DVD046 - Assorted nazi Political Films
Includes 4 short films starting with a 1932 election rally speech by Hitler, November 9 Feldhernhalle memorial; Anschluss of Austria in March 1938; excerpts from the fantastic February 1943 Total War Speech by Dr. Goebbels.
“Nation arise, and let the storm break loose!”
Despite their dissimilarity, the four short films featured in this release demonstrate a common theme; namely, that the Third Reich was not some transitory regime, but an entirely different civilization utterly unlike anything that came before or since.
Even previous to Adolf Hitler’s 1933 assumption of power, he and his followers were not politicians or even revolutionaries in the accepted sense of these terms, but builders of a unique culture permeated in every detail with their racial outlook. This is made abundantly clear in his 1932 election speech presented here in abbreviated form. He stresses that no country can expect to continue indefinitely if its people are continuously splitting themselves into contentious self-interest groups, and ridiculed the very notion of the thirty four various political parties then fighting each other. His goal, he affirmed, was to replace them all with a folkish community in which all citizens were valued members of a common racial family. National consanguinity alone results in genuine unity, wherein class, religion, profession, education, social status, and all the other, old divisions that tore apart the social fabric no longer exist.
At the time he spoke of these goals, few believed he would ever be in a position to implement them. Yet, a few months later, the reigns of government were in his hands. Just five years into the Third Reich, he extended his folkish community by annexing the land of his birth with, as documented by newsreel coverage of a mass-rally in Vienna, where tens of thousands of Austrians cheer his appearance at the capitol’s royal castle. The magnitude of the crowd is breath-taking, and dramatically reflects the mandate Hitler received when he put the question of Austrian independence or incorporation to a vote. The referendum of March, 1938 was 90 per cent in favor of union with the Third Reich.
Later that same year, on November 9th, he commemorated the fifteenth anniversary of his failed Putsch, when sixteen National Socialist marchers were killed by regular army troops at the orders of conservative politicians, in 1923. Coverage of the 1938 ceremonies features no narration, no speeches, just muted funeral music and a roll-call of the dead, not only those who died in the Munich Massacre, but the more than two hundred comrades who gave their lives for National Socialism until that time. Many more were to follow, including all the leaders and most of their followers appearing in this film.
The monumentality of their occasion expressed in architecture and ritual again exemplifies the different universe that was Nazi Germany. Watching this real-life event, with its immense banners, blazing pylons, immaculate SS honor guards and thousands of participants, modern observers may find it difficult to imagine that these images are less than seventy years old. They seem, instead, like bright shadows of a far more ancient past, removed in time, not by decades, but millennia.
A final presentation is coverage of Dr. Josef Goebbels’ most famous oration, his “Total War” speech of February 18th, 1943. Delivered just weeks after the debacle at Stalingrad, it was hardly a pep-talk in the ordinary sense. Assembled in the Berlin Sports Palace that night was a gigantic multitude of listeners selected from every strata of German society, with special emphasis on wounded veterans who received high awards for military valor.
In this brief newsreel excerpt, Dr. Goebbels tells them that the danger facing their country is great; that Germany has suffered terrible set-backs, and will endure more to come. but that only an extraordinary effort on the part of the entire nation can bring victory against outnumbering enemies. Pulling no punches, he appealed to his listener’s respect for the truth, no matter how awful, and their impatience for propagandistic hoopla at this critical moment in the existence of their country. When he asks the audience members if they want a total war and all the personal self-sacrifices that demands, they rise to their feet in the affirmative.
Theirs was no temporary outburst of obligatory patriotism, judging from the consistently herculean effort of the German people over the next two years of increasing hardship. Dr. Goebbels concludes his speech with the famous words, “Nation arise, and let the storm break loose!” It was a storm whose thunder still echoes in this
- Marc Roland
DVD 046 Assorted nazi Political Films
Details: Original German 1930's films, Running time 31 minutes, Black & White with English subtitles.
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