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Italian Agriculture Union Offers ‘Hitler Prize’

It’s for ethical treatment of animals. Seriously. (Update: the award is apparently a spoof)

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Update: This award is apparently meant to be a spoof. According to the Daily Mail, the general secretary of Feder Fauna said “The Hitler Prize represents a condemnation of those who trample on human rights in the name of the ideology of ‘animal rights!’” Count us among those on whom the irony was lost. Original post is below.

An Italian trade union known as Feder Fauna is offering a peculiar award to a member of its ranks later this month. According to the Daily News, it will honor “the personality who has particularly distinguished themselves in their work with animals over the past year.”

It’s called the Hitler Prize, named for a person best known for his ethical treatment of animals. Oh wait, that’s not quite true at all. The Fuhrer was in fact kind to animals, and was himself a vegetarian, but that seems startlingly beside the point. Also, we’re still giving out Hitler prizes? In 2013? That people want to win?

It’s like a South Park plot, but real—and frightening. To honor Hitler for his treatment of animals and ignore his horrific treatment of humans is to recast the legacy of a mass murderer into something far more palatable and Tumblr-ready. While the Nazi fascination with animals, particularly purebred creatures, is certainly worthy of analysis (Diane Ackerman’s novel The Zookeeper’s Wife is a particularly compelling example), it’s inappropriate and dangerous to recast Nazi officers and their genocidal leader as kitten-loving softies and nothing else.

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Italian Agriculture Union Offers ‘Hitler Prize’

It’s for ethical treatment of animals. Seriously. (Update: the award is apparently a spoof)

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