Þegar húmor er hættulegur heilsunni

Húmor er til margra hluta nytsamlegur, og oft grípur fólk til húmorsins þegar aðstaðan er erfið, hann léttir lundina og gerir fólki kleyft að tjá skoðanir sínar og andstöðu, gjarna undir rós.  Engar kringumstæður eru það erfiðar að sumir sjái ekki skoplegu hliðina og er það vel.

Ég rakst á grein á vef Spiegel um húmor í "þriðja ríkinu", en þar er fjallað um bók sem er víst væntanleg í haust og tekur á þessi þætti þjóðlífsins í Þýskalandi á valdadögum nazista.  Undir lokin gat brandi kostað þann sem flutti lífið, en samt stoppaði það ekki alla frá því að viðhalda skopskyninu.  Grípum aðeins niður í greininni:

"But by the end of the war, a joke could get you killed. A Berlin munitions worker, identified only as Marianne Elise K., was convicted of undermining the war effort "through spiteful remarks" and executed in 1944 for telling this one:

Hitler and Göring are standing on top of Berlin's radio tower. Hitler says he wants to do something to cheer up the people of Berlin. "Why don't you just jump?" suggests Göring.

A fellow worker overheard her telling the joke and reported her to the authorities."

"Such jokes were harmless to the Nazis and didn't reflect opposition to them, says Herzog. He contrasts it with the desperate gallows humor of Germany's Jews as the noose tightened during the 1930s and in the war years:

"Two Jews are about to be shot. Suddenly the order comes to hang them instead. One says to the other "You see, they're running out of bullets."

Such jokes told by Jews were a form of mutual encouragement, an expression of the will to survive. "Even the blackest Jewish humor expresses a defiant will, as if the joke teller wanted to say: I'm laughing, so I'm still alive," says Herzog."

"This joke about Dachau concentration camp, opened in 1933, shows people knew early on they could be imprisoned on a whim for expressing an opinion:

Two men meet. "Nice to see you're free again. How was the concentration camp?"
"Great! Breakfast in bed, a choice of coffee or chocolate, and for lunch we got soup, meat and dessert. And we played games in the afternoon before getting coffee and cakes. Then a little snooze and we watched movies after dinner."
The man was astonished: "That's great! I recently spoke to Meyer, who was also locked up there. He told me a different story."
The other man nods gravely and says: "Yes, well that's why they've picked him up again.""

"As it became clear that Germany was losing the war and Allied bombing started wiping out German cities, the country turned to bitter sarcasm:

"What will you do after the war?"
"I'll finally go on a holiday and will take a trip round Greater Germany!"
"And what will you do in the afternoon?"

But telling such jokes was dangerous. "Defeatism" became an offense punishable by death and a joke could get you executed. "With the defeat at Stalingrad and the first waves of the bombing campaigns against German cities, political humor turned into gallows humor, silliness gave way to plain sarcasm," says Herzog.

Humor hasn't fully recovered in Germany. "Jewish humor is famous for its sharpness and biting character and we miss that here today along with a whole range of aspects of Jewish culture," said Herzog."

Greinina má finna hér.

Húmor var ekki síður mikilvægur fyrir þá sem þurftu að búa undir ógnarstjórn kommúnismans, þar var líka refsað harðlega fyrir skopskynið oft á tíðum, en húmor brýst alltaf fram.

Þessi brandari flokkast líklega undir klassík:

A man dies and goes to hell. There he discovers that he has a choice: he can go to capitalist hell or to communist hell. Naturally, he wants to compare the two, so he goes over to capitalist hell. There outside the door is the devil, who looks a bit like Ronald Reagan. "What's it like in there?" asks the visitor. "Well," the devil replies, "in capitalist hell, they flay you alive, then they boil you in oil and then they cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives."

"That's terrible!" he gasps. "I'm going to check out communist hell!" He goes over to communist hell, where he discovers a huge queue of people waiting to get in. He waits in line. Eventually he gets to the front and there at the door to communist hell is a little old man who looks a bit like Karl Marx. "I'm still in the free world, Karl," he says, "and before I come in, I want to know what it's like in there."

"In communist hell," says Marx impatiently, "they flay you alive, then they boil you in oil, and then they cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives."

"But… but that's the same as capitalist hell!" protests the visitor, "Why such a long queue?"

"Well," sighs Marx, "Sometimes we're out of oil, sometimes we don't have knives, sometimes no hot water…"

Eða þessi:Kruschev was busy denouncing Stalin at a public meeting when a voice shouted out ``If you feel this way now, why didn't you say so then?'' To which the Soviet leader thundered ``Who said that?'' There was a long and petrified silence which Kruschev finally broke. ``Now you know why.''



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