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Fascism: Nazi Germany and Swing Kids

By leoxu20 Oct 14, 2012 709 Words
Between the late 1930’s and the Second World War, Germany was under Adolf Hitler’s fascism rule. Many fascist policies were used to control the people of Germany, which soon evolved into Nazism, a variation of fascism. Nazism is characterized by propaganda, nationalism, anti-Semitism, complete control over the society, and a strong police force to control the population. All of these characteristics are portrayed in Swing Kids and Berlin 36. These two movies show how fascism and Nazism play a large role in the lives of German citizens. Many specific examples show how lives are affected by the enforcement of fascism, and its variation, Nazism.

Swing Kids is a movie that reflects fascism and Nazism, following the lives of two students. Taken place in Hamburg, the two students are part of the Hitler youth by day, and swing kids by night. The Hitler youth was an organization of young teenage boys who served and helped the Nazis control the country, while the swing kids were a group of German swing lovers. The Hitler youth is an example of fascism because the governments usually rule their country by using a strong military or police force. Members of the Hitler youth are trained to carry out the law with all their power, showing cruelty and using force. Although this is a group of young teenagers, they are used as an effective police force.

A key aspect of fascism is propaganda, which is especially used in Nazism. Propaganda is the influence of opinion in public matters through the use of mass media. In the move Swing Kids, we see that propaganda is used to make the German army more appealing. Over a large radio broadcast, an announcer is heard saying that the German army has successfully invaded Czechoslovakia, and that the citizens of Czechoslovakia were cheering on the German army. However, this was not the truth. Not a lot of the Czechoslovakians were actually German, so they didn’t want to live under German rules and laws. In this case, the government twisted the truth to make it seem like the Germans were saving the people of Czechoslovakia.

The encouragement of nationalism is also present in the movie Swing Kids. Throughout the film, the phrase “Heil Hitler” is used by many characters in numerous occasions. This is to show their extreme patriotism towards the country’s leader. It reflects the attitude they have towards the Fuhrer, loyalty and respect. It is also used as a scare tactic to everyone else that doesn’t support Hitler. This would impose fear in the citizens and remind them that Hitler is rising in power.

In the movie Berlin 36, it retells the story of Gretel Bergmann, a widely known Jewish high jumper. One example of Nazism in this movie is anti-Semitism, shown by the German government. By eliminating the competition from participating in the Olympics, the government was able to show the world that the Aryan race is superior to any other race. In the movie, Gretel is slowly replaced by another German to compete in the event because the government couldn’t risk the humiliation if a Jew beat a German. To do this, the government took control of society. This is another key example of fascism. The Nazis used their power and influence to guarantee that a Jewish athlete will not compete in the competition against Germans. To keep it subtle, they invited Gretel to train in Germany, but despite her efforts, she was denied the participation in the competition. On the other hand, her teammates were told that the reason she could not participate was because of an injury. The actions of the government in this movie show how much control they can simply have over Germany. In the two movies Swing Kids and Berlin 36, clear signs of fascism and Nazism are portrayed, which easily influences the lives of German citizens. It shows the use of propaganda, nationalism, racism against different races, the government having control over society, and the use of teenagers as a police force to control the citizens. Also shown, fascism and Nazism successfully helped Hitler in controlling Germany. The two movies also portrays the lives that Germans might have gone through while under the reign of the Nazi regime.

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