When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit Parent Guide
This film’s themes of resilience, courage, integrity, family love, sacrifice, and persistence will be welcomed by anyone looking for an uplifting film for young viewers.
Parent Movie Review
Anna can only take one toy with her so she has to choose: does she bring her beloved old pink rabbit or her brand new stuffed dog? Hoping to return home soon, she asks Heimpi, the trusted housekeeper to take care of her rabbit. With her dog in hand, Anna says goodbye to the home she will never see again…
Why is Anna forced to choose between her toys? The answer is that it’s 1933 and the rise of Nazism is destroying the Kemper family’s place among Berlin’s cultural elite. Dorothea is a gifted musician and Arthur is a successful theater critic with a wide audience for his anti-Nazi political writings and speeches. But one night, Arthur receives a phone call warning him that the Nazis are likely to win the election and he’s on a list to be arrested. Fleeing for his safety, Arthur is gone by morning and a few days later his family follow him to Switzerland, leaving almost all their possessions behind – including pink rabbit.
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is less a story about Nazism than it is about the daily experience of being a refugee. The rise of Nazism is the reason that this non-practicing Jewish family must leave their homeland, but the film rarely discusses politics or Nazi atrocities. It simply provides context for the experiences of Anna and her older brother, Max. Through their eyes, we see the pain of separation, the fear and excitement of adapting to new countries, and the challenge of learning new languages and cultures.
The movie does not gloss over the refugee experience, but it shows the power of strong families and personal resilience in overcoming unwanted circumstances. Arthur and Dorothea are struggling with their own grief at the loss of their comfortable lives, but they doggedly persist in trying to care for their children’s physical and emotional needs They repeatedly express confidence in Max and Anna’s abilities to adapt to new challenges – even learning new languages or living in a shabby flat. As the family move from country to country, Arthur tells his children that although they may never be at home again, they can always feel a little bit of home in every country, and this powerful message clearly resonates with them. This film’s themes of resilience, courage, integrity, family love, sacrifice, and persistence will be welcomed by anyone looking for an uplifting film for young viewers.
From a parent’s or teacher’s perspective, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is a home run for older children. It can be used to enrich discussions about the rise of Nazism or the evils of anti=Semitism or even the current global refugee crisis. The film comes with minimal negative content, consisting of brief discussions of Nazi violence or a few scenes of people smoking. The movie’s biggest downside for North American audiences is that the only English version currently available has subtitles. That’s a big ask for a lot of kids, and this will unfortunately restrict the size of its audience. Hopefully if the movie gets picked up by one of the streaming giants, the soundtrack will be dubbed into English. It deserves the wider audience that this would make possible.Directed by Caroline Link. Starring Riva Krymalowski, Marinus Hohmann, and Carla Juri. Running time: 119 minutes. Theatrical release July 6, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
Rating & Content Info
Why is When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit rated Not Rated? When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: Boys have a fistfight. There’s mention of books being burned by the Nazis. There’s mention of a man being arrested by the Nazis and chained like a dog. Boys throw pebbles at girls. A suicide is implied.
Sexual Content: None noted.
Profanity: Anti-semitic slurs are used.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults smoke cigarettes. Alcohol is briefly seen with meals or in a celebratory context.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit Parents' Guide
This movie is based on the book, How Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr. It’s a memoir of her childhood experiences fleeing from Germany before settling in England. For more information about her family and their experiences after leaving Germany, you can follow these links.
The Guardian: Judith Kerr obituary
The New York Times: Judith Kerr, Beloved Children’s Book Author and Illustrator, Dies at 95
And if you wonder what happened to the rest of the Kerr family, check these links:
Wikipedia: Michael Kerr
Wikipedia: Julia Kerr
Wikipedia: Alfred Kerr
For more information about the rise of the Nazi party that forced the Kemper family to leave their home, you can check these links:
The Wiener Holocaust Library: The early years of the Nazi Party
Wikipedia: German resistance to Nazism
Encyclopedia Britannica: Rise to power of Adolf Hitler
This film gives viewers an inside look at what it’s like to be a refugee. This is a serious contemporary issue because there are currently over 80 million people worldwide who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, of whom more than 25 million are refugees. For more information about today’s refugee crisis and some possible solutions, check out these articles.
World Vision: The most urgent refugee crises around the world
Doctors without Borders: Stand with refugees
Amnesty International: Ways to Welcome
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Judith Kerr wrote a trilogy about her childhood in the pre-war and World War II periods. It begins with When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and is followed by Bombs on Aunt Dainty (also published as The Other Way Round). The final book in the series is A Small Person Far Away.
Other books about World War II for children include the classic The Diary of Anne Frank, which shares the experiences of a young Jewish girl in hiding with her family in Holland. Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars tells the fictional story of a Jewish family’s escape from Denmark but it’s based on a true historical event. Ian Serallier’s novel The Silver Sword follows three Polish children as they travel through the chaos of post-war Europe in an attempt to join their parents in Switzerland.
Related home video titles:
The Sound of Music is a well known and family-friendly story of another family fleeing from the Nazis to find safety in Switzerland.
In Jojo Rabbit, a young German boy hero-worships Adolf Hitler until reality forces him to reconsider Hitler’s racist teachings.
The horrific results of Germany’s acceptance of Nazi ideology comes to the forefront in The Song of Names. A young Jewish boy is sent to England for safety but after the war he tries to find the family that remained in Poland.
For a documentary perspective on the Holocaust, families can watch #Anne Frank: Parallel Stories. Narrated by Helen Mirren, this doc tells the stories of five young Holocaust survivors.
The world’s current refugee crisis also makes it on to film. In The Good Lie, a group of Sudanese refugees resettle in America, but feel the pull of their missing friend who they had to leave behind. Jasmine Road tells the story of a Syrian family who wind up receiving asylum in Canada and make a new home in Alberta’s Rocky Mountain ranch country.