|Let me play you a lullaby.|
Sometimes known as Germany's answer to Walt Disney, Fischerkoesen (1896-1973) had been a sickly child and, with his sister Leni, put on puppet shows and other entertainments for their family in Bad Koesen. During World War I, he worked in army hospitals near the front and, during slack stretches, he drew. When the war was over, he cobbled together money to make an animated film, Das Loch im Westen (The Hole in the West). No copies seem to survive, but William Moritz writes in The Case of Hans Fischerkoesen that the animated film was an indictment against war profiteers as the true cause of war.
By the Second World War, he had become a well-known animator. Though he was no Nazi, he was forced to comply with edicts from Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, to compete against American animation technology. Moritz makes the case that, while rising to Goebbel's challenge, three of Fischerkoesen's animated wartime shorts were, in fact, subversive and slyly repudiated Nazi rule. After the war, he returned to a successful animation career, turning out many advertising shorts that won awards in Rome, Cannes, Milan, Monte Carlo, and Venice.