Nazi fairy tales paint Hitler as Little Red Riding Hood's saviour

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Few children would identify Adolf Hitler as the saviour of Little Red Riding Hood - or recall that Snow White's father wanted to invade Poland.

But these were the allegorical twists injected into classic fairy tales re-fashioned by Nazi propaganda chiefs to recruit German children to support the Third Reich.

In the Nazi film version of "Little Red Riding Hood", the child wears a swastika-emblazoned cloak as she skips through the woods and is saved from the Big Bad Wolf by a man wearing an SS uniform in a style favoured by the Führer.

Snow White's father, a minor character in the Brothers Grimm tale, is portrayed in the Nazi film as the leader of a mighty army advancing on the "eastern" enemy. The film's premier, in October 1939, came one month after Germany launched its attack on Poland.

Josef Goebbels, the propaganda genius of the regime, was quick to seize on the potential to promote Hitler to a hero and plant the seeds of racial superiority in the minds of German children, according to a new study "Red Riding Hood in the Third Reich: German fairy tale movies between 1933 and 1945".

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