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Nazi feature film: Antisemitic and anti-British propaganda

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1994.121.1 | RG Number: RG-60.1201 | Film ID: 982

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    Nazi feature film: Antisemitic and anti-British propaganda


    Amschel Rothschild (Erich Ponto) in Frankfurt and his sons Nathan (Karl Kuhlmann) in London and James (Albert Lippert) in Paris are part of an international network of Jewish bankers lending money to powerful people in their respective countries at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Due to their international contacts and ruthless materialistic attitude, the Rothschilds earn money every time non-Jewish soldiers give their blood, for instance when Nathan benefits from advance information about the outcome of the battle of Waterloo. Nathan appears with a strong Jewish accent and appearance and is part of the "British-Jewish plutocracy" that strives for economic and political control over Europe. The movie ends with a Star of David superimposed over a map of England. This feature film propagates a common theme in Nazi propaganda: Britain as the current war enemy is defiled by "Verjudung" [becoming Jewish] because of 'Jews among the Aryans'.

    Corresponding to the radicalization of anti-Jewish measures that cumulated on November 9, 1938 in Kristallnacht [The Night of Broken Glass], Goebbels issued a directive in November 1938 demanding the production of strictly antisemitic movies, reversing the former Nazi policy of depicting as few Jews as possible in movies. Thus three antisemitic movies premiered in 1940: "Jud Suess", "Der ewige Jude", and "Die Rothschilds". After passing censorship on July 16, 1940, "Die Rothschilds" premiered the next day in Berlin. Despite the reportedly positive reception by the population, it was withdrawn from circulation in September 1940 to be rewritten and renamed. It reappeared with an even stronger anti-British bias on July 2, 1941 under the new title "Die Rothschilds. Aktien auf Waterloo" [The Rothschilds. Shares in Waterloo] (USHMM holds this re-released version). However, Goebbels and NS party circles were still dissatisfied because the depiction of the British was not unanimously appalling enough to strengthen anti-British mentality. Therefore the movie was not discussed in detail in the press and did not win any distinctions. Nevertheless, it gained RM 1,093 million as estimated profit and cost only RM 951,000 to produce.
    Production:  1941
    London, England
    Paris, France
    Frankfurt, Germany
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Library of Congress
    Director: Erich Waschneck
    Producer: Hans G. Barthels
    Camera Operator: Robert Baberske

    Physical Details

    Feature. Propaganda.
    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    14:01:10:00 to 14:51:02:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 982 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 982 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 982 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 982 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 982 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 982 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 982 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 982 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    This material can only be accessed in a Museum reading room or other on-campus viewing station. There are no additional access restrictions to this material.
    Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung
    Conditions on Use
    Contact Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Stiftung at for permission to reproduce and use this film.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Film Provenance
    The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum purchased the films from the Library of Congress in October 1994.
    Length of entire film: 97 minutes

    Other credits:
    Script: C.M. Koehn, Gerhard T. Buchholz (after an idea by Mirko Jelusich)
    Music: Johannes Mueller
    Identified actors: Erich Ponto as Meyer Amschel Rothschild, Carl Kuhlmann as Nathan Rothschild, Albert Lippert as James Rothschild, Ludwig Linkmann as the courier Leib Herrsch, Hans Stiebner as Samuel Bronstein, Bruno Huebner as Ruthwort, Herbert Huebner as banker Turner, Albert Florath as banker Bearing, Hilde Weissner as Sylvia Turner, Gisela Uhlen as Phyllis Bearing, Waldemar Leitgeb as Lord Wellington, Herbert Wilk as George Crayton, Walter Frank as Treasurer Herries, Hans Leibelt as King Louis XVIII, Michael Bohnen as Kurfuerst Wilhelm IX, Bernhard Minetti as Police Minister Fouché, Theo Schall as banker Selfridge, Ursula Deinert as Wellington's lover Harriet, Hubert von Meyerink as Baron Vitrolles
    Additional cast: Roma Bahn, Ruth-Ines Eckermann, Hilde Sessak, Guenther Ballier, Curd Lappi, Rudolf Carl, Herbert Gernot, Hannsgeorg Laubenthal, Walter Lieck, Eugen Rex, Hans Adelbert von Schlettow, Georg Schnell, Walter Schramm-Duncker, Erwin Brosig, Rudolf Essek, Erwin Biegel, Kunibert Gensichen, Fred Goebel, Carl Hannemann, Hadrian Maria Netto, Werner Pledath, Klaus Pohl, Ernst Rothmund, Hans Hermann Schaufuss, Georg Schnell, Ernst Stimmel, Otz Tollen, H. Weissbach, Eduard Wenck, Ewald Wenck, Walter Franck.

    See Film and Video departmental files for documentation and a summary of the film. See Story 1202, Film ID 983 for the continuation of this film.
    Copied From
    16mm; b/w
    Film Source
    Library of Congress - Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS)
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2584
    Source Archive Number: FDA 0537
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 08:03:26
    This page:

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