A Classic Christmas Movie Or An Allusion To The Holocaust?

A Classic Christmas Movie Or An Allusion To The Holocaust?

When the subliminal messages of movies come into light.

It was a week before we all pack up and go our separate ways for winter break. We had our floor meeting to discuss the process of closing down our dorms. After that meeting, four of us decided to watch "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." This claymation movie was released in 1970. These claymation Christmas movies are classics. I can remember being in elementary school and watching them with my siblings in our Christmas pajamas. These fond memories, however, soon dissipated upon rewatching this movie for the first time in over ten years.

As we put the movie on and it began to play, each of us began to pick up on small parallels to the Holocaust. We were shocked because, to us, this movie was a Christmas classic. We did not believe it and thought we might be reading into it too much; however, we looked it up and many people have been reading into those messages for years. Needless to say, our jaws hit the floor and a childhood classic would never be the same again.

The first sign that began our questioning was the Burgermeister Meisterburger. This character had a thick German accent and the way that the claymation walked almost looked like one of his hands was moving like the salute from Nazi Germany. That may have been a coincidence and that is how we viewed it at the beginning.

We were then introduced to Sombertown, which is the area in which he ruled. The area was gray and there was a sense of despair across the town. The Burgermeister had banned all toys from the town. This immediately reminded me of "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak, because this novel depicted the banning of books during the Holocaust. This seemed like a coincidence until the movie goes on to show the Burgermeister collecting all of the toys belonging to the children and burning them in the town center. At this point, I was almost positive that this was a direct allusion to the book burnings during the Holocaust.

It was at this moment that we all looked at each other and realized our childhood perception was completely wrong. We had just experienced what was known as a gestalt shift, and we would never view this movie the same way again. The movie also shows a clip of children marching in two straight lines, followed by a vehicle. One of us drew the parallel to the pictures of concentration camps of the Jewish people marching in straight lines. We would not have taken a second look at these lines if we had not picked up on the parallels earlier in the movie.

When the movie concluded, we all looked at each other and said, “what did we just watch?” We went in with the expectation of being festive and watching a classic Christmas movie under our blankets and having a good time. That took a turn when we had the epiphany that the movie had these horrid undertones. I was not upset by these undertones; rather, I was actually fascinated by them.

This movie demonstrated how even a children’s movie can send a certain message. In this case, it put Hitler’s ideas into something that would be understandable for children. The children did not like the Burgermeister because he did these awful acts. This movie showed some of the aspects of the Holocaust without showing too much that it would scar a child for life. As an adult watching it, the lessons of this movie are beyond clear. This movie made us all want to go back and watch our favorite childhood movies and look for an underlying messages or allusions.

Cover Image Credit: TV Guide

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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