Education for Death is a Disney production first released in 1943. The short film is based on an Anti Nazi book, Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi, by Gregor Ziemer.
At just over 10 minutes in length Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi is an ideal length to show in a lesson. The short animated film is clearly extremely biased but has numerous uses in the classroom. In terms of content, the film shows a range of things that were features of life in Nazi Germany. The film starts with the registration of a birth and the proof of the childs Aryan heritage, the gift of Mein Kampf before moving into childhood and the ways in which the nazi state indoctrinated children.
Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi can be used in several ways. Pupils can be asked to identify facts, opinions, bias etc using prompt materials. They can be provided with a series of statements about the Nazi Education system and asked to determine which of them are accurately portrayed in the film.
What is interesting about this particular Disney animation is the fact that it does not make use of well known Disney charectors. Disney had produced numerous Propaganda films following the US entry into the war. Until Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi, these had all had a well known Disney charector at the heart of the story – Daffy Duck being used very frequently. In this film the charecters are not well known Disney figures. They are children and animated Nazi’s. Pupils could be asked to consider why this was the case.
Education for Death: The Making of a Nazi is currently available to view on Youtube. See below: