Don't Be a Sucker

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Don't Be a Sucker
Full film
Distributed byUnited States Department of War
Release date
Running time
18 minutes
CountryUnited States

Don't Be a Sucker is a short film produced by the United States Department of War released in 1947.[1][2] It has anti-racist and anti-fascist themes, and was made to educate viewers about prejudice and discrimination.[1] The film was also made to make the case for the desegregation of the United States armed forces. It is held for preservation by the U.S. National Archives.[3]


An American Freemason who has been listening to a racist and bigoted rabble-rouser, who is preaching hate speech against ethnic and religious minorities and immigrants, is warned off by a naturalized Hungarian immigrant, possibly a Holocaust survivor or escapee, who explains to him how such rhetoric and demagoguery allowed the Nazis to rise to power in Weimar Germany, and warns Americans not to fall for similar demagoguery propagated by American racists and bigots.[1][4]

In popular culture[edit]

In August 2017, the short film went viral on the internet in the aftermath of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia,[2][5] and various copies have been uploaded to video-sharing sites since then.[6]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Cooper & Schneider (1948)
  2. ^ a b Gabbatt, Adam (14 August 2017). "How a 1947 US government anti-Nazi film went viral after Charlottesville". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Don't Be a Sucker". National Archives Catalog. U.S. National Archives. Retrieved 2018-07-04.
  4. ^ Meyer, Robinson (13 August 2017). "Why an Anti-Fascist Short Film Is Going Viral". The Atlantic. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  5. ^ Hawkins, Derek (14 August 2017). "After Charlottesville violence, World War II anti-fascist propaganda video finds a new audience". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  6. ^ Wilkinson, Alissa (29 June 2018). "This anti-Nazi film went viral after Charlottesville. It may be less effective than it seems". Vox. Retrieved 2017-08-21.

Other sources[edit]

  • Cooper, Eunice; Schneider, Helen (17 March 1948). "Don't Be a Sucker: A Study of An Anti-Discrimination Film". Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ Stanford University. Department of Scientific Research. New York: American Jewish Committee. pp. 1–44. Archived from the original on 2017-02-12. Retrieved August 17, 2017. "Don't Be A Sucker" is an anti-discrimination film which was produced during World War II by the Army Signal Corps for use with the armed forces. After the war, a shortened version of the film was widely shown both commercially and under educational auspices. In 1947, the Department of Scientific Research of the American Jewish Committee undertook to study the impact of the film. (The data were collected with the cooperation of the Institute of Social Research.) (PDF)
  • Cooper, Eunice; Dinerman, Helen (1 January 1951). "Analysis of the Film "Don't Be a Sucker"". Public Opinion Quarterly. A Study in Communication. Oxford University Press. 15 (2): 243–264. doi:10.1086/266306.

External links[edit]