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Hitler's Children

(1943 b 82')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Based on a book by Gregor Ziemer, two young people in Nazi Germany have differing views of Hitler but fall in love.

At a Nazi rally youths take an oath to Hitler. In Berlin Professor Nichols (Kent Smith) stops youths from fighting. Anna Muller (Bonita Granville) gets her bat back from Karl Bruner (Tim Holt), who is taught Nazi propaganda. Nichols teaches Anna and Americans geography. Karl hears Anna playing piano and asks Nichols for first aid. Nichols takes Karl on picnics with Anna. She finds a boy tied up who wants to stay that way to learn discipline.

Germany takes over the Rhineland and Austria, claiming it is for peace. Gestapo policemen come to take students and teacher Anna from the American school, because she was born in Germany. Lt. Karl Bruner enforces it. Nichols goes to Anna's grandparents, but they are afraid to talk. Nichols asks Franz (Lloyd Corrigan) for help, and he suggests that Nichols tour labor camps. Nichols meets Col. Henkel (Otto Kruger) with Karl, who tries to stop him. Karl takes Nichols and requests Anna as a guide. Nichols says he'll help her escape, but she says she wants to stay. Anna tells Karl that she hates the camp but does not want to endanger Nichols. Karl arranged for her to study in Berlin; but Anna disagrees with Col. Henkel and Dr. Graf (Hans Conried), and they arrest her. Karl is questioned. Col. Henkel has Anna put in a labor camp, and she resists. Col. Henkel takes Karl and Nichols on a tour, seeing women being sterilized.

At a camp dance Karl grabs Anna to warn her. Karl says he loves her and wants to marry her; but Anna says she won't have a child for Hitler. Anna runs away and hides in a wagon that takes her to a cathedral. A bishop (H. B. Warner) preaches that people must choose between Christ and Hitler as soldiers search. Anna faints and is taken away. A major tells Anna that she will get ten lashes, and the bishop reprimands him, referring to Attila the Hun. At the camp Karl oversees the lashing of Anna but then stops it and kisses her. Franz tells Nichols that Anna and Karl will have to die, but Karl has repented. Col. Henkel ordered that the trial of Karl be broadcast. Gestapo policemen give Nichols a plane ticket to Paris and threaten to arrest him. In his trial Karl speaks how he learned his lesson to be free, because Germany is following death. Then he is shot, and Anna is killed too. Nichols says goodbye to Franz, who disconnects a loudspeaker. Nichols asks the audience if they can stop Hitler's children.

This propaganda drama exposed the Nazi tyranny in order to motivate Americans and their allies in the war effort. Yet ironically it shows how Fascism can be resisted in loving and nonviolent ways through education and non-cooperation with evil.

Copyright © 2004 by Sanderson Beck

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