World War Two didn’t just start out of the blue. There had been a buildup for years, with the expectant publicity. News reports on the radio and playing before feature films in theaters made sure the average American stayed up-to-date on the growing Nazi threat. Germany was viewed, and rightfully so, in a very negative light.
Several of the Universal Monsters films came out during this time. It’s not surprising that the studio wouldn’t want to feature their creatures as living in that part of the world wherein evil held sway. There solution? Create a fictional land, a fictitious country to serve as the setting for their films. That country was called Vasaria.
It was clear to anyone and everyone that Vasaria was based on Europe, specifically Bavaria and Eastern Europe. But by casting it in make-believe terms they were able to achieve that needed distancing from the ugly and unpleasant reality.
Vasaria, in our mundane world, was actually located on the backlot of Universal Studios, where it held the nickname of “Little Europe”. Sadly, the original Vasaria set was destroyed in a fire in 1967. Though it was reconstructed, it isn’t really the same. Still, Vasaria will live forever on celluloid, preserved in the classic Universal Monsters movies.