German Movies: Individual NAZI Films (1933-45)

Figure 1.--"Hitler Youth Quex" was one of the early NAZI films. It was about the sacrificial spirit of the German youth. A German youth faces a conflict of ideals between his Communist father and his growing allegiance to the Hitler Youth movement which eventually leads to his own death. It was the first NAZI film. You can tell it was an early film by the caps the HJ boys in the background wear.

The NAZIs inherited a major movie industry. One of the most important in Europe which at the time (exceptfor Hollywood) one of the most important in the world. We are not familiar with most of the films made in Germany during the NAZI era. In part this is aeflection that foreign-language films are not widely shown in America. We have some infotmation on a few of the films. HBC knows of only a few NAZI era films that have children with important roles, providing information on clothing and the uniform worn by the HJ boys. Numerous former HJ members stress how important those uniforms were to them as boys. Many more films were made about the NAZI era, but not by the NAZIs. Some of the important NAZI films include: "Bahn frei" (Clear the road) Praise of Autobahn; "Sonntag - Alltag" (Sunday - workday) (Nazi ideology on workday); "Die Scholle" (The soil); "Mädel im Landjahr" (Girls in their service year) women as militarized workers; "So wird's gemacht" (That's how it's done) women during the war-- 1944; "Hakenkreuz" (Swastika); amd Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph des Willens" (Triumph of the will) 1934 and "Olympia" 1936. The most sinister films made by the NAZIs were aimed at the Jews. The two most evil were "Der ewige Jude" (The eternal Jew) which portrayed Jews as rats--1940 and "Jud Süss" (Jew Suss). ; ["A Miracle is Going to Happen"]); Helmuth Käutner Romanze in Moll (Romance in Minor), Marianne Hoppe (protest to Nazism); Unter den Brücken (Under the bridges) 1945 (ital. neorealism); Große Freiheit Nr. 7 (name of street) Agfacolor System; La paloma Hans Albers Forbidden by Goebbels as too melancholical

Bahn frei

"Bahn frei" (Clear the road) praised the new Autobahn.

Baron Münchhausen

"Baron Münchhausen" was the biggest UFA-production ever.

(Der) ewige Jude (1940)

The most sinister film made by the NAZIs were aimed at the Jews. There were two particularly evil films. One was Der ewige Jude (The eternal Jew) which portrayed Jews as rats--1940 and


"Hakenkreuz" (Swastika)

Hitler Youth Quex (1933)

"Hitler Youth Quex" was one of the early NAZI films. It was about the sacrificial spirit of the German youth. A German youth faces a conflict of ideals between his Communist father and his growing allegiance to the Hitler Youth movement which eventually leads to his own death. Directed by K.A. Schenzinger. The Hitler Youth movement played an important role in generating the enthusiasm for Hitler and the NAZIs that allowed them to seize power. They also played a role in the street disorders of the late 1920s and early 1930s. This film idealized a Hitler Youth boy that was killed in those disorders. The film provides a lot of interesting information about the Hitler Youth uniform in the early years of Third Reich and how it was worn.

Jud Süss

"Jud Süss" (Jew Suss) was another sinister NAZI anti-Semetic film.

Kolberg (1945)

"Kolberg" was about Frederick the Great. It was Goebels' brain child. It wa perfect for the time. Frederick on the verge of defeat was saved by provinance--the death of Emperess Elizabeth. (The New Tsar was an admirer of Frederick.) NAZI Germany at the time was being pulverized by the Allied strategic bombing campaign. German armies were experiencing major defeats as the front line in both the East and West approached the borders of the Reich. Goebels spared no expense in making the film. Troops serving as extras were even pulled grom the front line. In obe scene, boy soldiers were depicting as dieing for Prussia. This in actuality is what was happening in Hitler's Germany.

Kopf Hoch, Johannes! (1941)

"Kopf Hoch,Johannes" (Chin Up, Johannes) is a NAZI propaganda film about The Hitler Youth. Johannes, a boy from a privileged family, just the kind the NAZIs reviled as bourgeois. He is not of the "New Order". He doesn't understand the importance of "kamaradeschaft" (comradeship) and sacrifice. It seems he is initially resistant to joining the Hitler Youth (HJ), but ultimately is sent to an HJ camp where at last he becomes a dedicated Hitler Junge. The film is interesting because the NAZIs required children to join the HJ at age 10 (1936). By 1941 only a doctor's excuse could have kept a boy out of the HJ. It is different than 'Hitler Youth Quix' whose father tried to nkeep him out of the HJ. Here the resistance to the HJ comes from the boy. The film was directed by the German film matinee idol, Viktor de Kowa (who was married to a Japanese woman). The Japanese were a problem for the propagandists of the race-obsessed NAZIs. The plot is based on a script by Toni Huppertz, Wilhelm Krug, and Feliz von Edkardt (future Chancellor Adenauer's government spokesman). The chief character, Johannes, is the 14 year-old son of a wealthy German land owner. He was played by Clays Detlief.

Mädel im Landjahr

"Mädel im Landjahr" (Girls in their service year) was a NAZI film dealing with Landjahr program. This was a program for both boys and girls, primary rural youth. They did a year of labor in the country. This film is about girls involved in the progeam.

(Der) Marsch zum Fuehrer/The March to the Fuehrer (1940)

Der Marsch zum Fuehrer ("The March to the Führer")was made in 1940. Der Marsch is about an hour long and films actual Hitler Youth boys from all over the Greater Reich marching toward Nuremberg for the annual Party Day Rally. Every summer thousands of Hitler Youth marched from their home towns to along countless German roads cinverging en mass at Nuremberg to participate in the annual Nazi Party Congress. Goebells in 1940 had this film made commemorating the Hitler Youth (HJ) participation in the annual event. The boys are pictured in their columns as they march through the mountains, forests, fields and towns of the Reich, still untouched by the War. The film clips for the groups are brief. Camping, singing, and marching along the way are given a bit more time. One segment of the film shows an HJ member having supper with a host family at one stop along the way; the family members ask questions which allow the young man to tell the audience about the HJ and the march. The film's climax is the rally, featuring speeches of Hiler and Baldur von Schirach, the head of the HJ. NAZI party rallies were held in many locations and at different times of the year. The highpoint of the year for NAZI stalwarts and older Hitler Youth was the annual party rally at Nuremburg. The national HJ pilgrimage is climaxed by the elaborate ceremonies and pagenantry of the Nuremberg Congress. The boys parade before their Führer and are addressed by NAZI potentates such as youth leader Baldur von Shirach, Rudolf Hess, and of course Hitler himself. Behind the now chilling pageantry of this film and the all to notable discipline of its participants is shown the cleverness of NAZI leaders in preparing German youth, both physically and psychologically, for war.

Olympia (1936)

another of Leni Riefenstahl's films was "Olympia" anout the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

SA Mann Brand

(Die) Scholle

Land and soil wa a major obession of the NAZIs. To acquire more land was what drove Hitler obsession with the war in the East. This film is a good representation of the idealized NAZI commitment to the land.

So wird's gemacht (1944)

"So wird's gemacht" (That's how it's done) was about women during the War.


"Sonntag-Alltag" (Sunday - workday) presented the NAZI ideology on workdays.

Titanic (1944)

One of the last films made in NAZI Germany was a film about the Titanic disaster. I am not sure what the actual title was. Some children appear in the film, including a depiction of the famous news boy photograph selling papers about the disaster. Goebels apparently decided not to release the film because with the Allies methodically destroying Geman cities ans Allied armies approaching Germany from East, South, and West that a disater film was unlikely to help lift national morale. It was made by the Tobis Film Company, an important studio during the NAZI era.

Triumph des Willens/Triumph of the Will (1934)

Triump of the Will, was the most famous film made in the NAZI era. It was a brilliant piece of propaganda film making. This documentary of the Sixth Nazi Party Congress at Nuremberg is a frightening example of powerful film propaganda. It helped fuel the power of the NAZI state. This powerful film had a tremendous impact on Germans, especially young Germans. Its sweeping style was later used by American director Frank Capra for his war documentaries. The director was Leni Riefenstahl. It may well be the classic propaganda film of all time. The power of the film probably was a factor in the Allied decision to hold the war crimes trials in Nuremburg.


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Created: 11:08 PM 4/16/2007
Last updated: 9:09 PM 2/25/2011