germany."

The spot was shot as a flashback to conservative ads run in the 2006 election campaign, and call the former rights activist and then presidential candidate a danger to Mexico. The voice over says, "Our democracy is in danger. Our peace is at risk. Mexico does not deserve this."

If Hitler on TV isn't enough, Ukraine has just begun selling an action-man style doll of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and saleswomen are hawking the product, comparing the doll to Barbie. But it's not all fun and games. To see the serious side,


Supermarkets in the capital Kiev are stocking a 20 inch high figure of the Führer, complete with jackboots, leather trench-coat and swastika armband. The $200 doll, conveniently comes equipped with a spare head "with a kind expression on it," glasses and several changes of clothes. In case he travels, I suppose.

Who's buying the doll? The decision to sell it comes amid growing extreme right political sentiment in Ukraine. Some also report of increasing xenophobia and racism, and tell of some extremists supporting racism similar to that of Nazi Germany under Hitler.

Could fans of the doll be a sign that Hitler is becoming popular among disaffected youths, who are too young to remember the effect Nazism wreaked on the world? Is it ever appropriate to use Hitler as a political figure or comparison? Are people softening their attitudes toward him as time passes, or will he perennially be taboo?


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