walt and nazism?

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by dani blaski, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. dani blaski

    dani blaski Mouseketeer

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    has anyone heard of claims that walt was a nazi? I was surfing this claim and could not find on basis was this substaniated...
    where did this come from? the only remotely close thing that I found was that he hired nazi supporters.
     
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  3. jimmytammy

    jimmytammy <font color=purple>Swivel, it's a hard habit to br

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    I think most of these type claims came or still come from his enemies. Walt, from what I have read about him, was very anti-Communist. I know this isnt related to Nazism, but he was an avid American and often let it be known that he was proud of his heritage.

    I would suggest reading some of the biographies(official and unofficial) about his life. He is a very interesting personality. Complex and simple all at the same time.
     
  4. SnoWhiteRabbit

    SnoWhiteRabbit DIS Veteran

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    Interesting that you would say that the 2 aren't related...
    I just watched something on PBS about this...I can;t remember the author, but he was talking about his biography of Walt Disney. Basically there are claims that Walt was an anti-Semite but this biographer said he was hard pressed to find any thing Walt said or did that would directly indicate that he was. He interviewed many Jews who worked for Walt specifically to get their opinions and experiences. The one link he did find was Walt did join an organization that was anti-communist and the organization did have anti-Sematic ties (which is why it was interesting that you mentioned it since they are linked in a way...). he believes that is where the claims came from...It was short a piece of a 30 minute show. I don;t remember all the details, but that was the gist of it.
     
  5. dani blaski

    dani blaski Mouseketeer

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    Interesting. I have read various literature related to Walt, his life, his business philosophies. Everything that I have found indicated how anti-Communist he was versus pro-Nazism and anti-Semite.
     
  6. LHN2007

    LHN2007 Earning My Ears

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    I thought Disney created an anti-nazi video?
    correct me if i'm wrong please
     
  7. lauran cameron

    lauran cameron One little spark of inspiration...

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    omg you're right!
    he made a cartoon that was with Donald Duck back in the 40's as an American fighting the Nazi's! :cool1:
     
  8. SnoWhiteRabbit

    SnoWhiteRabbit DIS Veteran

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    Here's the author I saw on PBS the other night:

    Walt Disney
    The Triumph of the American Imagination
    Written by Neal Gabler
    Biography & Autobiography Hardcover
    October 2006 $35.00 978-0-679-43822-9 (0-679-43822-X)

    Here's a link to an interview with the author, Neal Gabler.
    http://www.randomhouse.com/knopf/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780679438229&view=qa

    I copied and pasted the answer he gave about Walt and communism, etc. This is what I tried to explain, but this of course is worded better.

    Hope that helps!

    Q: Can you clear up Walt's involvement with Red-baiting an the anti-communist fervor that swept the country?
    A: You might also want to add the accusations that Walt was anti-Semitic. Walt was largely apolitical. He voted for FDR in 1936 then for Willkie in 1940. But in 1941, he suffered one of the great traumas of his life, which I discuss in some detail in the book: his employees struck the studio as a way of getting Walt to accept their unionization. Walt had always perceived of the studio as a workers' paradise and himself as a benevolent leader. The strike shattered all that. Walt was determined not to let his employees have their union, and the strike dragged on for months, until the studio was finally pressured by its main lender, the Bank of America, to reach a settlement. Walt stewed throughout and afterward, and he could only conclude that the strike had been initiated by communists. In this, as I say in the book based on documents I found, he may not have been entirely wrong. From that time forth, Walt was a dyed-in-the-wool anti-communist. He joined the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, an adamantly anti-communist group, and he testified as a friendly witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947. (During his testimony he carelessly labeled the League of Women Voters as a communist organization—a charge he was later forced to recant.) As for the anti-Semitism, Walt was certainly no overt anti-Semite. There were Jews at the studio in prominent positions, and there is little credible evidence that Walt harbored anti-Semitic sentiments. But the Motion Picture Alliance was widely regarded as anti-Semitic, and in joining forces with them and allowing himself to be named a vice president of the organization, Walt knowingly put himself in league with anti-Semites, even if he wasn't one himself.
     
  9. Cdn Friends of Pooh

    Cdn Friends of Pooh Certified Mousejunkie

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    Here's the link to the video on youtube
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=AH59VB22D8I
     
  10. Cdn Friends of Pooh

    Cdn Friends of Pooh Certified Mousejunkie

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  11. TheDogbots

    TheDogbots Mouseketeer

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    Gabler's book is pretty good, and he was aloud to write it the way he wanted it seems, even though he was aloud to see the archives. Which is a good policy I think, and hope that Disney reopens the archives to academics in the future.


    Interestingly enough... Walt's father was a major Populist (check your history books folks) and then a socialist (though not a communist) From many biographies of Walt, he seems to be slightly socialist himself until he starts making pictures, and then the strike completely makes him into a capitalist (not an American, he always was an "American" in the patriotic sense)
     
  12. Mickmse2002

    Mickmse2002 DIS Veteran

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    I thought the book was pretty well done as well.
     
  13. jimmytammy

    jimmytammy <font color=purple>Swivel, it's a hard habit to br

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    I didnt imply that Communism and Nazism are alike/not alike. I was using that as a more matter of fact analogy.

    From books I have read about Walt, the subject of anti-Jew has come up, but it is not based on any facts. Walt had many people of Jewish descent in his company, so that leads me to believe he couldnt have practiced Nazism. But he was avid in his stand on anti- Communism. Any realistic biography on him reveals that.

    I think you can find many links of groups in history where they come together for common goals, good or bad.
     
  14. SnoWhiteRabbit

    SnoWhiteRabbit DIS Veteran

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    Sorry. I didn't mean anything by the 'that's interesting part.' I wasn't commenting at all about the whether or not Communism and Nazism are alike or not alike, either. Totally the same as you , I have heard many things about Walt and antiSemitism but without any facts. So, it was interesting to me that for years I hadn't found any facts, and then literally just a few nights ago, I finally heard a fact that might explain the other speculative comments -- and the link is a loose one between an anti-communist organization and possible anti Jewish sentiments from some others in the group -- I agree with you in your first post "not that the 2 are related." But, it was interesting to me that I had just heard why the two might be related or blurred when people are discussing Walt.

    I guess I could have said, "that's funny" as opposed to 'that's interesting' meaning "what an odd coincidence that I just heard something about those 2 unrelated things just the other day...." (And, I certainly don;t think there's anything funny about Communism or Nazism... :scared1: )

    Anyhow, I'm probably not explaining myself very well, but I didn't mean anything by my comment....Sorry.
     
  15. ASilmser

    ASilmser Earning My Ears

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    Its also important to remember that the 30's 40's and 50's, while producing what some call the "greatest generation" was a time where institutional racism was just plain normal in most circles. While all of these problems still exist today, there is a huge stigma associated with being tolerant of racist or anti-semitic views. Not the case in the 30's 40's and 50's--

    My point is this: Even if Disney himself was not anti-semitic, he would most certainly have done business with, or perhaps even hired people who were. Does this make him evil? Of course not. It just makes him human, and a product of the era in which he grew up. Those who claim that Walt was racist because of who he did business with or hired are applying a 2007 value system to the culture of the 1950's. You need to put things like this into the context of the time period.
     

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