Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi (in Spanish , Education for Death: Nazi formation ) is a short animated produced by Walt Disney and released on 15 January as 1943by RKO Radio Pictures . It was directed by Clyde Geronimi and mainly animated by Ward Kimball . The short is based on Gregor Ziemer’s book of the same name ( ISBN 0-374-98905-2 ). The cover of the book appears in the credits of the short film.
The short film tells the story of Hans, a child born and raised in Nazi Germany , so he is educated to become a ruthless soldier.
The narrator explains that the Nazis control the German children from the moment they are born. In the short film it is shown how a couple will record the birth of their son, Hans. After showing some papers showing its purity as Aryan race , the registration is completed successfully and receive the best seller German, My struggle of Adolf Hitler . According to the short film, German children are taught the story of Sleeping Beauty in a different way, in this case, the evil witch is democracy , the waiting maiden is Germany , and the prince is Hitler . This would explain, according to the narrator, the fanaticism of the Nazis by their leader.
One day Hans gets sick, and his mother prays for him to recover soon, because he knows that unfit children are taken by the state and are never heard of. In that a soldier arrives and announces to the mother that he must stop pampering Hans, for a soldier must be strong and not show emotion, pity or any kind of feelings. Hans recovers and returns to his “education”; He and his companions (all in Hitler Youth uniforms ) watch their instructor draw a little story of a rabbit being eaten by a fox. The instructor asks Hans what he represents, and shaken Hans comments: “Poor rabbit, should I put it aside?” The instructor quickly becomes enraged and sends Hans to the corner. Hans hears how his comrades interpret “correctly” the story by saying that “a soldier should not show weakness” and “the strong should rule the weak.” This causes Hans to retract his earlier comment and say that the weak must be destroyed.
Hans then joins the burning of books, burning books that oppose Hitler, replacing the Bible with Mein Kampf and a crucifix by a sword with the swastika and burning a Catholic church. Hans spends the next years of his life “marching and saluting, greeting and marching” until he reaches his adolescence (wearing a uniform similar to that of the Sturmabteilung ) and still marching and greeting, reaches adulthood (now in a uniform of The Wehrmacht and a bayonet). The narrator says that Hans “is now a good Nazi. He sees only what the party wants him to see, he says only what the party wants him to say, and he does only what the party wants him to do.” The short film ends with Hans marching to war with thousands of his comrades, only to fade into rows of identical tombs, with nothing in them except a swastika and a helmet.
With the intention of being seen as anti- Nazi propaganda during World War II , the short film is rarely shown today. It was, however, added in the DVD Walt Disney Treasures: On the Front Lines , a compilation of short films from Disney made during the war. The DVD was put on sale the 18 as maypole as 2004 .
The dialogue of the characters is in German, the only translation is that of the narrator Art Smith who does it in English. A recording of Hitler’s voice is used in a short film scene.
“Education for Death” was not the only anti-Nazi short film created by Walt Disney – there were many others, one of them, Der Fuehrer’s Face , has the Donald duck with a nightmare in which demonstrates the daily life of a Nazi.