Posts Tagged ‘der fuhrer’s face’

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY Eutychus PUBLISHED ON AF-E

Dear Straight Dope:

I’ve heard rumors on & off for years about Walt Disney. I’ve heard suggestions that he was a fascist, a communist, a racist & an antisemite. The first two are of course contradictory. Web searches didn’t help to straighten out anything in my mind. Was he a political nut? Did he hate blacks & Jews? Or are these typical malicious lies we like to tell about great men so we don’t have to feel so unaccomplished?

Joseph Kenner, North Hollywood, CA

Hold it there, hoss. That’s a lot of accusations for one letter. Let’s try to break it down a bit & see if we can sort some things out here.

One of the more curious charges against Disney was that he was a secret Nazi. A few white supremacist groups still cherish this notion. Their best evidence is a misreading of the short film “Der Fuehrer’s Face” (1943), in which Donald is seen in a Nazi uniform, swastikas & all. In the end we find out it’s all a nightmare, but that doesn’t dissuade the racists. A lesser-known short sometimes cited is 1932′s “The Wayward Canary,” in which Mickey is seen using a cigarette lighter with a swastika painted on the side.

This is all circumstantial at best, but other suggestive details have come to light. In 1933, the German American Bund was founded by Fritz Kuhn. Kuhn was evidently quite a character–he had met Hitler in the early thirties and reportedly was profoundly loathed by the Nazi leader. [Read more]

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