Why Holocaust Jokes aren’t Funny


Oliver Piotrowski

There is a very small difference between 2014 and 2015, however once 2016 hit the hate-crimes soared. More than 200 of the crimes happened after Donald Trump’s election, and most of those were done in his name. Trump has said ‘Sometimes it’s the reverse, to make people — or to make others — look bad,’ in response to the rise in Anti-Semitism. He thinks that the bomb threats were made by Jewish people, or those who support them, to make him and his supporters look bad.

Oliver Piotrowski, Staff Writer

Most people know the horrors that happened during the Holocaust, and know that six million people were murdered for being Jewish. Why people think making jokes about the suffering of humans is acceptable is beyond me, however, I’ve heard a lot. Hitler is not a joke, Nazi’s are not a joke, the genocide of human beings is not a joke.

Genocide isn’t just something that happened, it is something that could happen at anytime, if another leader like Hitler comes into play. Nazi’s still exist, they are still active and real. Open your eyes, wake up! This community is in danger and your pitiful excuse for humor is making it seem unreal, it makes it seem secondary.

I have a baby sister who I love, if anything were to happen to her I don’t know what I would do. My step-mother and her family are all Jewish and they are some of the only extended family I remain in contact with. I could never, and would never, say that I understand how they feel, because I don’t. I don’t experience the hatred or the discrimination that they face, but I can stand up for them. So while I do not share the history it is still a part of my life, it is still very real for me.

The harassment and hatred of Jewish people,Anti-Semitism, still happens today. There have been a lot of hate crimes against a lot of different groups since Donald Trump’s election. According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, 917 known hate groups are currently active in the United States, 99 of those groups are Neo-Nazi’s and 10 of them are Holocaust Denier groups. These people are still out here, they still hurt people, and your jokes make the situation seem unimportant and seemingly okay. The suffering of human beings is not a joke, the suffering of any living creature is not a joke.

I spoke with a South High Jewish sophomore, Maia Roberts who did a workshop last year during Racial Justice Day at South about Anti-Semitism. “You just have to start the conversations for them to be present and that’s kind of why I did it. So people will know that it’s a real issue that needs to be addressed,” Roberts stated. As easy as that seems it can be kind of difficult to start the conversation with people who don’t want to learn, it’s not only on those in the Jewish community to educate you.

You have to make an effort, you have to want to learn. Roberts and I both agree that Anti-Semitism is not acknowledged enough in both the public and in schools. Many people might not see it as a problem anymore but it is, and we need to help those affected  by it. Imagine if your family was tortured, killed, imprisoned, starved, and forced to hide away, and then imagine if after all that history, after all that pain, someone had the audacity to make a joke out of it. You would be hurt.

Humor varies among many people, however there is a huge difference between satire humor (humor used to expose the underlying corruption of a person or a group of people), and by Holocaust jokes (jokes making fun of/ making light of the Holocaust), as well as Hitler jokes (jokes like “Hitler did nothing wrong” are not okay). I know that it may not seem like a big deal to you however, if someone is hurt by your joke, you don’t get to decide that it wasn’t hurtful. We could all do better to understand people’s suffering, we could all look at ourselves in the mirror and say “What can I do better?”