Your Job in Germany

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Your Job in Germany
Directed by Frank Capra (uncredited)
Written by Theodor S. Geisel (uncredited)
Running time 12:49
Country United States
Language English

Your Job In Germany is a short film made for the United States War Department in 1945 just before Victory in Europe (VE) Day. It was shown to US soldiers about to go on occupation duty in Germany. The film was made by the military film unit commanded by Frank Capra and was written by Theodor Geisel,[1] better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss.

Content[edit]

Your Job in Germany

The movie was produced by the US Army Signal Corps. It was criticized by one commentator as a "bitter and angry anti-German propaganda film" that characterized the post-war German mind as "diseased".[2]

The film urged against fraternization with the German people, who are portrayed as thoroughly untrustworthy. It reminds its viewers of Germany's history of aggression, under "Führer Number 1" Otto von Bismarck, "Führer Number 2" Kaiser Wilhelm II and "Führer Number 3" Adolf Hitler. It argues that the German youth are especially dangerous because they had spent their entire lives under the Nazi regime.

The policy of non-fraternisation – where US soldiers were forbidden to speak even to small children – was first announced to the soldiers in this movie:

"The Nazi party may be gone, but Nazi thinking, Nazi training and Nazi trickery remains. The German lust for conquest is not dead.... You will not argue with them. You will not be friendly.... There will be no fraternization with any of the German people" [3]

The basic theme that the German people could not be trusted derived from the peace policy that emerged from the Second Quebec Conference.[3]

The movie was first screened to the top US generals, including Dwight D. Eisenhower. George Patton reportedly walked out of the screening he attended, saying "Bullshit!".[3]

Hitler Lives?[edit]

Jack Warner, head of Warner Brothers, subsequently secured the rights to the movie and turned it into a short documentary entitled Hitler Lives?. It was released commercially on December 29, 1945 and won the 1946 Academy Award (Oscar) for Documentary Short Subject.[2][4]

In popular culture[edit]

Numerous sentences from the movie's narration are incorporated verbatim as lyrics in the single "Don't Argue" by Cabaret Voltaire from their album Code.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morgan, Judith; Morgan, Neil (1995). Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel. Random House. pp. 110–113. ISBN 0-679-41686-2. 
  2. ^ a b Robert Niemi, "History in the media: film and television history in the media", p.84
  3. ^ a b c Judith Morgan, Neil Morgan, "Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: a biography", p. 111–113.
  4. ^ Todd Peterson, "Theodor Seuss Geisel: author and illustrator", p.47.
  5. ^ Hollings, Ken (January 2002). "Cabaret Voltaire". The Wire (215). 

External links[edit]