My friends and I learned a lot from Frosty during our adventures to the North Pole. In the winter, he taught us that the real magic was inside us all along. In the summer, he taught us that snowmen can scream just like humans. It was always a laugh with Frosty by our side.

To honor Frosty’s legacy, we decided to share his magic hat among ourselves. Jimmy used it to bring back his beloved German Shepherd, Rex. Little Betsy-Ann used it to repeatedly revive and kill her teddy bear, Mr. Tickles. But me, I was different. Because when it was my turn to use the magic hat, I accidentally revived Adolf Hitler.

You know what they say: it’s all fun and games until someone goes and resurrects the Fuhrer. I realized I’d dug a pretty deep ditch for myself, and I don’t just mean the unearthed grave in Magdeburg, Germany where I found myself standing face-to-face with the leader of the Third Reich. Part of me knew that I couldn’t just let the most evil man in history “get a do-over” like he kept asking for. At the same time, redemption is a fundamental tenet of Judaism. And in a strange, paternal way, I couldn’t bring myself to destroy that which I had created. Hitler seemed harmless, almost vulnerable. I mean, you don’t just leave a stray dog in the streets without encasing it in seran wrap and declaring it as luggage on your flight back to Boise.

So, I decided to let Hitler live with me in a cage I constructed by welding together old menorahs. When he’s cold, I wrap him in my bar mitzvah tallit. When he’s bored, I let him watch my Mel Brooks DVDs. He is furious all the time. But whenever he threatens to “blitzkrieg me like I’ve never been blitzkrieged before,” I just remember the wise words of my late friend Frosty: “I’M LITERALLY MELTING INTO OBLIVION AND YOU SADISTIC FUCKS ARE JUST STANDING THERE SINGING ABOUT MY CORNCOB PIPE.” Wait, not those ones. The ones right before that, about how people can change, or whatever.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s Hitler’s feeding time. I made his favorite: a heaping bowl of gefilte fish. If he complains about the taste, I’ll just offer him his favorite seasoning: cyanide. He likes this joke. He tells me I am funnier than Mel Brooks. I tell him that’s anti-semitic but he reminds me that I am also Jewish so it’s not. He is changing after all.


—D. Schifrin