Fear and loathing in Hollywood: Brad Pitt plays Tibetan Nazi-lite

I've got a great idea: Let's make a mega-Hollywood blockbuster about Dr. Mengele, the Nazi SS doctor, who flees from Germany before the end of World War II and escapes to Tibet, where he undergoes this metamorphosis and becomes an altruistic spiritual medicine man who heals the ailing people of that Third World nation.

I heard that Richard Gere has an interest in that part of the world; if we can get him to star as the transformed Dr. Mengele, we can make a bundle!

Oh, but wait, you say that some picky Jews may be upset with this proposition? Well, that's OK. With a little damage control they'll stop kvetching soon enough and we'll still make millions while Der Gute Doktor earns a new reputation as a loving healer in the midst of a poverty-stricken country.

Absurd? Impossible? It may seem so, but that's essentially what's taking place in Tinseltown today. In the film "Seven Years in Tibet" (based on a true story), Brad Pitt portrays an ex-Nazi SS officer named Heinrich Harrer who teaches the Dalai Lama a few things about human decency and loving kindness. Sounds a bit ironic, doesn't it?

An underpublicized controversy is now surrounding this film in Hollywood. Apparently, the moviemakers are saying that they were unaware of Harrer's shady past. Fine. But now that they do know, what are they doing about it? Trying to save their investment by whitewashing the ordeal — that's what.

Robert Levin, president of worldwide marketing for Sony pictures (who called the revelation of Harrer's Nazism a mere "bump in the road" toward an October release), said: "Sony knew [Harrer] was a German hero, but not a [highly involved] member of the Nazi party." In fact, Harrer spent seven years of his life in the Nazi army.

After voluntarily joining the SA (Sturmabtelung or Storm Troopers) in 1933, Harrer enlisted in the SS (Schutzstaffel or Protective Echelon) a short while later and became a sergeant after five years. Excuse me, but doesn't everybody know that the SS was Hitler's elite group of henchmen used to carry out the most heinous, atrocious, unspeakable, inhuman acts of injustice and violations, making Sadam Hussein's Republican Guard look like summer camp counselors?

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that for Harrer to have been part of the SS, he had to have been a cold-hearted criminal not worth a pile of garbage, much less a Hollywood movie. Then again, maybe the two aren't so different.

Oh, and Jean-Jacques Annaud, the film's director, claims that Harrer is repenting. That he's another Oskar Schindler. Well, why don't we just give him the Nobel Peace Prize? He's so self-righteous that he had to travel to Tibet to see human-rights violations? Why couldn't he take a look in the mirror and see his own country for seven long years to realize he was the devil incarnate?

Why do you think the guy has remained silent all this time about his past? Why do you think he's not totally honest today? Why do you think he had to flee to Tibet after the war? Because he's a mass murderer — that's why!

Annaud tries to blow off Harrer's Nazi service, calling it a "social decision, not a political one." So therefore, Harrer's decision to torture little girls, and flog homosexuals, and command rabid dogs upon helpless old men — that's a social decision? And socially acceptable, at that?

What kind of excuse is that? I have more respect for a brainwashed terrorist hijacking a plane for political reasons than a warped sociopath who tortures seven-year-old Jewish girls for the fun of it!

How much repentance is necessary for being part of that elite fraternity? How many Buddhist monks does it take to nullify that personal history? How many Hollywood movies need to be made to whitewash those "social decisions"?

And to think, people gave their lives and swore that we should never forget.

And to think, Hollywood Jews who helped make this movie are more concerned with their filthy dollars than the memories of their mothers and uncles and grandparents who perished so that they could make more of these Nazi-glorifying masterpieces.

You can bet this film won't open in my neighborhood without enough protests and placards and negative publicity to send it back to the ovens of Auschwitz burning in a hell-fire so strong that the screams and stench of searing flesh will be sure to grab the attention of a few neighbors this time around.