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DATE: 1941

LENGTH: 13 min

CATEGORY: Educational & Instructional, Animation, Sound, Black & White

DIRECTOR: Kurt Stefan

PRODUCER/PUBLISHER: UFA Reichsgesundheitsführung [Reich Ministry of Health], Berlin, Germany


Made during World War II by the German Ministry of Health in collaboration with UFA (Germany’s largest movie studio), The English Disease combines Nazi propaganda with a discussion of the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of rickets in infants and young children. It begins with a dark procession of deformed people, suffering from rickets, superimposed on a map of Great Britain, and argues that, during World War I, the British blockade deliberately tried to starve Germany in order to induce rickets and other developmental diseases in the civilian population. After that The English Disease abruptly switches genres, becoming a conventional health education film. Since Vitamin D and sunlight are important in promoting proper bone growth, a regimen of healthy eating and exposure to sunlight and air is recommended. Animated diagrams and x-rays are shown, along with a clinic, where doctors and nurses check babies for proper growth….Read The Essay

Captions are available in German and English. To select the language, start the film and use the settings (gear) button that appears in the lower right when you place the cursor in the movie frame. Captions provided by Leonhard Link.

Supplementary Materials

Stills from Die englische Krankheit

More Medicine on Screen

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