BluRay/DVD Reviews

DEAR UNCLE ADOLF

By • Mar 12th, 2012 •

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DEAR UNCLE ADOLF chronicles a recently unearthed archive of Hitler’s massive fan mail collection, totaling to about 100,000 letters. Of course we are all very well aware that the Germans in the 1930s were completely and utterly brainwashed, but these letters reveal just how deep their indoctrination ran – and believe me when I say it gets twisted. The film will shock and amuse you, and you’ll get an inside look at the minds of the citizens of Nazi Germany that I don’t think has been explored in this particular way before.

The letters are read by numerous English-speaking actors over a mixture of color and black and white archival footage and photographs. While the footage is interesting and pretty clean considering how old it is, at times I found myself a bit bored visually. However the content of the letters more than makes up for that small hiccup. While most letters are obviously soaked in blind glorification of the Führer, surprisingly there are a few that dare to criticize Hitler’s actions (though they are of course very carefully worded – these guys knew who they were dealing with). Some people even go so far as to write their letters as poems or mini manifestos attesting to Hitler’s greatness. The thousands of birthday letters in specific are particularly exalting; you’d think they were writing letters to God himself. The most interesting and amusing of the letters are no doubt those from lovesick women declaring their eternal love for their Chancellor. These overly obsessive women would often include things like self-knitted socks made especially for him in their letters. One such woman even goes so far as to offer to have his children, simply because she was bothered he hadn’t reproduced already.

The creepiest (and morbidly hilarious) letter by far is authored by a 13-year-old girl from the Netherlands countryside. In her letter she pleads with Hitler to come and rescue her from the Jews because “they slaughter Christians on Easter.” Talk about an overactive imagination. I found myself laughing at ridiculous claims in letters such as these, though I’m still not quite sure if that was the filmmaker’s intention…

In contrast, there are a few heartbreaking letters that plead with Hitler to free their loved ones, claiming they had been mistaken for Jews when they were not. Some Jews even try to put themselves in Hitler’s good graces, swearing their allegiance to him despite the horrible things he was doing to their people.

All in all, DEAR UNCLE ADOLF is a fascinating film that sheds light on just how powerful Hitler’s hold on the minds of the German people really was in the 1930s. And unlike some other holocaust documentaries, this film provides a vast range of contrasting perspectives that really gives the viewer an all-encompassing, three-dimensional concept of the mindset in Germany at the time. It will leave you incredibly unsettled and disturbingly captivated at the same time.

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