During and after the Second World War, Nazism became a key driving force behind Allied propaganda, as well as the development of the superhero during the Golden Age of comics. Ideas that the Third Reich could have possibly implemented have helped to fuel various films, books and comics from 1939 to the present day. In almost all fictional use of Nazis, both during and after the war years, the Nazis are portrayed as cold-hearted, ruthless and evil.
Films and cartoonsEdit
Various propaganda films used the Nazis as a way to encourage patriotism and national pride, as well as a means to recruit soldiers into the Allied forces.
The British cinema were the main people to create such films before the American entry into the war following Pearl Harbor. The British comedian Will Hay created various films that ranged from Nazi spies being smuggled into mainland Britain via the Isle of Skye, to scientists working on gas-bombs.
American cinema at first used the Nazis only to show the stubbornness of the Reich, such as the 1940s film, Casablanca. American propaganda concentrated largely on the Japanese involvement in the war, with the Nazis as a backup.
The Looney Tunes and Walt Disney Studios used the Nazis as a ploy for their comic characters. However, Disney seemed to concentrate more on the German people within the Nazi Regime, as shown in their 1943 film, Der Fuehrers' Face, starring Donald Duck. Warner Brothers produced a series of propaganda cartoons named Private Snafu to train recruits on what not to do if they were in a situation similar to those in the cartoons.
Existing examples of films including fictituous Nazis include:
- The Eagle Has Landed - The rescue of Benito Mussolini in 1943 leads to Oberst (Colonel) Steiner leading a paratrooper division to assassinate Winston Churchill
The comic-book industry were able to boost their sales because of their help in the war effort meant that they were spared from paper recycling. Superheroes in particular, like Captain America were pictured as fighting the Nazis, both real and fictituous, in large battles. The better remembered version is of Captain America fighting Adolf Hitler himself.
The British comics tended to portray the Nazis as clumsy and foolish due the cartoon-style of the comics available at that time, as shown in characters like Desperate Dan.
The retro-comic-book company, Big Bang Comics, have recreated a lot of Golden Age comics using Nazi characters for villains, ranging from Nazi spies to saboteurs. The All-Star Squadron of DC Comics was another retro-comic produced in the style of World War II propaganda comics. A tactic also used in the Amalgam Comics run with Super Soldier.
Various books written during wartime were few and far-between, partially from National Service that called up a large amount of volunteers, and the other from paper rationing. Outside of comics, only a few books were ever written for propaganda purposes. Those that were tended to work along the lines of the comic books.
List of fictitious NazisEdit
- Oberst Kurt Steiner - played by Michael Caine in The Eagle Has Landed
- Oberst Wilhelm Klink - played by Werner Klemperer on Hogan's Heroes
- Red Skull - A Marvel Comics character
- Ultra-Metallo - A Nazi super-robot from Amalgam Comics
- Rudolph Müller - A Will Hay character, a spy
- Green Skull - Another Amalgam Comics character
- Baron Zemo - A Nazi aristocrat in Marvel Comics
- Von Vulture - An anthropomorphic vulture who appeared alongside Daffy Duck
- Ingrid Weiss - A Neo-Nazi who fought Tom Strong
- Super Stormtrooper - A Big Bang Comics character, a Waffen-SS soldier
- Hitler Youth - Another Big Bang Comics character
- Oberst Max Radl - Appears in The Eagle Has Landed, organized the supposed kidnapping of Winston Churchill
- Franz Leibkind - A Neo-Nazi who wrote Springtime for Hitler
- Heinrich von Gitfinger - A Neo-Nazi featured in Captain Kremmen
- Captain Nazi - A DC Comics villain
- Baron Blitzkrieg - Foe of the All-Star Squadron.
- Hauptmann Englande - An alternate Captain Britain from a world where the Nazis won World War II.
- The Z-34 - An excavator/submarine machine featured in Big Bang Comics
- Zwerg - Assistant to Baron Blitzkrieg
- General von Talon - A Nazi falcon played by Tim Curry in the 2004 film, Valiant
- Herr Otto Flick, a Gestapo officer in 'Allo 'Allo!