Nazis Couldn’t Run a Cartoon Industry

Here’s an interesting review of Animation Under the Swastika. It turns out that Hitler badly wanted some nice little cartoons to watch, like that guy Walt Disney made. But his policies drove out the premiere stop-motion animator, Georg Pal, and the premiere cartoon guy was anti-Nazi.

Meanwhile, Goebbels desperately tried to run an animation company, which only managed to finish a short, “Armer Hansi.”

It’s about a canary that escapes its cage, only to fly back to its cage in terror.

Here are the three normal cartoons by the anti-Nazi guy, Fischerkoesen, and his largely female animation staff: “Scherzo: Verwitterte Melodie,” (Weatherbeaten Melody); “Der Schneeman” (The Snowman, or Snowman in July – English dub); and “Das Dumme Gaenslein” (The Silly Goose). This last one is particularly sophisticated, as it shows that Nazis who appeared “cool” were building their entire life on oppressing others. To make deals with them to get the good life is foolish. The goose does eventually find true love because of having pursued her own interests; but she finds out first that she shouldn’t despise her own family as “uncool” just because they have different interests.

Apparently Fischerkoesen ended up pretty much mistreated by the leftists of the twentieth century, because he opposed Nazism and Communism. But as the old song says, “Thinking is free.” His cartoons are really amazing viewing and are full of defiance, even and especially today.

And here’s the one cartoon by the guy who stayed one step ahead of his debtors, the German army, and so on: “Das Stoerenfried” (The Troublemaker). It’s in German without subtitles.


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One response to “Nazis Couldn’t Run a Cartoon Industry

  1. joy

    I didn’t know any of this! Thanks for posting. I’m going to watch all of them tomorrow.

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