Aids video uses Hitler
Berlin - An Aids awareness video is using an Adolf Hitler lookalike to illustrate its point that "Aids is a mass murderer."
The Saarbruecken-based Regenbogen, or Rainbow, an Aids awareness group, launched the video online last week.
"We're trying to tell people, that while interest in Aids declined over the last few years, the number of people with Aids in actually going up," the group's deputy head, Heiko Schoessling, told The Associated Press on Monday.
The clip, titled "Aids is a mass murderer," shows a couple having sex and, at the end, reveals the man to be Hitler.
Created for World Aids Day 2009 on December 1 by the Hamburg-based advertising agency das comitee, it is set to air on German TV and in movie theatres later this month.
While it has yet to draw much attention in Germany, it has prompted reports in British media. The Daily Telegraph reported that Britain's National Aids Trust criticised the clip as stigmatising people living with HIV, the virus that causes Aids.
Officials at the trust's German counterpart could not be reached for comment on Monday.
"People around the globe have been watching it," Schoessling said. "It seems to speak especially to young people. Older people, who still remember World War 2 may not like it as much."
"You can't satisfy everybody," Schoessling said. "But we're happy with the overwhelming response to our campaign. That's exactly what we wanted to achieve."
The group also plans radio spots, music videos and print ads in its "mass murderer" campaign - along with posters featuring former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and former Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
Asked whether the group thought the video may be offensive to those with Aids or could be seen as belittling Hitler's atrocities during World War 2, Schoessling said the group did not intend to offend people living with Aids or Jews.
"We're not trying to offend them," he said. "If they understand our video that way, it's their problem."