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Germans and Czechs in the Sudetenland

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1996.169.1 | RG Number: RG-60.2486 | Film ID: 986

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    Germans and Czechs in the Sudetenland


    Reel 4
    Anna lives with her German father Mayor Jobst at a rural estate near Budweis in the Sudetenland. Her mother, of Czech origin, killed herself because of an unfulfilled desire to return to her native town of Prague. Already engaged to a young peasant from the village, Anna is attracted to the engineer Christian Leidwein from Prague and travels to the 'Golden City' to visit him. While staying with the family of her mother and working in their tobacco store, she is seduced and made-pregnant by cousin Toni Opferkuch. Her changing morals are accompanied by her changing appearance -- jewelry, make-up, and urban clothing. After realizing that Toni only pursued her for financial reasons, Anna returns to her father to beg his pardon. She arrives just in time to disturb his planned marriage with his Czech housekeeper. Thus, Anna commits suicide with the words: "Father forgive me for not loving the homeland as much as you did!"

    This feature film based on the 1937 play "Der Gigant" ["The Giant"] by Richard Billinger depicts a dichotomy between the simple, honest, and healthy countryside of the Germans living in Sudetenland and the decadent, sinful, and corrupt big city of the Slavic Czechs. The notion of "Heimat" [place where one feels at home] is apotheosized as the place where one is born and should live until death - any relocation presents unavoidable disaster and finally death. The real danger of Rassenschande [race defilement] by uncontrolled female sexuality is evoked here, for the only possible reaction is suicide. Goebbels himself insisted on suicide as punishment and prevention of racially inferior offspring instead of accepting a lost daughter back into the family. It is difficult to recognize the Nazi elements of the film because Nazi ideology is masked in a love-story. After passing censorship on August 7, 1942 the dramatic film premiered to the public on November 24, 1942 with the distinction "kuenstlerisch besonders wertvoll" [artistically especially valuable] and was an enormous success in Germany, France, and Finland. At its first screening at the Biennale Venice on September 3, 1942, this second color movie of the Nazi state gained an International Film Chamber Award for Color Movies. Krista Soederbaum received the Volpi Cup for Best Actress. "Die Goldene Stadt" was one of the most successful films of the Nazi era and gained a revenue of 43 Mio RM.
    Production:  1942
    Prague, Czechoslovakia
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
    Director: Veit Harlan
    Script Contributor: Alfred Braun
    Script Contributor: Veit Harlan
    Producer: Hans Conradi
    Producer: UFA (Berlin)
    Camera Operator: Bruno Mondi
    Music: Hans O. Borgmann

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:57:24:00 to 01:15:57:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 986 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Master 986 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Master 986 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Master 986 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 986 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 986 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 986 Video: Betacam SP - color - NTSC - large
      Preservation 986 Video: Betacam SP - color - 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 September 1996.
    Also known as: "La Ville Dorée" (France), "La Citta' D'Oro" (Italy), "Den Gyllene Staden" (Sweden)
    Length of entire film: 106 minutes.
    Filmed from July 25, 1941 until November 1941 in the Ufa-city Babelsberg and Prague and environs. On August 7, 1942, the film received the following distinction: Jugendverbot [forbidden for the youth] (censorship number B [Berlin] 57464). In 1945, it was banned by the Allied Military Governments in Germany. On November 27, 1954, it was re-allowed for screening for audiences older than sixteen years of age (censorship number 05275).

    Other credits:
    Script: also Werner Eplinius, after the play "Der Gigant" ["The Giant"] by Richard Billinger 1937
    Music: after melodies of Smetana
    Verleih: Prisma
    Cast: Kristina Soederbaum as Anna Jobst, Eugen Kloepfer as Melchior Jobst, Rudolf Prack as Thomas, Paul Klinger as Christian Leidwein, Kurt Meisel as Toni Opferkuch, Lieselotte Schreiner as maid Maruschka, Annie Rosar as Donata Opferkuch, Hans Hermann Schaufuss as Nemerek, Dagny Servaes as Lili Tandler, Ernst Legal as Pelikan, Inge Drexel as Julie, Walter Lieck as bridegroom, Frieda Richard as Miss Amend. Additional actors: Valy Arnheim, Joseph Dahmen, Ernst Rotmund, Konrad Cappi, Else Eher, Hugo Flink, Robert Forsch, Karl Harbacher, Emmerich Hanus, Maria Hofen, Josef Holzer, William Huch, Jaromir Krejci, Maria Loja, Josef Reithofer, Max Rosenhauer, Franz Schöber, Hans Sternberg, Rudolf Vones, Harry Hardt, Walter Schramm-Duncker, Josef Hustolis, Loius Ralph, Franz Schöber, Fritz Eysenhardt.

    Actress Kristina Soederbaum was the wife of the director Veit Harlan

    See Film and Video departmental files for documentation and a summary of the film. See Stories 2483 through 2488 on Film ID 986 and 987 for entire film.

    The LOC source number may also be FPD 8953-8964 (dupe negative).
    Copied From
    35mm; Agfacolor; pos.
    Film Source
    Library of Congress - Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS)
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2591
    Source Archive Number: FGC 4729
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:55:15
    This page:

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