Hitler's infatuation with Snow WhiteBreaking News
One of the strangest animation-related stories of this year to date has to be the discovery, in Norway, of a set of four watercolor paintings stashed behind the frame of a fifth. This artwork depicted three of Disney's Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio, and would be of no great import unless one knew the identity of the purported painter: Adolf Hitler, supreme leader of the Third Reich. Finding artwork attributable to Hitler is not truly singular; it is estimated that the one-time aspiring art student did perhaps a thousand watercolors over the course of his "career." It is estimated that the Disney watercolors were done between 1938 and 1940. Hitler's choice of subject is not unusual either, since the dictator had an especial interest in Snow White -- and Snow-White.
The latter was, of course, a German fairy tale known as Sneewittchen. Hitler despised modernity; in his heart he harkened back to the tales of the simple Aryan folk. As for the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hitler considered it among the greatest movies ever made. During a 1938 visit to Germany, Roy Disney sold the film to the Propaganda Ministry, one of 50 American films bought by the Nazi regime that year. The film was never shown due to growing anti-Americanism, but der Führer had a copy delivered to his private movie theater in Ubersalzberg.
What he saw embarrassed and upset him. Hitler was by no means a total fan of Disney -- he considered Mickey Mouse to be a degenerate tap-dancing idiot -- but even the leader of one of the world's mightiest nations had to bow before the technical perfection and animated wizardry of Snow White. German animation could not have produced anything like it, despite the presence of talented animators such as Kurt Lodel and Wolfgang Kaskeline. Hitler was reportedly furious about this unhappy fact. (Germany did have a studio producing animation under the direction of Joseph Goebbels known as Deutches Zeichenfilm, but the only significant film produced was a forgettable 1942 opus about a canary called Der arme Hansi.)
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump administration says joint UNC, Duke Middle East Studies program portrays Islam too positively
- What White Kids Learn About Race in School
- Frederick Douglass photos smashed stereotypes. Could Elizabeth Warren selfies do the same?
- Chronicling New York’s Muslim History
- New Documents Illuminate The University of Texas’s Secret Strategy to Keep Out Black Students
- Women Scientists Were Written Out of History. It’s Margaret Rossiter’s Lifelong Mission to Fix That
- Allen C. Guelzo Reviews Sidney Blumenthal's Latest Installment of His Biography of Lincoln
- What Reconstruction-Era Laws Can Teach Our Democracy: The NY Times Reviews Eric Foner's Latest Book
- Should historians read their own book?
- Cokie Roberts, Pioneering Journalist Who Helped Shape NPR, Dies At 75