Two Russian men who recently posted a wartime Donald Duck cartoon, which lampoons the Nazi regime, to a Russian website have been convicted of illegal dissemination of extremist materials and fined 3,000 rubles ($45).
The men uploaded the clip to social media alongside a song by a white supremacist band, France’s Le Figaro reported.
A Russian court banned the Disney video in 2010 along with various other materials deemed to be of an extremist nature. A 2014 law signed by President Vladimir Putin prohibits distribution of materials including Nazi propaganda or symbols.
However, while the 1943 video in question does indeed contain many Nazi symbols, it is actually a very clear rejection of Nazi ideology.
The 8-minute film, Der Fuehrer’s Face, portrays the Nazis as grotesque clowns marching to the tune of Adolf Hitler.
Poor Donald, living in dystopian “Nazi-Land,” is forced to work endless hours producing military shells to satisfy his bloodthirsty masters. Subjected to ever-increasing demands, the unwilling duck appears to suffer a nervous breakdown before waking up and realizing it was all a dream.
“Am I glad to be a citizen of the United States of America,” he quacks as he embraces a miniature Statue of Liberty.
Der Fuehrer’s Face was well received in the US, and won an Academy Award for best animated short in 1943.
As for the convicted Russian men, they apologized for posting the materials, saying they were only intended as a joke.
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