The Third Reich on Screen, 1929–2015

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About the Book

For more than 80 years, images of the Third Reich have appeared in newsreels, documentaries, and fictional stories—from comedies and musicals to war, horror and science fiction films. Many of these representations say as much about the filmmakers as they do about Nazism itself. Hollywood often used the brutal Nazi as an all-purpose villain in escapist adventures set during and after the war, but just as often used him to attack the evil he symbolized.
Drawing on studio files, correspondence of the Production Code office and the writings of noted historians and critics, this book describes the making of many such films produced in Hollywood, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc nations. Biographies of several military and political figures who served as the basis for Nazi characters compare the cinematic and real-life versions.

About the Author(s)

Writer, actor and comedian Bob Herzberg is the author of scholarly books and western novels. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Bob Herzberg
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 212
Bibliographic Info: 38 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6426-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2697-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Introduction 1

I Infection (1929–1937): ­Weimar-era filmmaking and the disease taking root in Germany 9

II Rage (1938–1941): As Nazi aggression spreads across Europe, voices of defiance are finally heard 40

III Inferno (1942–1945): America enters World War II as the combatants attack each other ­on-screen as well as off 76

IV Final Solutions (1946–1954): Postwar Hollywood and Washington continue to ignore the Holocaust even as Nazi war criminals are hunted down ­on-screen 114

V Airbrush (1955–1962): Both Hollywood and Germany rewrite history as it condemns Nazism while praising “good Germans” in ­war-themed films 136

VI Meshugannah (1963–1980): Mad doctors, Nazi zombies, attempts to revive Hitler, death camp perverts and Ships of Fools 165

VII Ghosts (1981–2015): Concentration camp children

appear as ­next-door neighbors, we find out what it’s like to be Hitler’s secretary, and Nazi zombies return (with a vengeance!) 179

Chapter Notes 193

Bibliography 195

Index 199

Book Reviews & Awards

“a thoughtful, occasionally subversive look how the Nazi regime portrayed itself and was portrayed by others from the rise of the movement to the present. A good book for the film student or anyone interested in World War II”—The NYMAS Review.