Adolf Hitler is alive and well and living online, Israeli students have said.
A vast exhibit of posts, pictures and plaudits have been compiled and revealed by Israeli Students Combating Anti-Semitism (ISCA), with campaigners seeking to highlight “a little known issue”.
The work analyses social media platforms, websites, blogs and online merchandise, with researchers warning that “glorifying Hitler is a widespread trend on the internet”.
Students said that many sites go further, “drawing a complete outline of Hitler’s ideology, interpreting his thought and presenting him as a visionary”.
Examples of Hitler’s presence online include image and video libraries, podcasts, articles and news pages, with neo-Nazis given a wealth of ammunition, including references and contacts.
In one religious blog, Hitler is called “a good Christian man who cared deeply about his race and followed the example of Christ… it is not the Holocaust deniers who are a danger to truth and freedom, it is the Christ deniers”.
Another site, called www.expeltheparasite.com, which also honours Hitler, starts by quoting Napolean Bonaparte as saying: “The evils of the Jews do not stem from individuals, but from the fundamental nature of this people.”
The students also highlight several website selling “Hitler souvenirs” and argue that these are often confused with websites selling Second World War military memorabilia sought by genuine collectors. Others urge site visitors to buy Nazi products “to support free speech”.
YouTube’s policy is deemed “quite strict”, and while Facebook is acknowledged for removing offensive sites when they are flagged, Twitter’s policy was seen as “more liberal,” meaning that there is “more racist, anti-Semitic and Hitler-glorifying content on this social network”.
Concluding, ISCA researchers say that “70 years after his death, Hitler is still alive online. Thanks to his supporters, both Hitler and his ideology are omnipresent. Much more has to be done.”