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Nazi mythology

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

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    Nazi mythology


    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.
    Production:  1936
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Library of Congress
    Director: Hans Springer
    Director: Rolf V. Sonjewski-Jamrowski
    Producer: Lex-Film (Berlin)

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    13:01:25:00 to 13:20:29:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 981 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 981 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 981 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 981 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 981 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 981 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 981 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 981 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    You do not require further permission from the Museum to access this archival media.
    Federal Republic of Germany. Bundesarchiv.
    Conditions on Use
    Researchers who wish to use this footage should contact the Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv at to sign a release, or submit the online request form at:

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased the films from the Library of Congress in October 1994.
    Also known under the international title "Enchanted Forest" (1936).
    Length of entire film: 63 minutes
    Released by Carl Cuerten Filmverleih, Munich, 1936.
    Production: for NS-Kulturbund
    Photography: Sepp Allgeier, Werner Bohne, Otto Ewald, Wolf Hart, Ernst Kunstmann, Guido Seeber, Wilhelm Siem, Heinrich Weidemann, Adolf-Otto Weitzenberg, Bernhard Wentzel
    Music: Wolfgang Zeller
    Commentary voice: Aribert Mog
    Script: Albert Graf von Pestalozza; Carl Maria Holzapfel Narrators: Guenther Hadank; Heinz Herkommer; Paul Klinger; Lothar Koerner; Kurt Wieschala.

    See Film and Video departmental files for documentation and a summary of the film. See Stories 1198-1200 for entire film. On Film ID 981, the end of the movie [FBA 6452 (Story 1199)] appears before middle of the movie [FBA 6453 (Story 1200)]
    Copied From
    35mm; b/w
    Film Source
    Library of Congress - Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS)
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2581
    Source Archive Number: FBA 6451
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:55:12
    This page:

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