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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
What seems morally correct may not be what's practically and geopolitically correct.
Positive Role Models
Men put aside their personal distaste for Nazis and aided their adopted country during World War II.
Someone notes that the tall, blond, blue-eyed Nazi rocket scientist Wernher von Braun embodied the "Aryan" Prussian stereotype. One Jewish American solider heard the Nazis refer to him as "the little Jew boy." Aside from amassing territory, one major goal of German aggression during World War II was to exterminate all Jews and other "undesirables."
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Violence & Scariness
Archival footage shows hundreds, possibly thousands, of dead bodies at a Nazi death camp as General Dwight Eisenhower walks through. German V-2 rockets killed around 50,000 people in London during German air raids over the city. The U.S. government worried that German rocket scientists would create rockets powerful enough to target New York or Washington D.C. Although allies during the war, the U.S. and Soviet Union were rivals for the German rocket scientists captured during and after the war, for purposes of creating weapons and dominating space. Animated depictions show synagogues being burned. A man recalls all the synagogues in Vienna were destroyed by the Nazis. A veteran recalls threatening an uncooperative German officer with lethal gas unless he gave up German strategic secrets. The German, held in a small ambulance, heard a vacuum cleaner blowing dust into the truck and agreed to talk.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Germans order bras and panties for their wives back in Germany at an American department store.
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"F--k," "s--t," "bastard," and "bitch."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Camp Confidential: America's Secret Nazis is an animated 2021 short documentary about an obscure but critical footnote in America's war against Nazi Germany. A group of German and other European Jews who escaped from Europe joined the U.S. army to fight Nazis. Based near Washington D.C., they served in a top-secret program as German-language interrogators of high-value Nazi officers and as genial hosts to rocket scientists. The program remained top secret for more than five decades, publicly revealed in the 2000s. The historical nature of the piece makes it a natural for kids with an interest in the past, but the Nazi atrocities that hover in the background make it more appropriate for teens and older. Footage of American soldiers liberating Nazi death camps graphically exhibits the horrors of the Nazi campaign against Jews and others. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "bastard." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This short documentary is interesting viewing for teen history buffs and their families. As repugnant as it may have been to the Jewish soldiers who were ordered to make nice to the German rocket scientists smuggled into America, their cajoling and catering ended up aiding America in the Cold War and the space race. Camp Confidential: America's Secret Nazis reveals the inner strength it took for many of the young men to swallow their fury and repugnance in order to make the Nazi collaborators happy, as per their superiors' orders. Information about this curious World War II subplot was reported in the 2000s, but such stories bear repeating and many of the details have already been lost as archives were destroyed after the war, making this short film feel all the more valuable.
Using audio interviews conducted by the U.S. government in 2006 with the still-living soldiers, as well as filmed interviews with two of the soldiers 50 years on, the piece presents a nuanced picture of the emotional toll treating Germans with decency took on men who had lost families and friends to Nazi atrocities. The fascinating narrative begs for a longer, dramatic film treatment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.