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Nazi feature film on espionage, British agents, German rearmament

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 1996.169.1 | RG Number: RG-60.2500 | Film ID: 990

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    Nazi feature film on espionage, British agents, German rearmament


    Plot summary: In this feature film set in 1936, Mr. Morris operates a British espionage ring based in Berlin that is eager to receive information about secret German rearmament plans. He is successful when he bribes a broke engineer involved in the construction of a new artillery cannon and places an agent in a military airport testing a new type of bomber. However, when Morris deliberately makes the acquaintance with the girlfriend of Hans Klemm, a soldier running in new tanks, he encounters trouble. He initially makes some progress by utilizing the soldier's friendliness and naiveté, but after Morris tries to blackmail Klemm into further cooperation, the soldier reports to his superiors, enabling the Gestapo to uncover a wide network of spies. Morris is convicted of high treason by the Volksgerichtshof [court of the people; special NS-court] and executed in the penitentiary Plötzensee, while Klemm is praised by his commander for his vigilance and courage.

    Reel 3
    Film Title
    Verraeter [Traitor]
    Production:  1936
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
    Director: Karl Ritter
    Producer: UFA
    Camera Operator: Guenther Anders

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    00:31:21:00 to 00:50:29:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 990 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 990 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 990 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Master 990 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 990 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 990 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 990 Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 990 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 September 1996.
    Also known in the USA as "The Traitor" (1937). Length of entire film: 92 minutes
    See Film and Video departmental files for additional documentation and a summary of this film. See Stories 2498-2502, Film ID 990 for entire film.

    The primary message in this last anti-British movie before the outbreak of war is that everyone can be a spy or foreign agent. Here, the Nazis caution against seemingly unsuspicious friends serving an "alien power." After passing censorship on August 19, 1936, the film premiered on September 9, 1936 during the eighth Reichsparteitag [annual Nazi party rally] in Nuremberg with the distinctions "volksbildend" [educating the people] and "staatspolitisch und künstlerisch besonders wertvoll" [state-politically and artistically especially valuable]. After this highly appraised initial screening, many Gaufilmstellen [regional Nazi party film offices] wanted to have a special version to screen in schools. A special edition of this "Staatsauftragsfilm" [movie commissioned by the state] was also made for the armed forces. Despite its very cheap production (RM 465,000), the director Karl Ritter won a Special Recommendation Award at the Venice Film Festival 1936.

    Other Credits:
    Script: Leonhard Fuerst (after an idea by Walter Herzlieb and Hans Wagner)
    Music: Harold M. Kirchstein
    Cast: Lida Baarova, Willy Birgel, Paul Dahlke, Theodor Loos, Irene von Meyendorff, Herbert A.E Boehme, Rudolf Fernau, Heinz Welzel, Sepp Rist, H. Zesch-Ballot, Ernst Karchow, Siegfried Schuerenberg, Volker von Collande, Joseph Dahmen

    LOC source number may also be FBA 2458-2462 (the 16mm reference print which is shrunken). Verify at LOC.
    Copied From
    35mm; b/w; pos.
    Film Source
    Library of Congress - Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS)
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 2605
    Source Archive Number: FGC 1252
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:55:21
    This page:

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