Hitler's Children

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This modestly produced film version of Gregor Ziemmer's book Education for Death surprised everyone at RKO--and in the film industry--by becoming one the biggest hits of 1943. The "children" invoked in the title are borne on behalf of Adolf Hitler; according to the film, it is standard operating procedure in Nazi Germany for young girls to willingly submit to being impregnated by Aryan men (with or without the benefit of clergy) in order to sustain the "Master Race." Those who refuse are ticketed for sterilization, or worse. One of the holdouts is Bonita Granville, a German girl raised and educated in America whose taste of democracy has made her utterly resistant to Nazism. In the film's key scene, the near-naked Bonita is publicly flogged for her defiance, whereupon Bonita's lover, "good Nazi" Tim Holt, suddenly has an awakening of conscience and stops the whipping. This act of courage results in the executions of both Holt and Granville, but they willingly go to their deaths rather than accede to Hitler's demands. It is true enough that many people flocked to see Hitler's Children because of the sensational, censor-provoking aspects of the film, but equal numbers of filmgoers and critics also recognized the above-average artistic contributions of director Edward Dmytryk and scriptwriter Emmet Lavery (both of whom received substantial cash bonuses for their work on this film). Hitler's Children was the second biggest moneymaker of RKO's 1943-44 season, only slightly behind the Cary Grant vehicle Mr. Lucky.


Tim Holt
as Karl Bruner
Bonita Granville
as Anna Muller
Otto Kruger
as Col. Henkel
Kent Smith
as Prof. Nichols (Narrator)
H.B. Warner
as The bishop
Lloyd Corrigan
as Franz Erhart
Erford Gage
as Dr. Schmidt
Hans Conried
as Dr. Graf
Gavin Muir
as Nazi Major
Richard Martin
as Gestapo Man
Goetz Van Eyck
as Arresting Sergeant
Peter Michael Goetz
as Arresting Sergeant
Max Lucke
as Plane Dispatcher
Anne Loos
as N.S.V. Worker
Egon Brecher
as Mr. Muller
Harry McKim
as Bit Boy
Elsa Janssen
as Mrs. Muller
William Forrest
as American Vice Consul
Ariel Heath
as Young Matron
Rita Corday
as Young Matron
Roland Varno
as Lieutenant S.A.
Crane Whitley
as Whipping Sergeant
Edward Van Sloan
as Chief Trial Judge
Douglas Evans
as Radio Announcer
Bruce Cameron
as Storm Trooper
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