Adam James.

Chaplin’s Great Speech

Charlie Chaplin & Hitler were both born within a week of each other (Chaplin 4/16/1889, Hitler 4/20/1889), they were roughly the same height and weight and both struggled in poverty until they reached great success in very different fields. When Chaplin learned of Hitler’s policies of racial oppression and nationalist aggression he seized the unlikely serendipitous opportunity.

His uncanny resemblance of Hitler gave this world famous comedian a powerful satirical bullet to fire at the dictator. Better than simply deriding Hitler he delivers what I believe to be the most beautiful articulation of what the world should and could be.

Chaplin himself almost cancelled the film as the extent of Nazi atrocities became clearer. The film star feared there was simply nothing funny about Nazis. He also worried that many countries might simply ban the flick.

President Franklin Roosevelt heard of Chaplin’s intention to scrap the film. The president sent an aide to deliver a message to Chaplin. “Make this film,” the president advised. Roosevelt promised he would use his influence to ensure none of America’s allies banned the movie. Hitler once had extolled Chaplin as one of the greatest performers of all time. There were rumors that Hitler was heartbroken to see Chaplin’s impersonation of him.

For those who haven’t heard it here is a clip of the speech…

Here’s an excerpt of the speech

You, the people have the power – the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.Then – in the name of democracy – let us use that power – let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world – a decent world that will give men a chance to work – that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world – to do away with national barriers – to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

-Charlie Chaplin,
The Great Dictator
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I'm a musician, a podcaster, a blogger & I work in marketing. I live in Australia and have two dogs named Ned & Sasha.


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