Date: July 08, 2017
“Don’t Be a Sucker! is a short educational film produced by the U.S. War Department in 1943 and re-released in 1947. The film depicts the rise of Nazism in Germany and warns Americans against repeating the mistakes of intolerance made in Nazi Germany. It emphasizes that Americans will lose their country if they let themselves be turned into “suckers” by the forces of fanaticism and hatred. The film was made to make the case for the desegregation of the United States armed forces by simply revealing the connection between prejudice and fascism.
This film is not propaganda. To the contrary, it teaches how to recognize and reject propaganda, as was used by the Nazis to promote to bigotry and intimidation. It shows how prejudice can be used to divide the population to gain power. Far more significantly, it then shows how such tactics can be defanged by friendly persuasion; that protection of liberty is a unifying and practical way to live peacefully.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND / CONTEXT
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Under Hitler’s rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over nearly all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich (“Greater German Reich”) from 1943 to 1945. The period is also known under the names the Third Reich (German: Drittes Reich) and the National Socialist Period (German: Zeit des Nationalsozialismus, abbreviated as NS-Zeit). The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War 2 in Europe.
Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party then began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer (leader) of Germany. All power was centralized in Hitler’s person, and his word became above all laws.
Racism, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples (the Nordic race) were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, and were therefore viewed as the master race. Millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitler’s rule was ruthlessly suppressed. Members of the liberal, socialist, and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were also oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned. Education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, and Hitler’s hypnotizing oratory to control public opinion. The government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others.
Following the Allied invasion of Normandy (6 June, 1944), Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allied powers from the west and capitulated within a year. The victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
Post-WW2 Anti-Fascist Educational Film | Don’t Be a Sucker | 1947
NOTE: THE VIDEO REPRESENTS HISTORICAL EVENTS. SINCE IT WAS PRODUCED DECADES AGO, IT HAS HISTORICAL VALUES AND CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A VALUABLE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT. THE VIDEO HAS BEEN UPLOADED WITH EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ITS TOPIC IS REPRESENTED WITHIN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. THE VIDEO DOES NOT CONTAIN SENSITIVE SCENES AT ALL!”