Cartooning history: Disney and Hitler

I admire illustrators and cartoonists. In particular, the work of pioneers like Walt Disney.

Recently, I've became more aware of the historical context in which cartoonists like Disney produced their material. I've seen a number of historical references that apparently indicate that the German Nazi leadership of the 1930s and 1940s admired the works of Disney. Now, a Norwegian museum claims to have found drawings of Disney characters signed by a certain A. Hitler.

Adolf Hitler was an artist before the first World War and before he drifted into politics. You can read the story and see some samples of the drawings in the U.K.'s Telegraph page here.

While it may be true that Hitler admired the work of Disney, it's also true that the Disney company used its animators to produce anti-Nazi propaganda during the period. Take a look at this animated cartoon, which pillories the education of Nazi youth.

Thanks to Paal Gladso of Norway for providing access to his photograph of a wallpainting in the basement of the Oslo opera house. The Germans occupied Norway during the Second World War.

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