Nazi anti-Soviet propaganda
This feature film dramatizes the evils of the "bolschewistische Weltvernichtung"[Bolshevik destruction of the world] using the tools of the Soviet secret police GPU and the Comintern to spread anarchy and chaos. Peter Assmuss, a Baltic German student in Riga in the summer of 1939, is innocently drawn into the net of a high-ranking GPU agent Nikolai Bockscha and forced to participate in killing a dissident Armenian national leader in Kovno. Peter hides in Rotterdam with the ethnic German Irina, the secretary of the killed. Eventually they are caught and tortured by the GPU in the cellar of the Soviet embassy in Rotterdam. Meanwhile Olga Feodorowna, a White Russian whose parents were killed by Bockscha back in 1919 and who only joined the GPU for revenge, leaks Bockscha's secret plans to desert and return to Moscow. Bockscha is executed immediately. Finally, Peter and Irina, by now a couple, are liberated from the 'devils' of the GPU by German troops invading Rotterdam on May 10, 1940.
Nazi anti-Soviet propaganda resumed after the invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, and the "Juedisch-Bolschewistische Weltverschwoerung" [Jewish-Bolshevik worldwide conspiracy] replaced the earlier dominant topic of the Slav "Untermensch" [subhuman]. In this film, the GPU is depicted as a predominantly Jewish secret service with multilingual agents and widespread contacts all over Europe. The image of the enemy is personalized in a cruel and cynical Soviet secret police agent who stirs uproar in Poland, Sweden, Finland and France through rallies and strikes, sabotage, and assassinations. By emphasizing his cooperation with local workers' parties and front organizations everywhere, the film underscores how such activities are exclusively in the interest of the Soviet Union. The Staatsauftragfilm [movie commissioned by the state] passed censorship on July 17, 1942 and premiered on August 14, 1942. According to Goebbels, the movie was too simple in script and acting and not convincing at all. As a result, "GPU" did not win any distinctions and was banned from showing to the youth. Shortly after, Goebbels decided to spread anti-Soviet propaganda only through newsreels or short documentaries. The film gained RM 1.161 million while costing RM 1.849 million.
- Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:52:07
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1001986