remember: “Lewis clown decides to voluntarily enter the gas chambers himself “
It would be horrible beyond belief to have to entertain children before they are killed. I dont think Lewis meant this to be a light-hearted look at concentration camps.
If I was that clown I would have to do that same thing.
That's what Korczak did. He demanded to go to the gas chambers with his orphans, even though he had offers to be smuggled out of the Warsaw Ghetto. He didn't want to leave them.
This may be the closest Jerry Lewis ever got to using the methods of certain European Film Noir makers of that time, like Ingmar Bergman. Bergman was well known to be a director who would embrace the existential void and sadness of life, as in The Seventh Seal, or later films with Liv Ullman.
You are right. Lewis intended this to be a serious movie, the one that would finally get him the critical acclaim and awards he thought he deserved.
I think you are absolutely correct. I obviously haven't seen the film, but the criticism of it sounds suspiciously politically-correct. One just doesn't mention the Holocaust, does one.