19 February 2008

‘The Führer gives a village to the Jews’

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A Nazi propaganda film made in Terezin (Theresienstadt), a fortress and town in the Czech Republic where the Nazis concentrated Jewish prisoners before transporting them to Auschwitz. The director, Kurt Gerrin, was himself a prisoner. Like the rest of the cast, he was taken to Auschwitz and murdered shortly after these scenes were shot in 1944.

This film is an notorious example of Nazi exploitation of Potemkinist techniques. Earlier in 1944, the International Committee of the Red Cross had visited Terezin to investigate conditions there. Thousands had already died, but the townwas given a benign appearance. It was cleaned up, painted, augmented with fake shop fronts while its population was strategically reduced by transportations to Auschwitz. Having successfully duped the Red Cross, the Nazi authorities ordered Gerron to make this film, apparently intending to give their deception a wider circulation.

See film here» Read Democratic Underground’s entry about the film here» Read Wikipedia entry here»

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2008 at 11:20 am and is filed under Found Objects, Potemkinism and Camouflage. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.