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The guy who appeared in all those Hitler videos with funny subtitles has sadly passed away. 

As reported by the SwissInfo website:

Bruno Ganz, Switzerland’s best-known actor, has died in Zurich, his management has announced. He was 77.

"It is with a heavy heart that we confirm our client Bruno Ganz passed away on February 16 at his home in Zurich after his battle with colon cancer," his agent Patricia Baumbauer, told swissinfo.ch in a written statement.

"He was in the loving company of his family at the time. We will forever cherish the memories and celebrate his remarkable contribution to the world of cinema and theatre."

Ganz has played an angel (Wings of Desire), Hitler (Downfall), a grandfather more than once (in Swiss films Heidi and Vitus), a vampire (Nosferatu the Vampyre), a waiter (Bread and Tulips) and many, many other characters. His roles gained him an international reputation.

He was born in Zurich on March 22, 1941. His Swiss father was a mechanic and his mother came from northern Italy. He discovered acting while at school and started his career on stage.

In film, he worked with directors such as Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders and Francis Ford Coppola.

One of his most famous cinema roles was as Adolf Hitler, portraying the Nazi dictator's last days in Downfall (Der Untergang), for which he received much critical acclaim. His ravings as the character became the subject of memes on the internet.

The Hitler role was to make him best known, especially the scene where Hitler in his bunker gets angry with his staff and starts screaming, as this was widely used by memers to make comical videos like this one about pizza:

When the phenomenon first became popular in 2015-16, some Liberals, Leftists, and Jews complained that the videos were dangerously "normalising" Hitler.

Internet memes featuring Hitler and imagery from the Holocaust are normalizing and even trivializing a very disturbing period in history.

That was the message of the opening night event at Beth Emeth Bais Yehuda Synagogue for Holocaust Education Week (HEW), which ran Nov. 2 to 9....

In keeping with this year’s theme, the future of memory, Fairfield University professor Gavriel Rosenfeld gave a talk titled “Between Tragedy and Farce: Normalizing Nazism on the Internet.” The lecture was based on his latest book, Hi Hitler.

By looking at how Hitler and the Third Reich are often portrayed on the Internet – via horrifying alt-right websites and supposedly satirical memes – he explored the “normalization of memory.”

It’s a concept he described as “the process in which a specific historical legacy loses its moralistic aura of exceptionality and gradually becomes viewed as a past like any other.” The web has accelerated this process in relation to Nazism and the Holocaust, he said.

Rosenfeld began his presentation with two images: one was a cat with what looked like a Hitler moustache and the other was an image from the web cartoon Hipster Hitler.

Memes such as these elicited nervous titters from the audience, but things got even more awkward when he showed a three-minute clip from the 2004 German film Downfall. The scene depicted Hitler having a meltdown, but a YouTuber changed the subtitles to show Hitler reacting to a change in United Airline’s rewards program.

Rosenfeld noted how people laughed because of the incongruity of juxtaposing Hitler, the embodiment of evil, alongside a relatively trivial subject. Yet, videos such as this can humanize the Nazi dictator, because most people can relate to his airline-related frustrations, he said.

I guess it was just as well then that Ganz was rejected by Steven Spielberg for the main role in Schindler's List.

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