Education for Death- and other WWII propaganda movies.

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During WWII Hollywood did not sit still, it actively contributed to the US propaganda machine.

These propaganda movies were not done by unknown or obscure movie makers. They were done by some of the biggest studios in Tinseltown.One of the more surprising was no other then Walt Disney.

Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi is an animated propaganda short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released on January 15, 1943, by RKO Radio Pictures, directed by Clyde Geronimi and principally animated by Ward Kimball. The short is based on the non-fiction book of the same name by American author Gregor Ziemer.

A propaganda look into the mind of Hans, a boy born into a German family. Watch as his attitude about the value of human life degrades as he is exposed to Hitler Youth and other Nazi organizations and attitudes.In the end, Hans and the rest of the German soldiers march off to war only to fade into rows of identical graves, with nothing on them except a swastika and a helmet perched on top. Thus Hans’s education is complete – “his education… for death.”

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Der Fuehrer’s Face (originally titled Donald Duck in Nutzi Land) is a 1942 American animated anti-Nazi propaganda short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released in 1943 by RKO Radio Pictures.

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In World War II, a marching band playing “Der Fuehrer’s Face” passes by Donald Duck’s house. He awakes, has a poor breakfast with stale bread. Then he goes to an army factory where he works in the production of ammunition brainwashed by the Nazi propaganda. Donald Duck has a nervous breakdown with the stressed situation but when he awakes, he finds that he had a nightmare and he actually lives in United States of America.

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Der Fuehrer’s Face won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 15th Academy Awards. It was the only Donald Duck film to receive the honor.

Given the fact that Adolf Hitler actually had been a great fan of Disney movies,Snow White was his favourite movie, this surely would have antagonized him.

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Gregor Ziemer’s book Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi was also used for another 1943 movie”Hitler’s Children”.

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Hitler’s Children is a 1943 American black-and-white propaganda film made by RKO Radio Pictures. It was directed by the Canadian-American director, Edward Dmytryk, from an adaptation by Emmet Lavery of Gregor Ziemer’s book Education For Death.

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This propaganda piece starts in 1933. Prof. Nichols’ American school in Berlin is next door to a school for the Hitler Youth. Karl, from the latter, is attracted to German-American Anna, but events lead to their separation. Six years later, near the outbreak of war in Europe, Anna is removed from Nichols’ school on presumption of German citizenship. Nichols becomes obsessed with finding her, as Anna undergoes a rather lurid odyssey through the Nazi nightmare.

Hitler – Dead or Alive is a 1942 American war film directed by Nick Grinde.

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The plot of this film was inspired by true events. During the early stages of World War II a prominent American businessman offered a reward of one million dollars to bring Adolf Hitler to justice, dead or alive. Russell Hicks plays the part of the American businessman in this film who hires three gangster ex-convicts released from Alcatraz prison. The gangsters are played by Ward Bond, Warren Hymer and Paul Fix.

The quasi-comic tone of the film turns dead serious at the end, when a desperate Hitler makes a break for it and is shot by the SS officer in charge, who states disdainfully (and ironically): “To think that Germany could produce a piece of filth like you”, and Bond makes a long patriotic speech while facing a firing squad.

In November 2012, while being interviewed by Playboy magazine, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino admitted the inspiration for his film Inglourious Basterds came from Hitler – Dead or Alive.

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The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler is a US-american film,directed by James P. Hogan. It’s probably more of a War movie then Propaganda film. The film follows a man who plans to murder Adolf Hitler and steal his identity.

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A clerk in 1942 Vienna who has a gift for mimicry, is arrested for doing a Hitler impression. The Gestapo decide to give him plastic surgery to look like Hitler so he can take his place in public, acting as a decoy for assassination attempts.

The Hitler Gang is a 1944 American pseudo-documentary film directed by John Farrow, which traces the political rise of Adolf Hitler.

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Described as a “documentary-propaganda” film by its studio, Paramount Pictures, the historical drama is based on documented fact and marks the first serious effort to portray Hitler in film. The filmmakers chose to avoid casting stars in the lead roles, assembling instead a remarkable company of lookalikes to play Hitler, Goebbels, Hess and other leading Nazis.

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This movie shows us the rise of Adolf Hitler from a small radical political adventurer to the dictator of Germany in the way of a gangster film. Except for some minor inaccuracies the historical facts are given in a correct way.

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How weird was Hitler?

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No one will in his or her right mind will argue that Adolf Hitler was pure evil and without making less of the things he has done, it is interesting to pick out a few particular weird traits der Führer displayed.

The picture above is a still from the Walt Disney movie Ducktators by Walt Disney which was released in 1942. Donald Duck plays Hitler in the movie.Hitler was very angry about this portrayal of him especially because he was a huge Walt Disney fan. In 1937 he was given 18 Mickey Mouse movies by Joseph Goebbels as a Christmas present. Joseph Goebbels had said that Hitler was delighted with the present, a treasure of sorts, which would give hours of entertainment.

King Kong from 1933 and Snow White from 1937 were apparently his 2 favourite movies.

Besides his surprising taste in movies he also had several odd behaviours and often were contradicting his antisemite and racist policies.

Hitler never allowed anyone to see him while he is naked or bathing. He refused to use cologne or scents of any sort on his body. This may not seem weird in a non German context but in the 1920’s the FKK Freie Körper Kultur (Free Body Culture) was encouraged.

No matter how warm he felt, Hitler would never take off his coat in public.

In 1923, Nazi press secretary Dr. Sedgwick tried to convince Hitler to get rid of his trademark mustache or grow it normally. Hitler answered: “Do not worry about my mustache. If it is not the fashion now, it will be later because I wear it!”

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When coming to power in January 1933, the Nazi Party passed a comprehensive set of animal protection laws, with Hitler saying “In the new Reich, no more animal cruelty will be allowed”

We all know about his book “Mein Kampf” but not many people know he wrote a 2nd book called “Zweites Buch” or in English “Second Book” not a very creative title if you ask me.The Zweites Buch published in English as unofficially Hitler’s Secret Book and then officially Hitler’s Second Book,is an unedited transcript of Adolf Hitler’s thoughts on foreign policy written in 1928; it was written after Mein Kampf and was not published in his lifetime. The Zweites Buch was not published in 1928 because Mein Kampf did not sell well at that time and Hitler’s publisher, Franz-Eher-Verlag, told Hitler that a second book would hinder sales even more.

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Although there have been lots of rumors about his sexuality, many historians think that he was homosexual. I simply don’t know, it would be my opinion that he was a-sexual. However as a teenager growing up in Vienna Hitler fell under the spell of Jewish Stefanie Isak.

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In typical teenage infatuation fashion, the young Hitler never said a word to Isak, instead preferring to pencil down his feelings in no doubt crude poetry. According to Hitler’s close friend August Kubizek, the young Hitler planned to kidnap Isak and kill them both by jumping into the Danube with her, but he eventually relented and let her be. Isak has said in interviews that she had no idea of Hitler’s feelings for her. Murder–suicide, while extreme, seems tame for the man he would go on to become.

The infamous “Nazi salute,” a stiff-armed gesture, accompanied by the phrase “Heil Hitler” or “Sieg Heil,” was made mandatory for all civilians in 1933. The gesture was adapted from an Ancient Roman salute, but the “Sieg Heil,” translated as “Hail Victory,” came from somewhere far less martial.

According to documents created by the Office of Strategic Services (a wartime CIA) Hitler was besotted with American Football cheerleaders and marching bands. The documents include the observations of Hitler’s close friend Ernst Hanfstaengl, known to Hitler as “Putzi.” Putzi states that in the year of 1923, Hitler was a massive fan of football college games and their accompanying marches, and the “Sieg Heil!” shout was based on the cheerleaders’ techniques.
He also deployed college-style music to inject some excitement into his political rallies. Give us an H! Give us an I! Actually, on that topic . .

Hitler had a Jewish-Austrian doctor who didn’t charge Hitler’s family during his childhood due to their economic hardship. Because of this Hitler showed his “Everlasting Gratitude” by never sentencing him to a concentration camp, had him protected, by the Gestapo, and referred to him as “Noble Jew”Eduard Bloch (30 January 1872 – 1 June 1945) was an Austrian doctor practicing in Linz (Austria). Until 1907 Bloch was the physician of Adolf Hitler’s family. Hitler later awarded Bloch special protection after the Nazi union of Austria and Germany.

Dr. Eduard Bloch in Arztpraxis

The arguments that Hitler was a homosexual have been raging for years. Some point to incidents in his youth in Vienna, others the numerous homosexuals in the early Nazi party. Whether or not the Gestapo destroyed evidence of Hitler’s early homosexual behaviour is something we’ll never know. But one thing we do know is that Hitler was by many accounts a very feminine man. American war correspondent and journalist William L. Shirer comically called Hitler’s walk “very lady-like” with “dainty little steps.”

But it was eminent psychologist Carl Jung who really put the high-heeled boot in. When Jung was asked to comment on an example of Hitler’s handwriting he announced it was “typically feminine.”

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Hitler orchestrated what was the most powerful anti-smoking movement in the world during the 1930s and early 1940s.

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After Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Adolf Hitler sent Owens a commemorative inscribed cabinet photograph of himself. Honors were not bestowed upon Jesse Owens by either President Franklin D. Roosevelt or his successor Harry S. Truman during their terms.

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Hitler often praised the “efficiency” of the American Genocide of Native Americans.

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He was very interested in the way the Indian population had rapidly declined due to epidemics and starvation when the United States government forced them to live on the reservations. He thought the American government’s forced migrations of the Indians over great distances to barren reservation land was a deliberate policy of extermination. Just how much Hitler took from the American example of the destruction of the Indian nations is hard to say; however, frightening parallels can be drawn. For some time Hitler considered deporting the Jews to a large ‘reservation’ in the Lubin area where their numbers would be reduced through starvation and disease.

Many books and reports have been written on the psyche of Adolf Hitler and no one really knows what made him the man he became to be. Some blame the physical abuse by his Father, but he was not unique in that and others in the same situation didn’t become monsters.

Ending with one more still from that Disney classic Ducktators, this time with Hitler,Mussolini and Hirohito.

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