An Approach to Teaching about the Nazi Youth

I never show movies in class; however, I love using clips that make some historical point. Oh, I think this one does. I really hate teaching about Hitler; I must compete with the History channel.


9 thoughts on “An Approach to Teaching about the Nazi Youth

  1. Wow. I need to think about this for a while. In all the study I’ve done about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, I’ve NEVER encountered this bit of film before. Do you have the particulars about it (I didn’t catch when it was made…)?

    I’m off to ruminate; I’ll be back…

  2. Classic Disney animation! I had never seen that… thanks for linking it.

    Would this be considered propaganda? If so… is it morally justified propaganda? When Disney takes you out to the woodshed and beats you with a Technicolor switch, you know “it’s on.”

    Swap out Nazis for radical Muslims. Show masked teachers describing the finer points of improvised explosive devices to their students. Teach that capital punishment is how to deal with different ideologies. Remind them of the great reward they get after they die killing the infidel. Can you imagine Disney making THAT cartoon in today’s politically correct environment?

    How is the United States going to avoid the mistakes of the past, specifically the indoctrination of youth by the government and creation of Nazi Youth groups? Why, we are going to create a massive American “volunteer” group funded by the government with possibly mandatory participation!

    I kid you not. The vague language that could allow mandatory service was pulled out of the Congressional version just recently, but it could be reinserted once they start haggling over the final draft with the Senate. Creepy.

    H.R. 1388… the GIVE Act (Congress’ version)… the SERVE Act (the Senate version)… a few of the key words you can Google. Setting aside the possible partisan nature of this legislation, it’s just not a good idea to give the government quick access to our youth. Plus, these groups are money sinks. It sounds like more utopian pap that sounds dreamy on paper but could be a government-bloating disaster in the future. For Democrats and liberals it’s a wonderful way to grab the youth, put them on the path to progressive glory, and reinforce the notion that through government we can solve problems. What could go wrong?

    It would be quite ironic if within the next ten or twenty years Disney puts out a cartoon advocating mandatory participation in the “American Service Corp.”

    If PIXAR makes that one, I’ll cry.

  3. Chili: I will find out. I do teach this topic if time permits. I blame the ideology of Germans and the economic conditions for allowing such actions take place.

    Matt: I do recall once reading an article about Disney and its use of symbolism to shape society — even today; sure, they do not use Fascism, however, some would contend that they promote various things via animation. Much of this argument of course is generated by the right against Disney. I do not agree, but i do know such thoughts still exist. I did not see this as a pro-Nazi video. Oh, that stop you stated above… man!

  4. Very true about the ideology and economics of Germany at the time creating a perfect storm for the Nazi party to rise.

    There is a BBC documentary out that did a good job of covering this [looking it up…] Ah, here it is: “The Nazis: A Warning from History (1997)”. Netflix *used* to have it on their online “watch it now” list…

    I hadn’t realized (A) the Nazi party regularly got pummeled in elections before (B) Germany fell into its own stark 1930’s economic depression. Their economy was really a disaster… throw in the Soviet threat and a dash of Jew-hatred and suddenly a marginalized political party gets a shot to lead the country.

    Wikipedia has this info about the cartoon:

    “Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi was released when Disney was under government contract to produce 32 animated shorts from 1941-1945. This was due to the fact that in 1940 Walt Disney spent four times his budget on the feature film Fantasia (1940) which produced very little in the box office. Nearing bankruptcy and faced with a strike that left less than half of his employees on the payroll, Walt Disney was forced to look for a solution to upturn the production of the studio. Physical proximity to the military aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed, made it convenient for the U.S. government to offer Disney a contract for 32 short propaganda films at $4,500 each which would create work for his employees and in turn save the studio.”

  5. The sad thing Matt, is what Hitler was able to do. Yes, the Nazis got killed, but after 1933 they were in pretty good shape. As much as I hate to say it, Hitler did some transformative things for the German economy, though his emphasis on war effort nationalization backfired.

  6. I’ve also seen some episodes of Popeye the Sailor that came out during the war that would never been shown today because of the way they depict the Japanese.

  7. Fidel Castro also taught his communist ideology to kids in grades as early as kindergarten too.It seems that they do not only want to control the their generation but newer generations, hence long lasting control of a society.

  8. Wow i didn’t think Disney could pull this off.
    Taught me that Hitler used violence to get where
    he got, right? the new rule that went for all Germans
    was to teach their kids at a very young age to be a
    true violent Nazi. I wouldn’t have liked to be living
    in Germany during that time.

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