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Anti-Jewish propaganda film: Jews in Poland

Film | Accession Number: 2001.359.1 | RG Number: RG-60.3286 | Film ID: 2503

A propaganda film declared as a "documentary film contribution about the problem of world Judaism," in which antisemitic stereotypes are disseminated by the Nazis, including scenes showing: Poland as a nesting place for Judaism; the comparison of Jews with rats; the difference between Jews and Aryans; "international crime"; "financial Judaism"; "assimilated Jews"; the Jewish influence on economics, culture, and politics; and Jewish religious practice with a portrayal of haggling and misused sacred Jewish texts.

Rolling title card: "The civilized Jews we know in Germany give an incomplete picture of their true character. This film includes actual footage from the Polish Ghettos. It shows us the Jews as they really are, before they conceal themselves behind the mask of the civilized European." [original film title card]

The film opens with shots of Polish refugees and continues with footage of Jews in Warsaw, shot in October, 1939. A comparison is made between the suffering of the Polish population and the Jews. The German narration indicates that the Jews did not suffer during the war as did the native-born Polish population: "They sat unconcerned in the dark ghetto streets of the Polish cities, and an hour after the German occupation were already conducting business." Shots of crowded ghetto streets, groups of Jewish men looking directly at the camera. Narrator: "We recognize that here lies a plague spot that threatens the health of the Aryan people." Interior shots (Łódź, according to Moller) of a crowded family house with many children; shots of flies on the wall and other signs of poor hygiene. Scene of Jewish men at prayer around a table. The narrator explains the davening of the men: "The pendulum-movement of the upper bodies is required when reading Jewish texts." The narrator speaks of the disdain for work exhibited by Jews and shows Jewish men at forced labor in the streets clearing rubble. The narrator explains: "Nothing is happening here of their own free will - the German military government put them to working clearing up. One can see that they are not accustomed to work and that they do not like it." Many shots of street vendors, shops and bartering, with the commentary: "The Jews don't want to work but to barter, where they are in their element." The music intensifies and speeds up as the camera follows a woman who becomes angry and excited, yelling at the people in the street.

Production:  1940
Warsaw, Poland
Łódź [Litzmannstadt], Poland
Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv
Record last modified: 2020-04-29 10:33:59
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