Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Smurfs: Aryan Puppets or Harmless Cartoon Toys?





This is an original essay by Lisa Chwastiak, created for a Grade 11 English class. All appropriate lawsuits can be directed toward her. ;)

WARNING: This essay is based on UNSUBSTANTIATED RUMOUR. At least, I can't find anything on the Web that connects Peyo to the Klu Klux Klan. Several people believe the Smurfs are Communists, but few have ever connected them to white supremacists.
Is this hate-ridden slander?
Or a winking joke at something dearly held from childhood? Email Lisa at lisa@sideroad.com with your opinions!

The cartoon the "Smurfs" has been around for years, but no one ever looked close enough to see some of the underlying messages. It has always tried to express strong moral values by depicting acts of kindness and good deeds for one another. These little creatures were cute and loveable. These factors make it hard to believe the shows writer and creator Peyo, A.K.A. Pierre Cullimore, who passed away in 1992 at the age of 64, was found to be a Nazi and affiliated with the Klu Klux Klan. Looking at different aspects of the cartoon itself, perhaps it isn't so unbelievable.

The Smurfs always set out to give children a moral message by the end of each show. Yet intricately looped throughout each seeming harmless plot was a deeper, darker message. For example: The bad guy (Gargamel) gives a Smurf a coin in the hopes he will keep it and become greedy. The plan works, upsetting in the peaceful Smurf village. In the end, though all is resolved when the Smurf in question shares his new-found wealth with his little blue friends. Is it just coincidence that the "bad guy" happens to have a Jewish name and resemble someone of Jewish descent? Why was it so awful for the Smurf to keep the coin he had found? He had every right because it was own. Yet as the structure of their society was, it was wrong for one to have more than another. Sounds familiar, like socialism perhaps? (Webmaster's Note: Nazi; A member of the National Socialist (Worker's) Party in Germany, led by Adolf Hitler.)

In retrospect, some visual aspects of the show and even story lines show the creator's connection with Ku Klux Klan. The Klan is an organization of white supremacists who believe white people are the master race. (Webmaster Note: Or some such nonsense. I'll I know for sure is that they wear white bed sheets, silly, pointy hats, and are ignorant in a dangerous way.) The village was headed by Papa Smurf, a red-hat-wearing leader amongst the white-pointed-hat-wearing group. Pointy-hatted Blue Devils?Similarly, the leader of the K.K.K.(known as the Grand Dragon) wears a pointy red hat. In one episode, the Smurfs had an evil spell cast upon them. When they were black in colour, they were suddenly bad. There were also many episodes where they danced around fires much like one of the K.K.K's traditional rituals. Dancing to the beat of a different drummer?

Further "Nazi" influences can be seen in both the names and appearances of some of the characters. The villain of the story, Gargamel, was a man who bore resemblance to a parody of a stereo-typical Jewish man with dark hair and prominent features.Gargamel gets it again. He lived in a big old house that was unkept. He himself seemed unclean. His name descends from a German Jewish heritage as does the name of his cat Azrael. In Jewish mythology Azrael is the angel who separates the soul from the body at death. Among the Smurfs themselves there is only one female, with strangely Aryan features most prominently displayed by her long blond hair. In Nazi ideology this is a Caucasian gentile, especially one of Nordic stock. Hitler carried the belief that the Aryans possessed the ideal "look" for a Nazi. Nazi playtoy?

Even though these observations can be considered nothing more than speculation, there is no denying the evidence found in the creator's home. In truth, many viewers might choose not to believe this simply for the fact that they refuse to admit that they were being fooled. The truth that underlines the shows supposed objective, completely contradicted it. The show set out to teach children good morals and values like sharing and loving your neighbor, when in fact many some of the underlying messages of the show tell the opposite. To the creator, the show must have been perfect: A show that presented views that society considered good and right and intermixed a way to subtly express his owns views and opinions. His ideas were executed with enough care as to not arouse suspicion, therefore enabling him to do so until the day he retired. It wasn't until the day he died was the truth ever known. Perhaps this final lesson is his most important, and most ironic: Never trust what's on the surface.

© 1997, Lisa Chwastiak

Comment:

Now I realise this was written by a 16 or 17 year old girl, and as a former English teacher, I probably would have given her an A, but kids are often very liberal, and their ideas can range from the ridiculous to the absurd. That is assuming she's not just yanking our chains!

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