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The History of German Cinema: 1941-1945











24/6 -

The Ministry of Propaganda and Information orders the press to ‘immediately cease all debate on American films,’ insisting that ‘the German public is only interested in German films.’ [ADD]




25/6 -

Deutsche Zeichenfilm is founded by Karl Neumann.   Based in Alexanderplatz, Berlin, the company is encouraged by Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels to make Disney-style cartoon films without dialogue for screening in occupied territories.   At its height, the studio employs over 100 animators.  [ADD]



5/9 -

At the request of Josef Goebbels, G. W. Pabst returns to Germany after six years in exile to make Komodianten (The Comedians) starring Henny Porten and Hilde Krahl. [ADD]



31/10 -

Frauen sind doch bessere Diplomaten, a musical directed by Georg Jacoby, is the first Agfa colour film to be released in Germany. [ADD]

Agfa develop a negative-positive process for colour motion picture film printing. [ADD]




Die Grosse Liebe (1942)



  12/6 -

Rolf Hansens Die große Liebe is released.   Starring Zarah Leander and Viktor Staal, the film goes on to become the greatest box-office success of the era of the Third Reich. [ADD]



  24/11 -

Veit Harlans Agfacolor film Die goldene Stadt (The Golden City) is released. [ADD]




The newspaper Der Sturmer denounces naturalised American Marlene Dietrich, photographed posing in front of the American flag, with the caption "Born in Germany, Dietrich has become totally de-Germanized by consorting with the Jews of Hollywood." [ADD]




UFA Film becomes the only film production company in Germany.   It is dubbed Ufi to distinguish it from the former UFA. [ADD]




Josef Goebbels appoints Fritz Hippler Reichsfilmdirektor. [ADD]


Other Key Germany Films of 1942




Wiener Blut (Willi Forst) [ADD]




Munchhausen (1943)



  3/3 -

Josef von Bakys Munchhausen is released.   Instigated by Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels, who wished to celebrate UFAs 25th anniversary, the Agfacolor production, starring Hans Albers in the title role, took three years to make. [ADD]




– Despite the ravages of war, the country’s film industry manages to produce 75 feature films in 1944, and cinema admissions exceed one billion. [ADD]




Kolberg (1945)




30/1 -

Veit Harlans Kolberg is released.   An epic propaganda piece, the film utilized up  to 20,000 real German troops, recalled from Germanys crumbling battle fronts for the purpose. [ADD]





17/4 -

At a conference during the final days of the war in Europe Josef Goebbels reportedly beseeches his colleagues, Gentlemen, a hundred years from now, a wonderful colour film will be shown about these terrible days we are going through. Stand firm today, so that the audience does not whistle you down when you appear on the screen in a hundred years' time. [ADD]





Spring -

Following the defeat of Germany, the US Office of War Information (OWI) confiscates German films and shows documentaries intended to impress upon the German people their responsibility for the war. [ADD]



Germany: 1936-1940

East Germany 1946-1950

West Germany: 1946-1950





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