Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2016

Access Restrictions


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Comparative Literature

First Advisor

Scullion, Rosemarie

Second Advisor

Oesmann, Astrid

First Committee Member

Blum, Cinzia

Second Committee Member

Schmidt, Renita

Third Committee Member

Fagan, Sarah


This dissertation examines the fascist propaganda for children produced in Hitler’s Germany and the early years of Franco’s Spain. The central aim of this project is to identify the formation of fascist discourse and its construction of political “reality” (or what Kaja Silverman calls a “dominant fiction”) by German and Spanish propagandistic authors. I will also determine the extent to which the fascist thought formed in the works I am studying depends on the national context in which it appears. The fascist children’s literature produced in Germany and Spain provides a body of writing that will allow me to answer if there are literary elements specific to the historical moment and national context in which they were produced, or if fascist writing is the same from one country to the next.

For the German context, I will begin by examining works written for children during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933). By placing works from Erich Kästner and Wolf Durian into a historical context, I read these books as cultural artifacts that express the views of their authors and reflect those of many democratic supporters of the Republic. Beginning with the first Nazi novels for children and youth that appeared in 1932, I proceed to trace the elements National Socialist authors chose to retain from their left-wing Weimar counterparts, and then put forth a model that explains the influence fascism had on children’s literature in Germany during this time. Once this model is established, I will compare and contrast this body of German writing with the children’s literature produced in Spain between 1939 and 1943, the immediate post-Civil War period, a time-frame that most historians view as the moment when fascist ideology flourished under the emerging Franquist regime. Taking the fascist children’s periodical Flechas y Pelayos (Arrows and Pelayos) as a case in point, I demonstrate the ways in which Franco’s government sought to nationalize the family unit in order to place the children of Spain in the service of the new regime. Finally, I conclude the project by synthesizing my findings of both fascist contexts as they pertain to the creation of “realities” in children’s literature and the subsequent formation of the role of the state.


Children, Fascism, Germany, Ideology, Literature, Spain


x, 232 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 225-232).


Copyright © 2016 Carl R. Follmer