In a recent German translation of the 1972 Disney comic book “Junior Woodchucks,” a duck dignitary in Duckburg utters the word “Holocaust” as a congratulatory term directed at a group of heroic firefighters.
“Awards to our brave and always-alert fire lookouts! Holocaust!” says the top-hatted duck.
So how did it happen?
Well, it seems that the 1972 English version of the story used the word as a synonym for something firefighters extinguish, and it was accidentally left in the German version.
Although publisher Egmont Ehapa claims the company has been very careful about using “sensitive” terms and imagery – the publisher recently removed a few images of Adolph Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” in the Duckburg city dump – the distributor came under fire several years ago for trying to make the Holocaust less horrific and more appealing to kids.
Donald Duck, along with Mickey Mouse and Bambi, were used by Walt Disney to spread anti-Nazi messages during World War II. A few examples of such animated propaganda can be found embedded below.
All of the affected comic books have been recalled by the publisher and will be reissued with the word “Holocaust” blacked out by hand.