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Little Hans is a young German boy, who over the years, is indoctrinated into a highly-propagandized version of Nazi life and is the anti-hero in the 1943 animated short Education for Death.


Before he was born, Hans' parents are made to prove they have pure Aryan blood and agree to give their son, whom they name Hans at the approval of the judge, into the service of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. They are given a copy of Mein Kampf by the judge as a reward for their service to Hitler; their passport contains spaces for 12 more children (a hint that the couple is expected to produce a large family for the Fatherland).

Years later, as Hans grows up, he hears a distorted version of Sleeping Beauty depicting Hitler as the knight in shining armor rescuing Sleeping Beauty, an obese Valkyrie representing Germany, from a wicked witch, representing democracy. Thanks to this kind of distorted children's story, Hans becomes fascinated with Hitler as he and the rest of the younger members of the Hitler Youth give a portrait of him dressed as a knight the Hitler salute.

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Little Hans in the corner of his classroom wearing a dunce cap, punished for feeling sorry about the rabbit.

Later, Hans becomes sick and bedridden. His mother prays for him, knowing it will only be a matter of time before the authorities come and take him away to be euthanized. A Nazi officer bangs on the door to take Hans away, but his mother says he is sick and needs care. The officer orders her to heal her son quickly and have him ready to leave, implying if Hans does not get well, he will be euthanized. He orders her not to do anything more to him that will cause him to lose heart and be weak, explaining that a soldier must show no emotion, mercy, or feelings whatsoever.
Education for Death

Little Hans with his classmates

Hans eventually recovers and resumes his "education" in a school classroom, where Hans and the rest of his classmates all in Hitlerjugend uniforms, after giving portraits of Hitler, Hermann Göring, and Joseph Goebbels the Hitler salute, watch as the teacher draws a cartoon on the blackboard of a rabbit being eaten by a fox, prompting Hans to feel sorry for the rabbit. The teacher, furious over the remark, orders Hans to sit in the corner wearing a dunce cap. As Hans sits in the corner, he hears the rest of the classmates "correctly" interpret the cartoon as "weakness has no place in a soldier" and "the strong shall rule the weak". This sparks Hans to recant his remark and agrees that the weak must be destroyed.

Hans then takes part in a book-burning crusade, burning any books that oppose Hitler (Einstein, Spinoza, and Voltaire), replacing the Bible with Mein Kampf and the crucifix with a Nazi sword, and burning a Catholic Church. Hans then spends the next several years "Marching and heiling, heiling and marching!" until he reaches his teens (wearing a uniform similar to that of the Sturmabteilung) still "marching and heiling" until he becomes an adult or "Good Nazi" (now in Wehrmacht uniform) embroiled in hatred towards anyone else who opposes Hitler, having "no seed of laughter, hope, tolerance, or mercy" planted in him, and he "sees no more than the party wants him to [see], says nothing but the party wants him to say, and he does nothing but what the party wants him to do."

In the end, Hans and the rest of the German soldiers march off to war only to fade into rows of identical graves, with nothing on them except a swastika and a helmet perched on top. Thus Hans' education is complete – "his education... for death."

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