Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca was released in 1942 and became an immediate hit. Many people see this movie as the classic love story of all time, yet it is also has significant historical and political references that people could also relate to at the time the movie was released. The movie is based in the French-controlled Moroccan city of Casablanca during World War II. Lead character Rick Blaine is a cynical American who now lives in Casablanca and owns “Rick’s Café Americain,” an upscale nightclub and hangout for refugees, Nazis and thieves. During this time many people fled a German-controlled Europe, seeking freedom in America. “Letters of transit” allow these refugees to travel through neutral Portugal and on to America. A horrible refugee path led people to Casablanca, where many people end up stranded because they could not get the appropriate paperwork to travel to Portugal.
Casablanca is a romanticized story of the horrific actions of the Nazi Germans during the Second World War. World War I split the majority of the world’s nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis powers. The Allies include the British Empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America, China, France, and Poland. These forces opposed the Axis powers: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan. The Axis alliance dominated large parts of Europe, Africa, and East and Southeast Asia. Hostilities between these powers, coupled with border changes enacted in the post-war settlement, fueled the onset of the mass evacuation and deportation of ethnic Germans.
World War II was driven by Germany’s perceived humiliation that occurred in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, a peace treaty that officially ended the First World War. This Treaty required Germany and its allies to accept full responsibility for causing the war and to pay reparations for damages done. National Socialist, Adolph Hitler,... [continues]
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