Superman Statue

May 5, 2010: Berlin Looks at Superheroes' Jewish Roots

A major new exhibition, which opened at Berlin's Jewish Museum, argues it was no coincidence that the biggest superheroes including Superman, Spider-man, Batman and the Hulk were all created by Jewish comic artists.

    "Heroes, Freaks and Superrabbis -- the Jewish Colour of Comics" looks at 45 of the most successful comic creators, overwhelmingly children of European Jewish families who had emigrated to New York.

    As comic books entered their golden age in the 1930s and 1940s, the most iconic superheroes were products of those troubled times, even taking on Adolf Hitler and his Nazi henchmen before the Americans did.

    "The point of the exhibition isn't to say comics are a Jewish speciality," said Anne Helene Hoog, one of the curators.

    "Rather, it looks at the question why so many Jews became comic artists, and what issues preoccupied them."

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