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SA propaganda

Film | Accession Number: 1994.121.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1190 | Film ID: 977

The young worker and talented SA leader Fritz Brand constantly argues about the political future of Germany with his jobless Social Democratic father. He is also greatly involved with the ongoing street-fighting between the Nazis and Communists during the extremely violent final months of the Weimar Republic. Fritz's sixteen year old neighbor and half-orphan Erich Lohner is inspired by his example and joins the Hitler Youth. Participating in one of the first legal SA marches immediately after the SA ban is lifted on June 17, 1932, Erich is shot to death by Communists. Subsequently, the Nazis win the parliamentary elections on March 5, 1933 and immediately persecute and imprison the Communists. The film ends with a torchlight parade of SA troops singing the "Horst-Wessel-Lied" [marching song of the SA].

After the Nazis came to power "SA-Mann Brand" was the first Nazi political propaganda feature film, and the Hitler Youth Erich Lohner was the first cinema martyr of National Socialism. "Hitlerjunge Quex" and "Hans Westmar" followed shortly thereafter. The film depicts the glorious struggle and eventual victory of the well-ordered and disciplined SA as national force against the decadent and criminal Communists who were puppets of the Soviet Union. The film was intended to propagate the myth of the "Kampfzeit" [era of struggle] and the self-sacrificing heroes of the Nazi movement by personalizing politics and deifying martyrs. Almost immediately after passing censorship on June 9, 1933 and the first screenings on June 14, 1933, the film was reviewed negatively for its oversimplifying plot and virtually unknown actors. The Berlin-based propaganda paper "Der Angriff" ["The Assault"] founded and led by Joseph Goebbels heavily criticized the low-quality production and the overtly propagandistic character of the movie. Nevertheless it figured as a "Staatsauftragsfilm" [movie commissioned by the state] and received the distinction marks "kuenstlerisch besonders wertvoll" [especially artistically valuable] and "volksbildend" [educating the people].

Film Title
SA Mann Brand
Production:  1933
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Library of Congress
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:49:38
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