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Sterilization and population politics

Film | Digitized | Accession Number: 2001.359.1 | RG Number: RG-60.3308 | Film ID: 2505B

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    Sterilization and population politics


    Propaganda film including healthy Germans engaging in sports, 1936 Olympics, farming, Nuremberg Laws, Roma, mentally ill, women with dogs, Hitler Youth, harvest festival, marching SS and Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

    Title cards read: "Rassenpolitische Amt R.L. der NSDAP feigt den Aufrlärungsfilm," "Was du ererbt" and "Entwurf und Ausfiihrung: h. Gerdes." A man throws a javelin and a text reads a quote from Dr. Grok in German. A woman lies next to a sleeping baby, a toddler walks towards the camera as someone holds his hand and a CU of a boy’s face. Children run across a field after a ball. Small girls stand in a circle and play.

    01:08:52 Text states, "Körperliche und geistige leistungen entstehen nur, wenn ererbte Anlagen gefördert und ausgebildet warden." A man throws a shot put. Different shots of the 1936 Olympics. National flags hang in a row, with the Nazi flag next to the American flag. MS of the Olympic flame. Some men ski and others run on a track. A stake is pounded into the snow, various CUs of Germans, and a title card. People mill about on a dirt road. Title reads, "60 Tausend Minderjahrige waren in furtorgeerziehung. Die jahrlichen kosten betrugen 30,4 Millionen RM." Children walk side by side, teachers instruct and girls sit in a classroom. Images are intercut with title cards.

    01:10:21 CUs of boys taking notes and raking dead grass. Images are intercut with title cards. Young men paint, make pottery and mend a mattress. Various shots of boys around a classroom as the instructor helps his students. Images alternate between title cards and CUs of people’s faces as they smile at the camera. Boys march in rows along a path. Several shots of boys sitting at desks and writing on notepads.

    01:11:53 Disabled children walk together in a group, men farm and girls play. A man herds cattle down a narrow road. Images are intercut with title cards. Someone sits huddled on a bench and a handicapped man walks towards the camera. Title card quotes Adolf Hitler saying, "Gott hat die Völker nicht geschaffen, daß sie sich in Leichtsinn selbst aufgeben, vermantschen und ruinieren, sondern daß sie sich so erhalten, wie Gott sie erschaffen hat."

    01:12:55 A woman holds a newborn baby. CUs of children’s faces and men do construction work. Text reads, "Verdankst du es vielen millionen vorfahren schon allein in den lekten jahrhunderten die ihr erbgut rein weitergaben." Diagrams show "ahnenreihe" or lines of ancestors. A man pushes a plow, a woman sets out buckets of water and a girl peels apples. Several people do various activities pertaining to their occupation. Images are intercut with title cards.

    01:14:27 A scientist looks through a microscope, a man speaks to a crowd, and a solder saddles his horse. More people are shown doing a range of work including: construction, sculpting, weaving, chimney cleaning, brick laying, and painting.

    01:15:26 Title card, "Wir sind stolz darauf einem blutstrom anzugehören der unendlich viele bedeutende menschen hervorbrachte." CU of book as pages are turned. Individual portraits of various people on each page.

    01:16:03 Title card, "Wir wachen darüber dass dieses bluterbe rein erhalten und unvermischt weitergegeben wird." CUs of various faces. Solders march, landmarks and memorials, and a sign on a wall, "Richthofen." CU of pages in a book. A horse drawn caravan passes in front of the camera and CUs of different people in worn clothing. Images are intercut with title cards.

    01:17:11 "Grosse kulturen gingen zugrunde weil nachgeborene geschlechter landerer art kein verhältnis mehr zu ihnen hatten." Panning shots of a landscape of ancient ruins. Title cards in German, one reads, "30% kinder wurden 1933 weniger geboren, als zur erhaltung der volkszahl nötig sind." CUs of babies laying down and being held. Camera moves across a number of empty cribs and several babies lie side by side on a long table. Shot pans from one end of the table to the other, but only one baby is laying on it.

    01:18:39 A picture of a crowd sitting on bleachers with overlying text, "1938 75 Millionen Einwohner." The screen is gradually covered by black and the words "Volks Tod." Elderly people walk about and sit together on a long bench, smiling at the camera. Images are intercut with title cards. An older man holds a baby and a younger man stands closeby.

    01:19:49 Someone caries a heavy sack, a man repairs a roof and other men do handy work. More elderly people are shown and a sign reads, "Zufluchtsheim" [refuge home]. Image shows an outline of Germany with figures lining the border and text reading "Deutsche Grenze 95000 km." Between 1938 and 1968, half of the figures fade away. Title card quotes Mussolini, "Ein Volk, das feine eigenen Waffen nicht tragen will. Wird eines Tages die Waffen anderer Völker tragen müssen." More title cards.

    01:20:57 A family stands outside a doorway and a mother holds a young boy. A few more women care for small children. Girls in uniforms play on a lawn, children sit on a dock and swim in the surrounding water and a large group of boys wrestle each other. Two people wash a baby. Three more families.

    01:21:55 Adults walk in a large group down the street and several shots of children in different scenarios. Panning shot of family standing for picture to be taken. Kids of all ages play on a beach and two boys ride in a motor boat on the ocean. Images are intercut with title cards. One of them reads, "Um unsere Rasse zu zersägen, predigte der Jude die Verherrlichung des Dirnentums. Verwahrlosung, Niedergang und Siechtum waren die folgen."

    01:22:52 Men stand in front of the camera and speak. More title cards are shown and one quotes Hitler, "Es gibt keine freiheit, auf kosten der Nachwelt, und damit der Rasse, zu sündigen." CU of woman smoking. Items such as wine and cakes are displayed in shop windows, several business signs are shown and people sit around drinking champagne. Wealthy-looking people walk their dogs and many are seen in rapid succession. Title cards in German. Shots alternate between the dogs and a large, poorly dressed family.

    01:24:30 A title card quotes Goethe: "Es ist nichts reizender, al seine Mutter zu sehen mit einem kind auf dem Arme, und nichts ehrwürdiger, al seine Mutter unter vielen kindern." Mothers hold children of various ages. Title card reads, "Jugend von heute, Volk von morgen." [Youth of today, Nation of tomorrow] Little boys walk in a row towards the camera, a baby sits in a bucket and wipes his face with a cloth and kids race toy cars. School children stand together and look at the camera. CUs of children’s faces, little girls play around a water fountain and boys play in the sand. Images are intercut with title cards.

    01:25:49 A man in uniform blows a trumpet, shots pan across different buildings and geese eat bread crumbs. People stand outside in the snow. Hitler Youth camp out. They chop wood, march and drink from army water bottles. Several youths wash themselves outdoors. A crowd of them smile at the camera and dish food from a large pot. Boys hold hands in prayer around a table and then begin to eat. Men rest on sleeping bags, girls dance around in circles and title card reads, "Higkeiten warden voraus. Sie sollen zu fertigen warden. Dies ist der zweck aller Erziehung,’ Goethe."

    01:27:05 A crowd of people stand alongside a runway holding model airplanes. A pilot sits in the cockpit of a plane, soldiers in Nazi uniforms sit on the ground and the plane takes off. Hitler Youth stand around a stream and watch a makeshift water wheel spinning. Boys do training exercises. The kids stand in a circle and bounce someone up into the air. Young girls smile and laugh while playing.

    01:28:39 Soldiers line themselves up, young girls exercise in gym clothes and boys in uniforms stand at attention. Seagulls fly and girls stand around a Nazi flag. WS of beach. Boys mend nets and stack baskets on a ship. WS of an old ship passing a new one. Panning shot of swastika and "Wir fordern unsere" painted on a sign. Panning shot of skyline with several cranes assisting construction of a bridge and a castle is seen in the distance. Women march, boys sit together on a ledge and a train goes through a tunnel. Images are intercut with title cards.

    01:29:52 Shot pans across a bridge, then over surrounding mountains. People look up smiling and a man pounds a stake into snow. A massive crowd is gathered as soldiers march past and people raise their arms in a Nazi salute. Men and women dance in a large courtyard for the harvest festival. A building has Nazi flags hanging from every window, older men walk in lines, and someone stands watching a large bonfire. Uniformed men dig ditches and marching SS and Wehrmacht are seen. CUs of men's faces. Things are thrown into the bonfire and overlying text reads, "Für Deutschland." "Ende"
    Event:  1930s
    Production:  1938
    Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
    Producer: Rassenpolitisches Amt der NSDAP

    Physical Details

    B&W / Color
    Black & White
    Image Quality
    Time Code
    01:08:06:00 to 01:31:25:00
    Film Format
    • Master
    • Master 2505 Video: Betacam SP - PAL - large
      Master 2505 Video: Betacam SP - PAL - large
      Master 2505 Video: Betacam SP - PAL - large
      Master 2505 Video: Betacam SP - PAL - large
    • Preservation
    • Preservation 2505B Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2505B Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2505B Video: Betacam SP - NTSC - large
      Preservation 2505B 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 this from the Bundesarchiv in Berlin, Germany in January 2001 for possible use in the Museum's special exhibition "Deadly Medicine.".
    Typed and handwritten content description from BA in F+V department files. Also, a photocopy of Reichsfilmarchiv handbook on films p. 224 is available, describing the film as "an expansion and continuation of the film Erbkrank," included "for the purpose of showing the connection between sterilization and other issues of population politics." The intertitles focus less on sterilization and more on the problem of "erblich Belasteter" [those "affected with an hereditary taint" according to a 1939 Cassell's dictionary] outside of institutions; the danger of "Verunreinigung des Blutes durch Rassenmischung" [contamination of the blood through miscegenation]; the need to increase the birthrate; and perpetuation of the genetically healthy. According to a Propaganda Ministry document, this was the last film produced by the Rassenpolitische Amt der NSDAP.

    COPYRIGHT may be the Bundesrepublik.
    Copied From
    Film Source
    Bundesarchiv (Germany). Filmarchiv
    File Number
    Legacy Database File: 3253
    Source Archive Number: NP 07283 / SP 18042
    Record last modified:
    2024-02-21 07:55:31
    This page:

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