A billboard quoting Adolf Hitler and sponsored by a local church group in Auburn, Ala., is stirring up quite a bit of controversy this week. The billboard itself features a picture of smiling children juxtaposed with a powerful quote by Hitler that encourages the value of children’s education. However, the public post has since been thrown into major contention after some statewide backlash and some concerned viewers taking their problems with it to social media sites like Twitter. United Press International News describes the confusion surrounding this sign this Tuesday, June 3, 2014, and how the church group for youths — Life Savers Ministries — did not intend any ill will through the billboard’s message.
Although Life Savers Ministries church group might have had very good intentions when putting up an Adolf Hitler billboard that quoted that Nazi leader of Germany, it has been called an “epic fail” by some this week on the Web. The quote itself, albeit, has a positive message professing the importance that education has in current world society, particularly the education of children.
Next to the happy children in the billboard’s photo are the meaningful words, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” While indeed a powerful quote, just below the adage is the attribution for the words, and it is given to Adolf Hitler. The controversy erupted when this dissimilarity between happy children and a cruel and terrible leader was brought to the public forefront, as the two messages just do not work well together.
The Huffington Post also adds that this religious church group decided to choose the quote due to its significant message, regardless of its speaker. The Adolf Hitler phrase itself on the billboard is taken from a 1935 speech in which the Nazi leader was trying to promote the German youth to join and support his growing brigades.
Since receiving some understandably harsh criticism and feedback on the Hitler billboard, Life Savers Ministries has since pulled the plug on the well-meaning education piece, noting that they meant nothing harmful with their problematic content. Says a public statement from the church group’s founder on the issue:
"We are pulling the billboard and certainly never intended to cause confusion," James Anderegg told a news source. "Herbert Hoover would have been a far better one to quote when he said, 'Children are our most valuable resource.' We are a children's organization and had honorable intentions and nothing less."
According to the press release on the Alabama church group, Life Savers Ministries focuses on helping at-risk youth in needy areas throughout the state. It also provides high quality religious education and necessary support for these children.