Inside Nazi Germany (1938) Poster

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boblipton6 September 2010
Mr. Adams' quotation of various approving contemporary voices in his review of this March of Times episode is spot on and correct, but to the modern viewer, incomplete. Yes, many voices were raised in support of this effort, but just as many or more opposed it. This was a foreign country, said some, we have our own problems, said others. 'American Firsters' who thought we could turn our backs on the rest of the world were a vocal and influential section of the population, so much so that early efforts to aid Great Britain two years after this, when they were at war with Germany, had to be masked under various titles like 'lend-lease' and money had to be raised through private banking sources like J.P. Morgan. In 1938, saying things like this in every movie theater throughout the United States was a demand that we prepare to go to war -- and we did not want to.

Looking at this inflammatory -- there is no other word for it -- piece, even though we now know this was an accurate report, we can admire the skillful blending of accurate reporting and propagandistic handling of the subject. THE MARCH OF TIME, issued once every four weeks for sixteen years, was the leading newsreel during its lifetime, but was always intended as a loss leader to get people to read TIME magazine. Well, if you're going to tell people the important news, occasionally you have to explain why you consider it so. This one does. Take a look at it to see the model of how it is done.
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What 1938 voices were saying about "Inside Nazi German."
Leslie Howard Adams16 November 2009
SENATOR CLAUDE PEPPER OF Florida: "The new March of Time picture awakens us to thing we do not know and should know. It should be shown in every theatre in the land";-- SENATOR KEY PITTMAN,Chairman-Senate Foreign Relations Committee: "'Inside Nazi Germany'shows exactly what happens when a dictator takes control of a nation. I think it highly desirable that this picture be seen by every American."--CHICAGO POLICE COMMISSIONER ALLMAN: "The film is not censorable--I lifted the ban." -- MELVIN M. FAGEN, Exec.Secy.---Conference on Jewish Relations, Inc: "March of Time has performed a notable public service...volumes have been written about Nazi Germany, but I doubt whether any or all of them together have been able to portray the problem in so stirring and in so complete terms." ---ERIC VON SCHROEDER, Chairman German-American League for Culture: "A thoroughly objective film which should everywhere because it represents the truth." -- PENNYSLVANIA BOARD OF CENSORS: "Showing of this film would have a healthy influence, "Inside Nazi German" should be shown throughout the country." -- RABBI STEPHEN S. WISE: "A truthful portraiture of the march of time in Nazi German. As an American, I congratulate 'Time" for defending the Democratic Ideal---by telling the truth about Regimentation in Nazi German."
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Interesting if viewed back to back with "The Last Voices of WWI"
calvinnme20 March 2017
Together with that documentary, which talks about how much the British suffered during WWI, losing a generation of young men, this newsreel and the indifference it brought from the American government and business interests makes more sense.

The documentary talks about how Hitler did take Germany from the starvation that the rest of the world was suffering during the Great Depression and in five short years every worker has a job and hunger is gone. But at what cost? Wages are kept low so that industry has money to churn out as many arms as needed, food prices are kept high as the Nazis need farmers to be able to produce large amounts of food for the troops, every farmer must grow what he is told to grow, and no worker is allowed to strike. The German newspapers are full of stories of people freezing, starving, and rebelling in the streets in the U.S., and some of these stories may have been true in the depths of the Great Depression as the U.S. only could go as far as our democracy would let us, and even then Roosevelt was labeled a Communist for what he did do.

The short talks about how visitors will be surprised at how cheerful and relaxed the German people are, but then the narrator credits that not only to the recovery of the economy, but to the Nazi propaganda machine, and the "group think" that the Third Reich encouraged and actually exercised in German youth who were taught much about acting together, but whose school lessons kept critical thought to a minimum.

Precisely because Germany was so prosperous, the American captains of industry did not want to upset the apple cart - Hitler could have cut them off from trading in their economy with just a word. And because there had been so much seemingly pointless loss in WWI, politicians were afraid to once again point to Germany as the boogeyman. Note the large number of anti war films made from 1925 until up to 1939, including the ironically named "Idiot's Delight" from that latter year for examples of that.

I'd recommend this one. It is probably the best explanation you are going to get of life in Hitler's Germany before war actually broke out.
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Essential Pre-War Viewing
gavin694225 April 2016
This edition of "The March of Time" was dedicated solely to the evolution and current status (in 1938) of Nazi Germany. It does not mince words, describing the cost citizens have to pay for living in a Fascist state. It deals with the propaganda and outright lies emanating from the government-controlled media, the maltreatment of Jews, Germany's stated aim of needing to expand its territory (the Ukraine is specifically mentioned as a target of German expansionism) if it is to become self-sufficient in food production and the way youth are trained from a young age to see the world through Nazi eyes.

This is impressive. Although the United States was not at war with Germany at this point, and would not be for a few years, this newsreel makes it clear that we (America) was well aware of the activities going on there, the treatment of the Jews, and the military goals of the regime. Now, that does not mean we should have gone to war earlier than we did, but it does raise the question of why we did not press back harder against their policies.
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