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This World War 2 era training film – originally titled as \"Your Job in Germany\" – was produced by the US Army in 1945 just before Victory in Europe Day (VE). It was designed to be shown to American soldiers who would occupy Germany after the war was over. It is obviously a \"know-your-enemy\" propaganda film similar to \"Know Your Enemy: Japan\". The film contains a history of the prelude to the Second World War and commentary on the character of the German people. It is a fascinating historical document of how the US military planned to handle the occupation.
The film intended to get American soldiers into the right mindset for the occupation. Made shortly before Germany\'s surrender, the film depicts the German people in an unfavorable light, blaming them for the suffering Germany caused during the war. There was no attempt to show German people as individuals. Instead the German nation, as a whole, was portrayed as collectively responsible and guilty for causing wars in 1870, 1914 and again in 1939. According to the film, the job in Germany is to prevent the next war.
The film explains that the German people had been taught the Nazi ideals of racial superiority and German conquest of the world. \"The German lust for conquest is not dead,\" the narrator warns, \"it\'s merely gone undercover.\" The film illustrates to the soldiers what could go wrong if they let their guard down in these only-just-former enemy territories.
The film advises American soldiers to be suspicious and to remain aloof from the German people. It urges against fraternization with the former enemy, who are portrayed as thoroughly untrustworthy. (The basic theme that the German people could not be trusted derived from the peace policy that emerged from the Second Quebec Conference held in 1944).
The makers of this film obviously knew that the American soldiers on occupation duty would be fraternizing with the German populace. Many American soldiers were of German descent. They would naturally be tempted to explore their ethnic homeland. Other soldiers would simply be responding to the kindness that the German population showed them, or the tragic poverty that the German civilians experienced after the war. But the threat of counter-insurgency was a real concern, and soldiers needed to retain their perspective as an occupying force. So this film, an obvious piece of propaganda, wildly exaggerated German history to paint the German populace as being something different from their American military occupiers.
The film was directed by Frank Capra and was written by Theodor Geisel, better known by his pen name Dr. Seuss. Most probably, the film was narrated by John Beal. Released commercially by Warner Brothers under the title \"Hitler Lives\" on December 29, 1945, the film won the 1946 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subjects.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND / CONTEXT
Upon the defeat of Germany in World War 2, the victorious Allied powers asserted their joint authority and sovereignty over \'Germany as a whole\', defined as all territories of the former German Reich. The four powers divided \'Germany as a whole\' into four occupation zones for administrative purposes, creating what became collectively known as Allied-occupied Germany (German: Alliierten-besetztes Deutschland). This division was ratified at the Potsdam Conference (17 July to 2 August 1945).
The term \"German collective guilt\" refers to the notion of collective guilt attributed to Germany and the German people for starting World War 2. Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote an influential essay in 1945 about this concept as a psychological phenomenon, in which he asserted that the German people felt a collective guilt (Kollektivschuld) for the atrocities committed by their fellow countrymen, and so introduced the term into German intellectual discourse. Jung said collective guilt was \"for psychologists a fact, and it will be one of the most important tasks of therapy to bring the Germans to recognize this guilt.\" After the war, the British and US occupation forces in Germany promoted shame and guilt with a publicity campaign with slogans such as \"These Atrocities: Your Fault!\" (Diese Schandtaten: Eure Schuld!).
WW2 Training Film for US Troops Occupying Germany | Your Job in Germany | 1945
NOTE: THE VIDEO DOCUMENTS HISTORICAL EVENTS. SINCE IT WAS PRODUCED DECADES AGO, IT HAS HISTORICAL VALUES AND CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A VALUABLE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT. THE VIDEO HAS BEEN UPLOADED WITH EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ITS TOPIC IS REPRESENTED WITHIN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. THE VIDEO DOES NOT CONTAIN SENSITIVE SCENES AT ALL!