LEGO Hitler: British Teen John Denno Depicts Holocaust In Toys

Holocaust Depicted In LEGO Diorama For School Project

When John Denno was assigned a school report on the Holocaust and the Nazi rise to power, the 16-year-old from Liverpool knew he had to provide visuals, but worried that his artistic skills would drag down his grade.

Denno decided to utilize his LEGO collection to create a 3-dimensional depiction of the fascist era from Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933 to the Allied liberation of the concentration camps in 1945 at the end of World War Two.

February 1933
He got an "A" for his work and now his LEGO Hitler gallery has gone viral.
February 1933: The Reichstag Building Is Burned
"I chose LEGO because that is what I'm good at," Denno told The Huffington Post by email. "I can't draw for the life of me so I thought this would be an interesting way to present the project."
February 1933: Hitler Gets Emergency Powers
Denno built elaborate LEGO sets based on several key events starting in February 1933 to April 1945. He even built LEGO versions of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.For Hitler, Denno made the trademark mustache with a magic marker while Stalin was a combination of Star Wars Chancellor Palpatine, Uncle Vernon from Harry Potter and Luke Skywalker.
March 1933: The The Nazis Open First Concentration Camp
Denno was able to build the detailed LEGO Nazi timeline in only six hours.
April 1933: Nazis Define Jews As Non-Aryan
"I built [the sets] so fast for a number of reasons. Firstly, I knew what my aim for each photo was," he said. "Secondly, all my LEGOs are sorted by color and brick-type, making it very easy to find pieces and Minifigure parts. Thirdly, is experience I guess; I've been building, animating and photographing LEGO since I was very young."
May 1933: Jewish Books Burned In Berlin
Denno said he was shocked by what he learned. "The biggest thing I realized... is just how long the persecution went on," he told "From 1933, Jews slowly lost all their rights until they were being murdered in the thousands."
1933-1938: Jews Oppressed By Nuremberg Laws
Denno's work gets praise by Jewish leaders such as Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles."I think he did a good job," Cooper told HuffPost. "He said he learned from the project and he presented it with respect. Of course, this was a high school project done under the supervision of a teacher. It would be different if they made this into a 'LEGO movie.'"
November 1938: Riots Destroy Jewish Shops
Denno believe his work "doesn't cheapen the horror" of the Holocaust."I'm not saying that it is a perfect way to represent what went on," he told HuffPost. "I struggle to think of how anything could represent such a big waste of life."
September 1939: Germany Invades Poland
Denno thinks his project could actually be educational to others learning about the Holocaust and Second World War. .
September 1939: Stalin's Troops Invade Eastern Poland
"People today are shown image after image of big black and white writing saying 'REMEMBER' until it becomes almost meaningless to them. They know the Holocaust happened, and that people died, but they don't know why it happened or any of the history behind it." Denno said.
October 1941: Auschwitz Is Opened
"My project opens a small window on how the Nazi party did what they did, and, hopefully, it sparks interest for people to find out more themselves," Denno said.
June 1944: D-Day
So far, Denno says the reaction has been mostly positive, except from a few history buffs.
1945: Allied Forces Liberate Concentration Camps
"Many people on Reddit have mentioned that I missed out a whole chunk of Russian history, and this is true, but this was aimed at British children, my age and under," Denno said. "If I ever revise the timeline or make a more detailed one I will certainly be improving that area."
April 1945: Hitler Commits Suicide
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