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Bibliography Includes bibliographical references pages and index. Contents Optical lyric and shadow plays: Snow man and weather-beaten melody: Svend Noldan Classified animation: Publisher's Summary Among their many idiosyncrasies, Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, remained serious cartoon aficionados throughout their lives. They adored animation and their influence on German animation after World War II continues to this day. This study explores Hitler and Goebbels' efforts to establish a German cartoon industry to rival Walt Disney's and their love-hate relationship with American producers, whose films they studied behind locked doors.

Animation Under the Swastika: A History of Trickfilm in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945

Despite their ambitious dream, all that remains of their efforts are a few cartoon shorts--advertising and puppet films starring dogs, cats, birds, hedgehogs, insects, Teutonic dwarves, and other fairy-tale ensemble. While these pieces do not hold much propaganda value, they perfectly illustrate Hannah Arendt's controversial description of those who perpetrated the Holocaust: Nielsen Book Data National socialism and motion pictures.

Publication date ISBN softcover: The authors document several stop-motion puppet films made between and , all as advertising films promoting chocolates and cigarettes. Significantly, the leader of this type of animation was Hungarian-born Georg Pal, a Jew who was wise enough to move from Germany to the Netherlands when the Nazis rose to power in Germany, and then emigrated to America on the eve of the German occupation of the Netherlands. There was at least one anti-Nazi animated propaganda film made just before their seizure of power, which they promptly banned.

Their interest in animation was to compete with Disney cartoons — and a Disney cartoon had to be nice. It was approached with Teutonic thoroughness.

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After some research Waffenschmied came up with an old German fairy-tale sylvan elf, Tilo Voss, whom he thought would fit the purpose. Ufa debated the merits of producing original German cartoons versus licensing proposed French cartoons.

And then came Snow White. Snow White , based on a Germanic folk tale, was eagerly awaited. The planned distribution had gotten far enough that a German dub of Snow White was prepared, which was shown in Germany after the war.

Chapters 5 through 19 tell the tale of the animation industry that did develop in Nazi Germany. The remaining 14 chapters recount in detail the individual animators raising money, or trying to, to complete their films. There are one or two failed attempts to claim the mantle of a German Walt Disney.

Animation Under the Swastika: A History of Trickfilm in Nazi Germany, by Rolf Giesen

On August 7, , Goebbels himself started what was supposed to become the major German animation studio, Deutsche Zeichenfilm G. Ambitious plans to build a studio for 4, artists were made, and art classes were started.


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A sample cartoon was made, the minute Armer Hansi Poor Hansi , , about a canary who escapes from his cage but finds living in the wild too harsh and is glad to return to his cage. Plans for several more films were completed, but by the time the studio was ready to begin serious production, Allied bombing raids on Berlin made it impossible.

Deutsche Zeichenfilm only managed to complete the one cartoon, Armer Hansi , and to get partway through a second. There was one German animator who could honestly be called a German Walt Disney: Fischerkoesen had his own small studio, Fischerkoesen-Film-Studio, near Potsdam which produced classified training and advertising films. In June Germany started a series of newsreel theaters devoted to European life in peace and at war, naturally glorifying Fascism. This turned into three cartoons that are still enjoyed today: