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Did Hitler ever tell a joke, and was it funny? Was it recorded on video or audio? 3-4 different people commented on a comic claiming the artist is a Neo-Nazi. I don't see what that has to do with anything because the comic itself had nothing to do with Nazism and was funny. However it made me wonder if 'literally Hitler' ever expressed a sense of humor and did people find it funny?

I found this question: What was Hitler like in private? but it didn't mention jokes or humor or comedy. The referenced Wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitler%27s_Table_Talk also did not mention them.

According to the movie Downfall, he seemed rather serious.

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    "was it funny" is not going to be objectively answerable. – Aaron Brick Feb 7 at 5:14
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    Can't post an answer so here you go: youtube.com/watch?v=FtDxjVCu56E – stackzebra Feb 7 at 8:13
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    Which does human has never told a joke? A more fitting title would be "Are there recorded jokes told by Hitler?" – Dohn Joe Feb 7 at 9:51
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    Humor is all about context, and in context nothing about the man is really funny. – T.E.D. Feb 7 at 10:21
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    @AaronBrick Sure it is. You can replay the joke to an audience and measure the percentage which laughs. This can be done as a controlled experiment if you really want to. – JBentley Feb 7 at 14:13
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According to Rochus Misch, the Berlin Bunker telephonist and part of the Führerbegleitkommando (Führer Escort Command; FBK), Hitler did tell jokes but

I cannot state for a fact that Hitler had a sense of humour. I never heard him laugh out loud. That may be because I did not know him until after the war began. The Old Campaigners [those who had been with Hitler before he came to power] told me that the warlord Hitler was a quite different personality to the pre-war Hitler. ‘The boss’ himself had a small fund of jokes, which he liked to bring out from time to time.

Source: Rochus Misch, 'Hitler's Last Witness' (2014, but originally published in German in 2008)

Misch does not detail these jokes other than a rather unimaginative sexist joke relating to his dog Blondi. Not being part of the inner circle, Misch may not have heard Hitler laugh much but other sources say that he did (see here and here). A Daily Telegraph article of the book cites this Hitler joke:

he noticed his official photographer Heinrich Hoffman had drunk too much and told him: "Don't stand to near the fire Heini - you might burst into flames."

It further mentions the Goering joke cited by Chloe. The article also mentions that, with reference to Goering's penchant for awarding himself medals,

Hitler was said to be so proud of his joke that he had medals made from gold and silver paper for Goering to wear on his pyjamas.

However, neither of the Goering jokes cited by The Daily Telegraph come from Misch (as is clear from this Daily Mail article on the same book). The medal joke, though, is mentioned (with a minor variation) in The Hitler Book, prepared by the NKVD for Stalin (so a source that needs treated with some caution), and it is not the only Goering medal joke (see below).

Hitler had a tendency to make fun of and mock others, including their deaths (General Hellmuth Stieff, for example, who was executed for his part in the 20 July plot to kill Hitler). He also made fun of Admiral Erich Raeder's “sanctimonious Christianity” and apparently of André François-Poncet, the French ambassador to Germany:

Because of his repeated favorable statements, François-Poncet mockingly was called the “Reich Speaker of the NSDAP” in Germany prior to 1938. Even Hitler once offered him this title as a joke

Source: Max Domarus, 'The Complete Hitler - Speeches and Proclamations'

Going back to Goering's medals, Friedelind Wagner, daughter of Siegfried Wagner and granddaughter of the Nazis' favourite composer Richard Wagner provides another example of Hitler's humor at the expense of others. In the presence of Goering and Goebbels, Hitler said to the Wagner family:

You all know what a volt is an ampere, don’t you? Right. But do you know what a goebbels, a goering are? A goebbels is the amount of nonsense a man can speak in an hour and a goering is the amount of metal that can be pinned on a man’s breast.

Source: Walter C. Langer, 'A psychological Analysis of Adolph Hitler' (Office of Strategic Services)

According to Langer, when in the mood, Hitler enjoyed "a kind of teasing and ribbing":

He is an excellent mimic and often plays out the role of the individual involved to the great amusement of the staff while the individual must sit by and witness the performance much to his own embarrassment.

Among the people he liked to mimic (but who were unlikely to have had to sit through the performance) were the British Ambassador to Germany (1933-37) Eric Phipps and the British Prime Minister (1937-40) Neville Chamberlain.

Race was (inevitably) another area which Hitler saw fit to joke about. According to The Hitler Book, Hitler made a joke about the 'racial purity' of the Vichy politician Pierre Laval.

Hitler's favourite photographer Heinrich Hoffmann, in his memoir Hitler Was My Friend, also relates a number of Hitler jokes, none of which are worth repeating.

Whether Hitler's jokes were funny or not is not (as Aaron Brick observed in a comment) "objectively answerable". At best, many seem simply lame and are more quips than jokes. At worst, well, let's not go there.


Concerning the Franco joke mentioned in Quora and cited by Chloe, this appears to be cited in Franco’s Crypt: Spanish Culture and Memory Since 1936 by Jeremy Treglown. It is also mentioned in Philip Thody's book Jean-Paul Sartre, but with no footnote as to the original source.


Other source:

Henry D. Murray, 'Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler' (Records of the Central Intelligence Agency)

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    Those jokes just make him sound like an asshole. – Parrotmaster Feb 7 at 10:07
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    @Parrotmaster, there are a couple of other details leading to that judgement as well. – Separatrix Feb 7 at 10:22
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    For that Göring-Underpants joke I'd like to see the German original. I suspect that this is not a directly translated quip AH told – at all. It seems to not work well in that language (& is of course nowhere in Misch's book)? Is that yet another unreliable, invented quote surrounding AH? – LаngLаngС Feb 7 at 14:36
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    If it wasn't bad enough for him to be a genocidal maniac, Hitler was also an asshole. @parrotmaster – Clint Eastwood Feb 7 at 17:45
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    @Parrotmaster ...who would have imagined that the Fuhrer was an asshole... – Greg Feb 7 at 19:56
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I remember two jokes from in the book of William Shirer, in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

One is regarding to the height to be accepted in the elite unit SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler.

Hitler: What's the height to enter to the Leibstandarte SS?
Answer: 1.8 m
Hitler: It seems I'll have to apply to the infantry again.

And another, while being invaded by mosquitoes in the Wolfsschanze (Wolf's Lair, Hitler headquarters).

Hitler: These mosquitoes are a job for the Luftwaffe.

I'm quoting from my memory. That's a book I borrowed 20 years ago from my local library. Spanish translation.

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    "Zatz not funny!" Sorry, I could not resist. – Edheldil Feb 7 at 15:06
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    Looking into that book I fail to find the 'quotes', please recheck and back it up with a little more precision. On this, I absolutely require scrutiny. – LаngLаngС Feb 7 at 18:11
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    The latter is actually pretty funny considering the RAF had an aircraft called the Mosquito. – ThunderGuppy Feb 7 at 19:02
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I found an answer here: https://www.quora.com/What-type-of-jokes-would-Hitler-tell?share=1

Göring, who was known to be very vain, fond of uniforms and high-sounding titles.

One day, Mrs Göring walks into their bedroom and sees Göring standing by the bed with all his underwear laid out on it, and waiving his marshall staff over the bed. -But Hermann, what are you doing? she says. Göring answers: -I am promoting my underwear to overwear.

And this one:

One joke Hitler told after negotiating for Franco to have Spain come into the war on the German side was that he would rather get worked over by his dentist than negotiate with him again. Franco was successful in staying out of the war.

OK I guess not very funny.

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    Quora can be a very unreliable source, unless the people posting there also cite their sources ... – sempaiscuba Feb 6 at 22:58
  • Yes I agree. I will not accept my answer if there are better sources. – Chloe Feb 6 at 23:02
  • @sempaiscuba The first one is also mentioned by the Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/2185507/… – knallfrosch Feb 7 at 13:00
  • @knallfrosch Yep, and they cite their source. – sempaiscuba Feb 7 at 16:15
  • @sempaiscuba Do they? I looked into the German version & the transl. of that "according to the book". Must have missed it then. Can you point me to the page in that 'source' or how this 'joke' goes in the supposed German original? – LаngLаngС Feb 7 at 16:29
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If we read diaries from Goebbels then every Nazi was a very joyous person, constantly joking. If he liked a person, he described him as witty. ("Him", as women seemed to lack in that department?). And the Führer was the most jocular of all, a jack of all trades.

Similarly, the memoirs of for example Traudl Junge or Albert Speer paint the picture that actually the Führer was much funnier than Chaplin.

Seldom we see the actual jokes repeated verbatim. Often just the general topic.

But what do we learn from that.

That we are disgusting people.

StackExchange readers eager to read some nazi jokes told by the Führer himself? I will not retell those here.

That man was a human being, but his private life is occulted to us. Especially those memoirs from after the war are in general highly unreliable. Sources like 'Table Talk' and 'Speer' cannot be used uncritically for such purposes. Neither seemingly better ones like "The Hitler Book".

Just read Speer's memoirs, looking for jokes and read this assumed idiots as future readers:

Along with his expressions of approval he made jokes about the "dusty bureaucrats."

He mingled with the soldiers at the campfires, was surrounded by them, tossed jokes back and forth with them.

As just a few examples. And then a few pages later:

Hitler had no humor. He left joking to others, although he could laugh loudly, abandonedly, sometimes literally writhing with laughter. Often he would wipe tears from his eyes during such spasms. He liked laughing, but it was always laughter at the expense of others.

There is no discrepancy here, no contradiction. Move on, nothing to see here.

As is, the question

Q Did Hitler ever tell a joke?

is answered easily: "of course."

We usually get presented more an impression of a famous line alluding to his grab for power and the methods used:

You will still remember the Reichstag session in which I declared: "If Judaism imagines that it can bring about an international world war to exterminate the European races, the result will not be the extermination of the European races, but the extermination of Judaism in Europe. [Applause] They have always laughed at me as a prophet. Of those who laughed back then, countless do not laugh today any longer [Laughter]. Those who laugh now may not laugh in the near future. [Applause] ( — various variants. First version best known from July 1933, the extermination variant most well known above quoted from November 8, 1942.) (Original audio with eery laughter to a few of his jokes.)

But of course humour was used to great effect by that man. Just see how funny the Germans above found the line about the just started full-on Holocaust and the plain allusion on internal opposition and Jews killed and no longer laughing or soon murdered. Entertainment at its best.

One of the best jokes he ever made, probably, judging by the enormous and raucous laughter he provoked in his listeners is telling the Reichstag practically his invasion plans, albeit in a list taken literally from President Roosevelt.

Reichstag speech 28. April 1939, Hitler, masterful teacher of geography, Göring jumping with joy like a hot grenade on the edge of his seat:

enter image description here — Adolf Hitler / Rede / Berlin / Deutschland / 28.04.1939, video, English translation transcript

— Albert Speer: "Inside the Third Reich. The memoirs of Albert Speer", translated from the German by Richard & Clara Winston, Macmillan, 1970.

— Ralf Georg Reuth (Ed): "Joseph Goebbels Tagebücher", Piper: München, Zürich 32003.

— Traudl Junge: "Bis zur letzten Stunde Hitlers Sekretärin erzählt ihr Leben", 2002.

— Heinz Linge: "With Hitler to the End: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Valet", Grub Street, 2009.

— Henrik Eberle, Giles MacDonogh & Matthias Uhl (Eds): "The Hitler Book: The Secret Dossier Prepared for Stalin from the Interrogations of Otto Guensche and Heinze Linge, Hitler’s Closest Personal Aides", PublicAffairs, 2006.

Instead of giving in to a pathological fixation on the Führer and some of these repugnant fantasies, the following book is worthy of recommendation in this context:

Klaus Theweleit: "Das Lachen der Täter, Breivik U.A. Psychogramm der Tötungslust" (The laughter/smile of the perpetrators. Psychogram of the lust to kill), Residenzverlag: Wien, Salzburg, 2015.


In case anyone believes that "Göring promoting his underpants" was a joke Hitler told: That Telegraph article wants to imply that this was a newly revealed joke to be found in Misch's book. It is not in there. And neither is there anything about Hitler giving paper medals to Göring for use on his pyjamas. And, you guessed it by now, 'Heini near any fire' is also not in Misch's book.
The Telegraph doesn't cite any source. It is itself the source cited for autheticity even on RationWiki!. As appalling as that is: an earlier source published in 2000 clearly depicts this as an underground joke. No connection to Misch whatsoever. Just to Emmy and Hermann as the butt of the joke. Whether Hitler even knew these three jokes or went on to retell them? Pure speculation by a morbidly obsessed crowd. Nauseating.

And even if one were to take Misch somehow seriously and assume reliability:

I cannot state for a fact that Hitler had a sense of humour. I never heard him laugh out loud.

[…] Hitler. ‘The boss’ himself had a small fund of jokes, which he liked to bring out from time to time. (What follows is a sexist prank involving his dog…)

Yeah. Totally reliable, again.
— Rochus Misch: "Der Letzte Zeuge. »Ich war Hitlers Telefonist, Kurier und Leibwächter«", Pendo: Zürich, München, 2008.
— Rochus Misch: "Hitler’s Last Witness. The Memoirs of Hitler’s Bodyguard", Frontline Books, London, 2014.

Hitler loved jokes. […] Hitler himself was a good joke teller; he could imitate the tone of voice, facial expressions and dialect of others in a variety of ways.

Adapted from where?

Hitler loved jokes. Since he had a phenomenal memory, he was able to tell a great many of them, revealing a striking ability to imitate expressions, voices, and dialects. But he never told off-color stories, let alone dirty jokes.

At the same time, however, Schramm's interpretation of Hitler is disturbing. It is disturbing to see in that consummately evil man so many commonly and legitimately admired virtues so clearly mirrored. They are not even parodied; they are genuine. Hitler was, beyond any doubt, a man of uncommon self-discipline who led what can be fairly described as a relatively austere personal life. It is not congenial to think of him in this way. It is not congenial to see him portrayed as a charming gentleman with a quick wit and a wholesome sense of humor.
— Percy Ernst Schramm: "Hitler: the man and the military leader", Quadrangle Books: Chicago, 1971.

Portions of that book are translated into English and recycled from Schramm's edition of 'Table Talk', 1961. This quote instead is from the introduction of the English book, written by editor and translator Donald S. Detwiler.(p10)

Ah well, why not?

Why? This unreliable source that is 'Table Talk' alone has numerous examples of this 'wholesome' humour, so funny that some German editions explain with editorial remarks that they are: funny! And yes, that was an order.

A German source for this 'Göring underpants' joke — a secretive underground joke, not told by Hilter — would not work well with 'underpants' on a language level. One version circulating among the people, and using Unterhemden/–undershirts, is to be found in:
— Hans-Joachim Gamm: "Der Flüsterwitz im Dritten Reich", Paul List Verlag: München, 1963.


Concerning the 'talking to Franco is worse than going to a dentist':

This is also most often hearsay. Even published historians using second-, third-hand or worse 'quoting'.
In German the quote is often used with "Zähne ziehen", while it was quite popular in the 70s to use "reißen". Then we see books 'quoting' this and leaving it either unreferenced, or pointing to works that do not contain this 'quote'.

How did it come to this telephone game for a seemingly straight forward German quote even in the German language?

The main German sources for this 'quote' are given as two diaries: Paul Schmidt (Hitler's translator), Ulrich von Hassell (diplomat). Both Germans, both writing after the war, both referencing a meeting in October 1940 in Hendaye. But they do not tell us much teethy things. Both are referenced in papers together, as corroborating references.* For the general meeting and the frustrations voiced by Ribbentrop and Hitler. In English works the most often referenced source are 'Diplomatic Paper's' of Count Ciano of Italy, quoted from the 1948 English translation (p402 in that one).

This is interesting as Ciano – in very stark contrast to what is often counted here and elsewhere as 'yoohoo, a Hitler quote' – did not have the chance to rewrite his past since he died before the war was over. In the Italian original of his we read:

Ma a questa conclusione si è giunti molto faticosamente dopo un colloquio durato nove ore, colloquio che, "piuttosto che riaverlo il Führer preferirebbe farsi togliere tre o quattro denti".
— Galeazzo Ciano: "L'Europa Verso La Catastrofe" (p604); translated into English as "Ciano’s Diplomatic Papers", by Stuart Hood, Malcolm Muggeridge (Ed), Odhams Press: London, 1948.

Which explains nicely why translations, especially German ones, often differ in the exact wording of what looks to be a direct German quote. Looks to me as if too many German works also quote from the English version?

The remaining problem with that 'quote'?

In parallel to his official minutes from diplomatic talks he also kept a detailed private diary. This work does not mention Hitler's teeth or preferences for or against any dental procedures.

Some deliver decent and transparent work, some go into details and others work with what's available to them. But some are just too lazy and jump to unacceptable conclusions and perpetrate myths for the cheapest entertainment.


* Disclaimer: I did not have the opportunity to consult von Hassell's expanded diaries, only the old and therefore obviously incomplete ones. If the late 80s version has that anecdote, 'Franco-or-teeth-pulling' may have indeed two sources for attestation. Currently, I doubt that a bit.

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    "That we are disgusting people. StackExchange readers eager to read some nazi jokes told by the Führer himself?" For all your value judgements, hardly anyone cares about Nazi jokes. Most people are just curious whether he was descended from hell and ate babies for breakfast, or whether he was a human. Because it feels doubtful and counter-intuitive somehow that he was human. – Rohit Feb 7 at 18:11
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    It is actually quite better for us all if we do believe that he is human. If we do, then we find ourselves asking, "How did someone who was once like us become this monster?" and from our consideration of that question learn to not become monsters. If we reject the notion, then we risk becoming monsters, albeit of a different kind, and in denial that this has happened. – EvilSnack Feb 7 at 22:52
  • @EvilSnack And, what did I write above? He was one, no need to believe outlandish things. Or taking part in rumor mongering about nazi jokes, told by nazis, banalising evil even further. The HotNetworkCuntry-effect is a disgrace all around. Here: Sensationalist clickbait, low quality question, posted by a previously massively upvoted on PolSE right winger & Holocaust-relativist. Uncritical source usage in answers, if sourced at all, cargo-cult-history, but still UV'd. Now, everyday fascists don't like what they see in any mirrors. Some are disappointed: lack of humor in this post? Ha! – LаngLаngС Feb 7 at 23:21
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    @LаngLаngС You are doing yourself a great disservice with your tone. I do not know the OP or their background, but I found their question quite reasonable. I also found your answer to be a really great source of information, but reading it was quite atrocious due to your very aggressive tone and judgmental attitude. Please consider to edit it to focus on the facts. It would greatly improve the quality of your answer. – Polygnome Feb 8 at 1:01
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    This is an unbelievably, primitive farce Farce is a form of humor. ;-) If I may quote Sergeant Helka (Stripes, the movie) I think that Polygnome is suggesting a bit of "Lighten up, Francis" (And you sure did dig up a lot of info, nicely done) – KorvinStarmast Feb 8 at 20:24

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