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Nazi mythology

Film | Accession Number: 1994.121.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1198 | Film ID: 981

As expressed by this film's subtitle, "Allegory of our History and Life," the German forest is a symbol for the German people. The film describes the intimate relationship between peaceful Germans and wood from the Germanic times of Arminius to the present. It draws an analogy between the vertical German tree and the upright German peasant-soldier. In contrast, the aggressive alien is shown as destroying beloved trees, thus destroying the German people. This mystical relationship between man and nature is grounded in the organic idea of a pure-blooded Volksgemeinschaft [ethnic-racial community] rooted in healthy soil. After showing the 'rebirth' of the forest and nation under the National Socialist movement, the film ends with: "Volk steht wie Wald in Ewigkeit" [The people, like the forest, will stay forever].

The film is composed of feature, newsreel, and Kulturfilm [cultural movie] elements and was produced for the NS-Kulturgemeinde [National Socialist culture league]. It describes the anti-rational worship of the forest as a romantic obsession in German culture long before National Socialism and in contrast to the decadent civilization in the metropolis. Furthermore, the film establishes a connection between pagan Aryan customs and rites of the ancient past to the neo-pagan ideology of the SS. After passing censorship on August 20, 1936 it was screened for the first time on August 28, 1936 and distinguished as "volksbildend" [educating the people]. Despite its impressive cinematography, Ewiger Wald received criticism because its sophisticated arrangement favored beautiful pictures and bombastic music instead of typical National Socialist poetic coercion.

Genre
Propaganda
Duration
00:19:04
Locale
Germany
Language
German
Credit
Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Library of Congress
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Record last modified: 2017-10-31 16:39:34
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