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Filming of the 1942 Theresienstadt propaganda film

Film | Accession Number: 2007.207.1 | RG Number: RG-60.4637 | Film ID: 2842

Scenes from the filming of a 1942 film about Theresienstadt.

Interior of a crowded coffehouse with a band playing on stage. Star of David badges are visible on clothing. A man sits down at a table with his young daughter and a waitress serves them coffee. The scene is repeated. Shots of the band and people in the audience. The next scene shows a man leaving the coffeehouse. A sign on the door states that entrance cards must be presented when entering and leaving the coffeehouse.

An outdoor shot of a uniformed German with a camera filming two signs. Two other Germans accompany him. A close up of the signs, one of which gives the name of the town in German (Theresienstadt) and in Czech (Terezin). The other sign is not completely legible. Good CUs of the German assembling and operating the camera. The men get into a car. The next shot shows a sentry guarding the camp and a sign that reads, "Jewish settlement area, stopping forbidden."

Various scenes of a comedic stage performance, with a number of people onstage in costumes. At 10:29:49:20 the woman on stage wearing a hat and holding a wreath is Helena Hermannova (née Katz) of Trautenau Czechoslovakia. Good CU of an SS officer in the audience. The next performance is a marionette show.

Jews play soccer on a field. A large number of prisoners and Germans, some carrying cameras and other equipment, walk across the soccer field. The next scenes show prisoners digging trenches and Germans filming near railroad tracks. Open freight wagons filled with dirt sit on the tracks. 10:35:30 Good CUs of German cameraman. A young Jewish woman wearing a scarf smiles at the camera. A cameraman films from a freight car while prisoners help push the cars along the track. Close up of a man in a truck, then a car with an SS license plate.

According to Karel Margry, the 1942 film is much less known than the one filmed in 1944. The 1942 film may have been produced on Himmler's orders. A Czech Jewish prisoner, Irena Dudanowa, was the director and the camera team was made up of members of the SD. The film was about a Jewish family who were deported from Prague to Theresienstadt.

Event:  1942
Production:  1942
Terezin, Czechoslovakia
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Bundesarchiv Filmarchiv
Record last modified: 2023-03-14 15:07:24
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