Meet The Hitlers sounds like a horrible name for a terrible sitcom, but it is really a very interesting documentary about people all linked by the name “Hitler”. It is a psychological drama about how some people accept who they are, while others spend a lifetime hiding, while still other pretend to be something they are not.
There is a family in Long Island, whose members are direct descendants of the nephew of Adolf Hitler. Their father (the nephew) came to American during World War II and publicly denounced Adolf. Despite this, the sons changed their last name. In fact, they were so ashamed of their lineage that they made a pact never to have children. They hide in their houses if a member of the press ever shows up. They will not appear on film.
Other Americans with the Hitler last name have refused to take a new name despite the infamous associations. These families come across as much more likable and at peace with themselves. Their attitude is, “this is who I am, judge me for my actions, not those of others.”
Meet The Hitlers also has a very disturbing segment about the Campbells, a New Jersey family that named their children Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. Unlike the other families in Meet The Hitlers, the Campbells have no actual ties to the Hitler name. The Campbells are White Supremacists who like to dress up in Nazi uniforms.
The Campbells gained national attention when Shoprite supermarkets refused to make a cake with “Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler” on it. Mr. Campbell is a self-professed Nazi, and is covered with tattoos of swastikas.
The Campbell’s children were taken away by Social Services. The State claims the children was abused. Deborah and Isidore Campbell say their children were taken simply punishment for their parents political views. The segment does give a fascinating look at the issue of free speech. Are their limits to free speech? Does teaching children to hate all other races constitute child abuse?
Meet The Hitlers is certainly worth watching and demonstrated the power of a single word. When you see the people linked by “Hitler” you will like many, hate others, and feel profound sorrow for some.
- We Rate Meet The Hitlers Four Stars ****
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