The Most Notorious of Nazi Germany's Anti-British Film Statements
The most incendiary of Nazi Germany's anti-British films, and one of the most audaciously cynical movies ever made. Conceived by Joseph Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry as a propagandistic blockbuster, this lavish production leaves no stone unturned in its bitter indictment of Great Britain, which at the time (early 1941) stood alone as Germany's wartime foe. In its historical re-enactment of the Second Boer War, Ohm Krüger depicts Britain as a relentlessly aggressive power, hell-bent on world domination; the film's remarkable set pieces feature a scotch-swilling Queen Victoria, a cruelly conniving Cecil Rhodes and a Winston Churchill look-alike who presides over a murderous concentration camp. On the Boer side stands saintly "Uncle" Krüger, portrayed as a model of simple dignity and unerring moral right by one of the world cinema's greatest actors, Emil Jannings.
By far the most expensive film produced in Nazi Germany up to the time, Ohm Krüger offers plenty of "wild west" frontier grit alongside its vivid battle scenes, as though John Ford's Monument Valley had been transposed onto South Africa's Transvaal region. The shattering conclusion - a concentration camp massacre provokes and disturbs even today, not only due to its undeniable artistry, but more because of how it invites comparison with the still greater horrors we associate with Nazi Germany - atrocities this movie was designed to rationalize and exonerate.
Germany, 1941, B&W, 126 minutes.
German Dialogue with optional English Subtitles.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Historical Scholarly Slide Show
- Supplemental Information:Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Report on Public Responses to Ohm Krüger
- Original Promotional Materials: Press Kits and Posters
- Interactive Scene Selection
- Switchable English Subtitles
- Worldwide Playback Compatability
WWII Propaganda Films...
The dictionary defines propaganda as a derogatory term for information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. While the term has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most extreme examples, such as Nazi propaganda used to justify the Holocaust, propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally positive, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to law enforcement, among others.
Propaganda can be classified as either white, gray or black. White propaganda openly discloses its source. Gray propaganda is ambiguous or non-disclosed. Black propaganda purports to be published by the enemy or someone besides its actual origins. All three were employed during World War II and can be rather easily identified.
In Spanish and Portuguese languages, the word propaganda simply refers to the most common form of persuasion and manipulation -- advertising -- which carries no particular connotation per se.
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10 Apr 44: Frank Capra-produced docudrama made to promote African-American military enlistment
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- Nazi Concentration Camps (USA)
29 Nov 45: Films of concentration camp atrocities are shown at the Nuremberg trials
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