US anti-fascist film goes viral after neo-Nazis spark riot in Charlottesville

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An anti-fascist film made shortly after WWII has gone viral in the wake of violence that erupted at a far-right rally in Charlottesville.

The 17-minute film, called Don’t Be A Sucker, was produced by the US War Department and warns against xenophobic rhetoric.

Made in 1947, it compares nationalist sentiments such as blaming immigrants for taking jobs to the rise of the far-right in Nazi Germany.

Michael Oman-Reagan of the Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada, shared a clip from the film saying it could help citizens “avoid falling for people like Trump”.

It was retweeted more than 150,000 times.

The full-length film shows a Hungarian university professor explaining to an American how prejudices are created from his experience living in Berlin in the 1930s.

It begins with a young man listening as a charismatic street speaker with echoes of Adolf Hitler rails against “foreigners and negroes” taking jobs.

“Makes pretty good sense to me,” says the young man to the Hungarian professor as they both look on.

Then the street speaker continues his invective: “We will never be able to call this country our own until it’s a country without … negroes, without alien foreigners, without Catholics, without Freemasons.”

At that point the younger man looks startled and explains to the professor that he is a Freemason.

‘What’s wrong with Freemasons?’ The young man is startled to be on the list of proscribed people

“And that makes it different, doesn’t it?” says the Hungarian, pointing out that the young man had been on board with the street speaker until that point.

The professor then tells how, when he was teaching at a university in Berlin in 1932, he “heard the same words we have heard today”.

“But I was a fool then,” he goes on.

“I thought Nazis were crazy people, stupid fanatics – but unfortunately that was not so.

“You see, they knew that they were not strong enough to conquer a unified people so they split Germany into small groups.”

He then gives a stark warning to the young man: “We human beings are not born with prejudices – always they are made for us, made by someone who wants something.

“Remember that when you hear this kind of talk – someone is going to get something out of it, and it isn’t going to be you.”


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