Posts Tagged ‘donald duck’

Title: Education for Death: The Making of A Nazi
Writer: Gregor Ziemer

During World War II, Walt Disney entered into a contract with the US government to develop 32 animated shorts. Nearly bankrupted by Fantasia (1940), Disney needed to refill its coffers, & making American propaganda films didn’t seem like a bad way to do it. On numerous occasions, Donald Duck was called upon to deliver moral messages to domestic audiences (see The Spirit of ’43 & Der Führer’s Face). But that wasn’t the case with Education for Death: The Making of Nazi, a film shown in US movie theaters in 1943.

Based on a book written by Gregor Ziemer, this animated short used a different lineup of characters to show how the Nazi Party turned innocent youth into Hitler’s corrupted children. Unlike other topics addressed in Disney war films (e.g. taxes & the draft), this theme, the cultivation of young minds, hit awfully close to home. & it’s perhaps why it’s one of Disney’s better wartime films.

As written on Spiegel Online

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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]