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  1. #1

    Default The Holocaust and DC

    A friend of mine is doing some research on the depiction of the Holocaust in comics. Surprisingly, he says there was not much mention of the Holocaust, especially the Holocaust as the destruction of European Jewry, until the early 1970s. I think there might be earlier references at DC. Does anyone know of any. I am not looking for stories later than the early 1970s.
    Sandy Hausler
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Hausler View Post
    A friend of mine is doing some research on the depiction of the Holocaust in comics. Surprisingly, he says there was not much mention of the Holocaust, especially the Holocaust as the destruction of European Jewry, until the early 1970s. I think there might be earlier references at DC. Does anyone know of any. I am not looking for stories later than the early 1970s.
    Considering that the 70's were the time when comics were transitioning from being low-brow kid's entertainment to a more serious artform, I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't indeed until that decade that something as serious as the Holocaust was depicted.

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    Astonishing Member jetengine's Avatar
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    You'd think any WW2 adjacent hero might vaguely mention "The horrors of auwschitz" or something in passing.

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    I don't think that comics depicted such serious topics at that time, although I can be wrong. Do you want to see Holocaust representation in comics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetengine View Post
    You'd think any WW2 adjacent hero might vaguely mention "The horrors of auwschitz" or something in passing.
    Actually, no one really knew about the Holocaust until nearly the very end of the war. So it's not like the JSA were dealing with the Holocaust during their missions. And the JSA and other heroes, in any case, were kept out of the European Theatre of the war due to the Spear of Destiny.

    Quote Originally Posted by zynar View Post
    I don't think that comics depicted such serious topics at that time, although I can be wrong. Do you want to see Holocaust representation in comics?
    It depends. It can be done well, and meaningfully - Magneto's backstory being the prime example that springs to mind on the Marvel side. I wouldn't want it done just for the heck of it.

  6. #6
    Mighty Member LifeIsILL's Avatar
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    Wasn't Unknown Soldier and Enemy Ace comics all about the holocaust?

    I swore every other issue was Unknown Soldier infiltrating a Nazi camp or something.

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    Extraordinary Member Jackalope89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Actually, no one really knew about the Holocaust until nearly the very end of the war. So it's not like the JSA were dealing with the Holocaust during their missions. And the JSA and other heroes, in any case, were kept out of the European Theatre of the war due to the Spear of Destiny.



    It depends. It can be done well, and meaningfully - Magneto's backstory being the prime example that springs to mind on the Marvel side. I wouldn't want it done just for the heck of it.
    Well, there are a fair number of Jewish heroes to choose from. Ragman, Kate Kane (Technically, Bruce, but he doesn't practice), Harley (ugh, over her, but she is a big name), and several more.

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    Hasn't Marvel attempted to downplay Magneto's story at times? One problem with Holocaust survivor heroes like Magneto is that he would probably (given his tendencies) give some Middle Eastern Countries a very hard time. Also today, with some countries censoring stories, there might be marketing issues.

    I don't remember the issue in the 60's comics.

  9. #9
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    There was a comic in 1976 called BLITZKRIEG which was about the Holocaust--it only lasted five issues, unfortunately. Still one of my favourite comic book short runs.
    Sometimes, the best response is no response.

  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bat39 View Post
    Actually, no one really knew about the Holocaust until nearly the very end of the war.
    You'd be wrong about that. On March 12 1942 17 Swedish daily newspapers were all confiscated when they were about to print a detailed report of torture and deportations in Norway. Author Astrid Lindgren's war diaries speak about escalating prosecution of Jews all through 1939 to 1943, and war crimes in the Ukraine and Russia. Now, Lindgren was not a person of the "general public" here, she worked as a censor for Swedish military intelligence, including reading and censoring personal correspondence going to and from abroad, but it was still public enough that she could put it—and newspaper excerpts about it—in her personal diary. The massacres at Babi Yar were well documented in papers like Newsweek after the area was retaken by the Red Army, in December 1943.

    ETA: Another example is the Finnish SS volunteers in 1941 to 1943. As they returned to Finland there was an active effort to present them as only having served as frontline troops fighting the Red Army. With the implication that they had not participated in any war crimes or genocide. (Spoiler: it is well documented that at least some of them had.)
    Last edited by kjn; 01-19-2022 at 01:34 AM.
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  11. #11

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    I think there was one Batman comic by O'Neil/Adams that involved the survivor of the holocaust.

    Hold on, I found it:

    Batman #237 (1971) by O'Neill and Adams where spoilers:
    the killer of the story is revealed to be a Holocaust survivor out for vengeance
    end of spoilers.

    https://13thdimension.com/batman-237...en-comic-ever/

    Also, a bit later but Batman and the Outsiders #36-37 (1986) by Mike W Barr and Alan Davis where the plot involves the villain trying to clone Hitler and then to indoctrinate him further, shows him videos of all the horrible things that the real Hitler did during the war. The twist is that spoilers:
    the Hitler clone found everything that the real Hitler did so horrifying that he commits suicide rather than repeat the horrors
    end of spoilers.

    I think early 70's is kind of limiting but if I was looking for Holocaust references, one of the first places I would look would be the JSA comics, especially All Star Squadron which was meant to be a more mature take on those characters.

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