There are a few good Holocaust jokes out there, and humor is a matter of individual taste, but one restaurant in Rhode Island got caught in the middle of a firestorm over a pretty lousy Anne Frank joke that had nothing new or original to say about the Holocaust, just a cheap shot at the expense of a long-dead Jewish girl.
Here’s the meme the Atlantic Sports Bar and Grill in Tiverton, RI, 25 miles south of Providence, let loose on an unsuspecting world on July 22: the meme, over the famous Anne Frank picture, reads: “It’s hotter than an oven out there… and I should know!” Got it? Got it? They combined a comment on the scorching weather with a comment about the concentration camps’ ovens where the bodies of Jews who had died of inhaling Zyklon B were cremated.
Oh, and they hashtagged it “#ohboy” above the caption, so it would be picked up alongside all the other complaints about the scorching heat in North America these days.
The restaurant’s attempt at Holocaust humor was criticized and condemned, folks called it “purely disgusting,” and as of Tuesday, the offending Facebook page was frozen.
Earlier, on Monday, the Newport Daily News reported that “The team here at The Atlantic wants to issue its sincerest apologies for a deeply insensitive post shared by our account on 7/22. The post was poorly thought out and we realize that it was incredibly inappropriate and does not reflect our values as members of our community.”
They actually wrote “offer it’s sincerest apologies,” showing their grammar is as lousy as their humor.
The team at The Atlantic also conceded that “there is no excuse for the sharing of this post, and there is nothing we can do to rectify it, all we can do now is offer our deepest apology to those who were rightfully hurt by our actions.”
Nobody was hurt by your actions. Saddened, yes, at the notion that Holocaust humor is now being practiced by people without a sense of humor. They didn’t desecrate the memory of the Holocaust, mostly because the Holocaust was not a sacred thing, it was a 6-year mass murder event that involved millions losing their minds while murdering millions more. But this Rhode Island joint added to the banalization of the industrialized murder carried out by Nazi Germany.
Perhaps what we need is a new museum to house all the post-Holocaust banalities. It’ll take a really big building.