Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Taking Out the Trash

German news publication Der Spiegel reveals the truth behind allegations that Donald Duck's nephews Huey, Louie and Dewey are closet Neo-Nazis. Any mention of Hitler or Nazi Germany provokes hypersensitive reactions in most people, and for good reason. It's even worse when it turns up in a children's comic. What is a copy of Mein Kampf doing in a Disney Duck story? Sitting in a junkyard, amidst piles of refuse. Hitler's screed has been thrown away with the rest of the trash, and there it remains untouched and unwanted. This is pretty blatant political commentary. Children are being taught from a young age that Nazism is garbage. In fact, they have been learning that lesson for half a century -- the comic was first published in the 1950s. It's kind of cute, but also a little freaky. Did anything like Godwin's Law exist back then? (Perhaps so -- there is more to the story here.)

Beyond that, I have to ask -- what is the deal with Germans and Donald Duck? It seems like Donald and his family are immensely popular over there. When I was selling books about 13 years ago, someone from Germany came in and purchased all of the big expensive oversized Donald Duck books. I knew he couldn't be alone in his obsession. I find it rather odd.

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