Adolf Hitler. The German leader was one of the most divisive figures in world history. Nazism inspired hatred, loyalty, and study for decades. Hitler, though scarily real, has almost become a myth, a fictional symbol of villainy. As such, Hitler ran into many fictional characters willing to punch him in the mouth or bop him on the head.
10. Hitler Was Headed To The Twilight Zone
Rod Serling’s groundbreaking science fiction anthology series The Twilight Zone dealt with Nazi elements, as well as World War II, many times. The Twilight Zone portrayed Hitler as a character on the show twice during its run. The first time was in Episode 38 of the series entitled Man In A Bottle. Antiques dealer Arthur Castle wishes to be a world leader. The Genie turns him into Hitler in the bunker. Episode 106, titled He’s Alive, stars a young Dennis Hopper as Peter Vollmer. Vollmer falls under the spell of a still-living elderly Hitler. Hitler still lives at the end of the episode, but Vollmer dies in an alley.
9. The “Hate Monger” Versus Comics First Family
Fantastic Four #21 in 1961 depicted a hate rally in New York City. The hate rally was instigated by a mysterious hooded enemy named The Hate Monger. The mystery leads to the small country of San Gusto. The Hate Monger is trying to instigate a violent put down of pro-democracy demonstrators. The Hate Monger is using his Hate Ray to inspire division. With the help of Nick Fury, The Fantastic Four beat The Hate Monger. In the final scene, the revelation is made that the Hate Monger was Adolf Hitler all along.
8. Three Jews Foil Hitler
In 1940, the Three Stooges produced You Nazty Spy, in which Moe Howard played Moe Hailstone (an obvious parody of Adolf Hitler). The Stooges are given control of the country of Moronica. Throughout the short, the Stooges try and bring light to Nazi atrocities through parody, showcasing the stupidity of the Nazis being in power. Remember, this is during a time before the United States entered into World War II. The Stooges followed up on the theme of Moronica, and Moe Hailstone, the following year (still before Pearl Harbor) in I’ll Never Heil Again. This follow-up also allowed for parodies of Benito Mussolini, Hirohito, and Josef Stalin.
7. The Nazis Versus A Sailor Man
In 1943, Famous Studios released Spinach Fer Britain. In the short, Popeye is trying to deliver a ration of spinach, via ship, to Britain. Popeye’s ship is sunk by a German U-Boat. Popeye dips into the supply of spinach, and defeats the U-Boats, as well as their Captain. At the end of the short, Popeye repeatedly beats and stuffs the Captain into the U-Boat, before the U-Boat finally sinks. The U-Boat Captain is absolutely a representation of Adolf Hitler. Spinach Fer Britain now makes several famous list of cartoons banned for decades.
6. The Nazis Went A Little Well… Daffy…
In 1943, Warner Brothers released Daffy The Commando. In it, Daffy Duck meets both definitions of a Commando. First, he is portrayed as a soldier going behind enemy lines. Second, Daffy goes behind enemy lines not wearing any underwear. Daffy’s main antagonist in the feature is the villainous Gestapo leader, Von Vulture. After dispatching a fellow bird, Daffy cannot resist the chance to bop Adolf Hitler on the head.
5. A Hare Takes On Herrs
In 1945, Warner Brothers released a Merrie Melodies cartoon titled Hare Meets Herr. In the cartoon, Bugs Bunny makes a famous wrong turn into the Black Forest. The main antagonist in the film is a bumbling Hermann Goring. During the course of the short, Bugs Bunny does an impersonation of Hitler, and orders, around Goring. Upon capturing Bugs, Goring brings the bunny straight to Adolf Hitler. Bugs then spooks both Hitler and Goring by emerging as a parody of Josef Stalin. Hare Meets Herr was an expert political satire of not only Nazis, but also Soviet Russia.
4. Ubermensch versus Superman
A picture can speak a thousand words. There were few actual Superman stories of Superman fighting Nazis. However, the comics needed to sell off of a rack and, in this era, the cover could speak volumes. On the cover of Superman #17 (July – August 1941), Superman is shown standing on the top of the world triumphantly holding both Adolf Hitler and Hideki Tojo on the cover. Outside of normal comics, Superman was shown directly confronting Adolf Hitler in LOOK magazine. The issue was put out in February 27th, 1940. Superman is shown holding up Hitler remarking, “I’d like to land a strictly non-Aryan sock on your jaw, but there’s no time for that! You’re coming with me while I visit a certain pal of yours.” A squirming Hitler responds “Put me down! You’re hurting me!”
3. Donald Duck Roasts The Axis
In a partnership directly between the United States government and an enthusiastic Disney studios, Donald Duck was drafted in several shorts showing patriotism for the war effort. One of the greatest cartoons of this genre is Der Fuehrer’s Face. Der Fuehrer’s Face was made as a successful effort to sell war bonds. Donald Duck is shown in a dystopian world in which is he is forced to work in a Nazi factory. Donald is also shown giving the Heil Hitler salute under duress. At the end of the cartoon, Donald wakes up, back in the good ol’ U.S.A. The resonating message with the audience: “buy war bonds or live under Nazi rule.” Donald Duck can do comedy, as well as kids’ shows now, because he seriously woke America up way back then.
2. Captain America Gets Physical Before America Does
When Jack Kirby and Joe Simon needed to introduce America to Captain America, they decided to have Captain America punch Adolf Hitler right in the kisser. This was the cover of Captain America #1, which was dated March of 1941. However, the issue was available for purchase in December of 1940. This means that Captain America was ready to war with Hitler, and the Axis, a full year before Pearl Harbor.
1. A Great Actor And Great Director Takes On The Great Dictator
In October 1940, Charlie Chaplin put his “Little Tramp” persona, his reputation, and his career on the line to make The Great Dictator, with the Nazis portrayed as soulless villains. Today, a decision like that would seem very clear-cut. In Chaplin’s day though, the movie was by no means a slam dunk. Luminaries such as Charles Lindberg were adamantly opposed to any involvement, and actors were not seen as political as in current times. Chaplin boldly made the film anyway, and his little gamble, about a barber who ultimately trades places with a Dictator, is now considered a classic. At the end of the day, The Great Dictator was a cinematic, box office, and historical success.
Written By James Ciscell