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East German Film and the Holocaust

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Volume 22

Film Europa

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East German Film and the Holocaust

Elizabeth Ward

264 pages, 27 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-747-7 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Not Yet Published (July 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-748-4 eBook Not Yet Published

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“Offering new historical information coupled with refined close readings and an impressive amount of archival work, East German Film and the Holocaust is an informative, insightful and fascinating book. It will be of interest to film scholars and historians alike.” • Brad Prager, University of Missouri


East Germany’s ruling party never officially acknowledged responsibility for the crimes committed in Germany’s name during the Third Reich. Instead, it cast communists as both victims of and victors over National Socialist oppression while marginalizing discussions of Jewish suffering. Yet for the 1977 Academy Awards, the Ministry of Culture submitted Jakob der Lügner – a film focused exclusively on Jewish victimhood that would become the only East German film to ever be officially nominated. By combining close analyses of key films with extensive archival research, this book explores how GDR filmmakers depicted Jews and the Holocaust in a country where memories of Nazi persecution were highly prescribed, tightly controlled and invariably political.

Elizabeth Ward is a Lecturer in German Studies at the University of Hull and specializes in German film. She is a steering committee member of the German Screen Studies Network and has published on East German cinema, contemporary Holocaust film and twenty-first century German film.

Subject: Film Studies Genocide Studies Postwar History
Area: Germany


List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms


Part I: 1945–1949

Chapter 1. Picking Up the Pieces. Kurt Maetzig’s Ehe im Schatten

Part II: 1949–1961

Chapter 2. The German Democratic Republic’s Ambassador of Good Will. Konrad Wolf’s Sterne
Chapter 3. Reframing Victimhood. Konrad Wolf’s Professor Mamlock

Part III: 1961–1971

Chapter 4. Crimes of the Past and Politics of the Present. Wolfgang Luderer’s Lebende Ware
Chapter 5. ‘In Babelsberg, Nothing New’. Gottfried Kolditz’s Das Tal der sieben Monde

Part IV: 1971–1980

Chapter 6. New Encounters on Well-Worn Paths: Kurt Jung-Alsen’s Die Bilder des Zeugen Schattmann
Chapter 7. Returning to the Past. Frank Beyer’s Jakob der Lügner

Part V: 1980–1989

Chapter 8. Shifting Identities. Michael Kann’s Stielke, Heinz, fünfzehn
Chapter 9. Calendar-Based Shame? Siegfried Kühn’s Die Schauspielerin



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