Rik Mayall Defends Nazi Use In Anti-Euro Film
Rik Mayall as Adolf Hitler
Photo Credit: orangeneko.com Rik Mayall News Page
Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!’
(one people, one empire, one European currency)
Rik Mayall, British actor, July 2002.
By Malcolm Aitken
British actor Rik Mayall has defended himself against accusations of insensitivity towards victims of the Nazis.
Scoop reported on Friday that Mayall’s appearance in an anti-European currency campaign short film playing Adolf Hitler had caused controversy in Britain. In Mayall’s cameo of several seconds he yells ‘Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Euro’, a reference to the Nazi slogan ‘Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer’ (one people, one empire, one leader). This has outraged British Jewish leaders, war veterans, and some MPs. There have been calls for the film to be scrapped. The European Commission has expressed its disdain.
However, in an interview in yesterday’s Sunday Times Mayall said he had always wanted to play the part of the Nazi dictator, and his part playing Hitler endorsing the Euro and one European empire was satirical. ‘Look I'm saying what I say because if Hitler tells people to support the euro then surely they won't. That's the point of it.’
He insists the cinema advertisement, due to starting showing in cinemas for public viewing this week, is not anti-Semitic, pointing out that his wife Barbara is Jewish. ‘So my children are Jewish, too, as the Jewish race goes through the mother's line. And I suppose that if the SS were to march in, I'd be in the concentration camp, too, for collaboration simply for marrying Barbara.’ Mayall is well known for his parts in the television series The Young One’s, the New Statesman and Bottom.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has criticised the Euro No camp for promoting a considerably outdated view of Europe, and implicitly, Germanophobia.
Malcolm Aitken is a freelance journalist. He can be contacted at MTFAitken@aol.com