A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Planning Meeting for the Hitler Billboard

 photo billboard_zps98d2317b.jpg

President of the Organization: (Claps his hands once in front of him in a business-like manner.) Okay, guys, we’re a non-profit organization dedicated to helping underprivileged children. And we have this billboard to advertize what we do. Now, we are a Christian organization, so obvi we’re going to have a Bible quote on there. But not everyone believes in the Bible–

Everyone else in the room: WHAT???

President: I know! It’s crazy, but it’s true. Trust me. Anyway, I’m thinking we should have a second quote on there, just to cover all our bases. Something about how we believe that children are our future. We should teach them well and let them lead the way. Something like that. Anyone got any ideas?

Silence. They don’t read very much, not even non-fiction, and can’t think of any good phrases about children! Then, after a moment, the “young, cool” one pipes up.

YC One: Why don’t we Google it?

It takes four minutes to explain what Googling is, and the Young, Cool One doesn’t even really get it right, but oh well, everyone is on-board. Easier than thinking, amirite?¯\_(ツ)_/¯

YC One: (He starts typing.) Let’s Google “children” and “future”.

Stick-In-The-Mud: Why don’t we search for “youth” and “future”? We work with older children as well. We wouldn’t want it to seem like we stop caring at 10 years old or, like, as soon as they leave the womb.

Everyone laughs and then quickly stops because sometimes it seems like they do!

YC One: Okay. One of the results for “youth” and “future” is, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” Not bad!

Everyone: Yes, that does not sound terrifying or ominous at all!

President: Now, we wouldn’t want to get in trouble by quoting someone terrible. Who said it?

YC One: Someone called Alf Hight-ler?

Everyone: Never heard of him. We never read books and are oblivious to history.

YC One: Let me Google his stance on children and make sure he’s not, like, a pedo or something. Let me Google “Hitler” and “youth.” (Types.) So, it looks like he founded the Boy Scouts! And the Pope was in it, but we won’t hold that against this Hight-ler fellow.

Everyone laughs, and then the nerdy one (they are all nerds) points at the screen.

Nerdy One: Ooh, and there was a movie about it starring Batman! He can’t be bad!

President: Sounds good! PRINT IT!!!!!

Everyone claps.

(Photo via the Ledger-Enquirer)

About flanny

Flanny was born and raised in a Detroit suburb, but tells people she's from Detroit without clarification because it makes her sound tough. She is not tough. Her favorite member of One Direction is Louis Tomlinson, and her favorite Agatha Christie detectives are Tommy and Tuppence.
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21 Responses to A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Planning Meeting for the Hitler Billboard

  1. Okay, even if they didn’t know who Hitler was (which I am completely willing to believe, for the reasons you mention), that quote is terrifying. And I realize that, unfortunately, it’s completely in line with how many conservative religious groups regard children, but you’d think at least ONE of the people involved in this would realize that talking about “owning” children might not go over well with the general population.

    I also love how they didn’t even include the name of their organization, so there was no way to know what it was an ad FOR until people started complaining. “Nailed it. So good at making ads.” –these guys

    • summerestherson says:


      • Oh, I believe it all too well. “Hitler” and “Nazis” are just catchphrases that mean “bad guy” to a lot of people now, almost like he was a comic book villain instead of a real person. If they saw a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler, they either wouldn’t make the connection or wouldn’t understand what would be so wrong with using it.

        • hotspur says:

          Maybe they know who Hitler is, but think of him as one-name villain, like Cher or Banksy. In that case, finding a quote from Adolf Hitler would be like finding a quote from Jen Cher, or Neil Patrick Banksy. You’d use that quote and not think twice.

    • It seems that the billboard people were quoting Hitler as a “hey, evil people try to control our youth so bring them to church instead. The quote was meant to be seen in a negative light. The problem is that it’s bigger and more prominent than the Bible quote and also nothing makes it look negative. They even chose sort of a happy font for the Hitler quote.

      Basically, they’re dumb.

      • That’s definitely possible, but I don’t know if I’m willing to give them that much credit, especially since the founder’s statement didn’t explain it that way (and the Hoover quote he says they should’ve used instead is positive).

        100% agree with your last point, though.

        • hotspur says:

          The Hoover quote is “Children are our most valuable resource.” In fairness, that is a very boring quote. If those are the only two things anyone ever said about children (not sure), I’d vote to use the Hitler one too.

  2. old man fatima says:

    Not to be a downward debbie, but are we sure this isn’t photoshopped?? It just seems like something that can’t possibly exist.

    • At the link, the founder of the organization owns up to it (and apologizes, and brings up Herbert Hoover for some reason).

      • Simon Spidermonk says:

        Given how much stupid crap we’ve all seen on the internet, it’s pretty remarkable that this is sooo hard to swallow that we can’t help looking for some alternative explanation.

  3. FRQ says:

    I guess Whitney Houston isn’t well known in Alabama?

  4. Commentatrix says:

    I am obsessed with that shrugging [analog] emoticon!

  5. But of course it’s totally okay! ‘Cause they have a black kid in the group! And potentially an asian kid too!

  6. Somewhere in the world, Slavoj Zizek is foaming at the mouth while he reads this.

  7. Sota says:

    This just reminds me of the episode of Happy Endings where Penny dates a guy with the last name Hitler. Thankfully everyone in that situation knew who Hitler was.

    • flanny says:

      My high school German teacher, who was Holocaust survivor, used to tell a story of an old student of hers, Ann Hiddler, who would introduce herself as “Ann Hiddler H-I-D-D-L-E-R NO RELATION!”

  8. mordonez says:

    So my uncharitable take on this organization would be this:

    What could we do to promote the actual agenda of Live Savers Ministries, (suppose that this agenda is…let’s just say consistent with getting on the radar of the Southern Poverty Law Center and having a choir where the male members are somewhat on the bald side), without LOOKING like we’re actually doing that? Oh I know, we’ll chalk it up to the clumsiest PR we can think of, but then people will KNOW that Live Savers Ministries are “those guys that put the Hitler quote on the billboard”, and if people are then inclined to believe something about our bible camp, so be it.

    I mean, you can’t actively advertise for those, uh, “consumers” on a billboard, can you?

  9. hahah i just heard of this stroy i didn’t realize it actually had his name on there too!!!! I thought it just had the quote!!!!

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