Director: Valentin Karavaev
Release date:

‘A Lesson Not Learned’ is a rather blatant and vicious Soviet propaganda film suggesting that West Europe is led by fascists trying to restore the Germany of old.

The film starts with images from World War II, accompanied by the sounds of bombs and gunfire. Then we cut to an old Nazi in sheep’s clothing, who seeks refuge in the American-British zone. Accepted and retired, the old Nazi preaches ‘revanchism’, in order to restore Germany’s borders from before World War II. However, he is stopped by the Berlin wall and the peace treaty signed between the USSR and the DDR, in which the current borders are accepted.

This film uses a satirical style more reminiscent of the forties than of the seventies, rendering an old-fashioned imagery. The best idea is the little Hitler angel helping the old Nazi. There’s no dialogue. For example, when the old Nazi starts to speech, we only hear the sound of guns. There’s pretty little animation and the message is emphasized with writings as in political cartoons.

It’s hard to watch a film so full of lies, which shows that up to its very end the Soviet Union partly based its legitimation on the idea that its existence was the only way to stop fascism. And the saddest thing is that the current Russian regime has revived this falsehood to defend its current war in the Ukraine.

Watch ‘A Lesson Not Learned’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘A Lesson Not Learned’ is available on the DVD set ‘Animated Soviet Propaganda’