Anna Muller (Granville) and Karl Bruner (Holt) first meet in Germany as teenagers. Anna, an American citizen with grandparents in Germany, attends the American Colony School for expatriate children run by Professor Nichols (Kent Smith of CAT PEOPLE), while Karl is being indoctrinated into Naziism at the school next door.
Anna and Karl like each other but lose touch as they mature. 20-year-old Anna becomes Professor Nichols' assistant at the school, while Karl joins the army.
One day soldiers show up at the American school to remove Polish and Jewish students. They also take away Anna, whose U.S. citizenship is declared null and void because she was born in Germany to German parents, who only later became U.S. citizens.
Anna is not happy about her new German "citizenship" and is sent to a labor camp, where she eventually becomes quite the political rabble-rouser. Since the uncooperative Anna is obviously not going to bear obedient little Nazi children, she is scheduled for sterilization by the government.
Karl, who has crossed paths with Anna again and loves her, tries to help her by convincing her to have a baby for the state with him, but Anna refuses. Anna escapes but is caught, and Karl ends up in trouble as well when he prevents Anna from being whipped as an example to others. Professor Nichols must stand by helplessly as the two young people suffer, but he is encouraged by a German reporter friend (Lloyd Corrigan) to flee Germany and tell the world what is happening there.
THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS (1941) or the genial cowboy he played in so many RKO Westerns. The moments where love leads to cracks in his Nazi facade are quite moving. The spirited Granville was perfectly cast as a young woman who refuses to "go along to get along."
The film might have been propaganda intended to help encourage U.S. citizens in the fight against the Nazis in the darkest days of the war, but given things we know now about the horrors inflicted on so many by the Nazi regime, it doesn't seem exaggerated in the least; if anything it underplays the horror, or we wouldn't be able to stand watching it.
HITLER'S CHILDREN was directed by Edward Dmytryk, who replaced the original director, Irving Reis. It was filmed in black and white by Russell Metty. The movie runs 82 minutes.
HITLER'S CHILDREN is a good print. There are no extras.
Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop.