Propaganda film

under a propaganda film one understands a dokumentar, a short or a feature, which are located in direct purchase to the measures of the government or the political grouping, that arranges or promotes its production. Already in the First World War the medium film was for the first time used by all war parties with large effect for purposes of propaganda.

In the broader sense the term covers also films, with which individual parties or groups of interests recruit for their political goals.

Table of contents

beginnings and the First World War

German Reich

during the First World War in Germany propaganda films were already produced. Responsibly the picture and film place of the MAA (military place of the Foreign Office) were original, from to 30. January 1917 the picture and office for film (BUFA) came out.

Type of film examples
anti-French of films the black disgrace (Carl bad, 1921)
advertisement for the re-establishment of the monarchy of Fridericus Rex films (since 1920)

Austria Hungary

during the First World War was for the propaganda activities of Austria Hungary the K.u.k. War press accomodation (KPQ) responsibly. In order to become fair the increasing meaning of the film and its propagandistic role, 1915 the Austrian Industrielle and film pioneer Sascha Kolowrat Krakowsky, which already turned 1914 the first films of theaters of war, were entrusted with the line of the Filmexpositur of the KPQ. This had the production of the first week looking reports in Austria under the name war journal, late Sascha Messter Wochenschau, to the consequence.

the USA

type of film examples
advertisement of the American war entrance The Battle Cry OF Peace (1915), Hearts OF the World (1918)
advertisement for discrimination of the colored ones for the Ku-Klux-clan The Birth OF A nation (1915)
Pazifisti films Intolerance (1916)
abolishment of the death penalty The People vs. John Doe (1916)

Soviet Union

type of film examples
revolution advertisement tank cruiser Potemkin (1925), Octobers (1927)

intermediate wartime and the Second World War

Germany: Proletarian film

in the years around 1930 erstarkte in Germany for the first time also communist film propaganda. Film companies like the Prometheus film and the film trust “world film” GmbH began the medium not only for the documentation of social bad states to use but also for the representation of the work political linking. Beside dokumentar and publicity films first proletarian features developed as “around daily bread” (1928/29), for “nut/mother of creasing travel into the luck” (1929) and” Kuhle Wampe “(1931/32).

Germany: National socialism

under the features from the time of the national socialism films with communist manifestos form for political-propagandistic contents of a portion of 14.1% (Albrecht). While features should maintain and divert, was National Socialist propaganda the Wochenschauen and documentary films reserve, which were always shown in the cinema as support program. Only after the German assault on Poland at the 1. September 1939 rose the number of the propagandistic features and reached its high point in the year 1942, in order to decrease/go back thereafter in consideration of war and propaganda-tired public again.

To differentiate one must with the National Socialist propaganda films of order for state on the one hand and such propaganda films on the other hand, which were produced by the film industry quasi in hurrying ahead obedience. Into the latter group z fall. B. the films “Hitler boy Quex”, “SA-Mann fire” and “Hans Westmar” (all three 1933). Among the order for state, which were produced on behalf realm Ministry for public enlightenment and propaganda under personal influencing control by Joseph the Goebbels, z rank. B. Leni of scoring steel olympia film and the holding out film Kolberg (1945).

The most important means of National Socialist film propaganda was the polarization, D. h. the confrontation of oversubscribed desire and enemy pictures. In this way z developed. B. anti-British, anti-Russian, anti-Polish and anti-Semitic propaganda films. Many films were produced purposefully for the preparation of political measures. “I complain on” (1941) - a film about “killing on demands” - z should. B. the emotional basis for the acceptance “euthanasia” - law create, which an enormous national murder wave followed.

Type of film examples
of films over the NSDAP and her organizations SA-Mann fire (1933), Hans Westmar (1933), Hitler boy Quex (1933), I for you - you for me (1934), Jakko (1941), head highly, Johannes (1941), boy eagle (1944)
topic „communitythe four Musketiere (1934), desire concert (1940)
topic „dying for Germany “ the rebel (1932), morning-red (1933), Hans Westmar (1933), Hitler boy Quex (1933), refugees (1933), enterprise Michael (1937), vacation on word of honour (1937), D III 88 (1939), desire concert (1940), combat squadron Lützow (1941), Spätrupp resounding garden (1941), dive bombers (1941), sky dogs (1941)
Gefolgschaftsfilme the old and the young king (1935), the ruler (1937), my son, the Mr. Minister (1937), a people enemy (1937), Pour le Mérite (1938), Bismarck (1940), Carl Peter (1941)
topic „large Germans “ the old and the young king (1935), Robert cook, the Bekämpfer of death (1939), Friedrich Schiller. The triumph of a genius (1940), Bismarck (1940), Carl Peter (1941), ohms of Krüger (1941), Andreas Schlüter (1942), the large king (1942), Diesels (1942), the dismissal (1942)
anticommunist and anti-Russian films SA-Mann fire (1933), Hans Westmar (1933), Hitler boy Quex (1933), around the human right (1934), Friesennot (1935), Henker, women and soldiers (1935), the Warsaw citadel (1937), comrades on lake (1938), G. P. And. (1942), the golden spider (1943)
war propaganda films heroism and death fight of our Emden (1934), enemies (1940), blood brother shank (1940/41), victory in the west (1941), good-bye, Franziska (1941), head highly, Johannes (1941), over everything in the world (1941), home coming (1941), sky dogs (1942), crew Dora (1943), boy eagle (1944)
anti-British films the girl Johanna (1935), traitors (1936), to new banks (1937), the fox of Glenarvon (1940), my life for Ireland (1941), Carl Peter (1941), ohms of Krüger (1941), notice on Baku (1942), Germanin (1943)
anti-Semitic films Robert and Bertram (1939), linen from Ireland (1939), the Rothschilds (1940), Jud sweet (1940), the eternal Jew (1940), ohms of Krüger (1941),… rides home coming (1941) for Germany ( 1941), Venus before court (1941), G. P. And. (1942)
„euthanasia “- films victims of the past (1937), I complain at (1941)
advertisement for the death penalty in the name of the people (1939)
holding out films Kolberg (1945)

see also:

Austria first Republic of

victim of the hate (1923), on behalf the Jewish welfare organization
the Wochenschau as state propaganda for the Austrofaschismus
Federal Chancellor Dr. Dollfuss dead (1934), the attempt of a Glorifizierung of the person
the patriotic front (1938), application of the Austrofaschismus and “Austria ore around”

Italy under fascism

the one of the most well-known Italian propaganda films, which were produced under Mussolini as order for state, is Roman hero pos „the Scipione l' africano “(Carmine gallon, 1937).


1937 produced Jean Renoir the classical anti-war film “La grande illusion”.

Great Britain

in Great Britain developed during the Second World War propagandistic war films as „in Which incoming goods Serve “and „Went the Day wave?“(both 1942).

to the USA

type of film examples
Pazifisti films The Four Horsemen OF the Apocalypse (1921), The bend parade (1925), Wings (1927), in the west nothing new (1930), The Road ton of Glory (1936)
war films Hell's Angels (1930), The Dawn Patrol (1930), The Dawn Patrol (1938)
patriotic films Sergeant York (1941)
anti-Nazi films, anti-fascist films Confessions OF A Nazi Spy (1939) For Whom the Bell Tolls (1939), The Great Dictator (1940), Ambassadors in Moscow (mission ton of Moscow, 1943), Hangmen thus (1943), The Negro Soldier (1943), Why incoming goods Fight (1943-45)

Soviet Union

to the anti-Nazi films, which developed during the NS time in the Soviet Union, counts historical hero pos the Alexander new ski (1938).

from 1945 to today


type of film examples
anti-western of films codes loss No. at boss -. 5 (1979) - chronicle of a murder (1965) - the escape (1977) - the chin hook (1962) - reserved for death (1963)
pro GDR and system propaganda as Martin fourteen were (1964) - approach alpha I (1971) - mayors Anna (1950) - three of us (1965) - always ready (1950)
class warfare films from my childhood (1975) - farmers fulfill the plan (1952) - Betrogen up to the recent day (1957) - Ernst Thälmann - son of its class (1954) - Ernst Thälmann - leaders of its class (1955) - an educating goal class fighter (1967) - the Unbesiegbaren (1953) - ours daily bread (1949) - commodity for Katalonien (1959)

the USA

type of film examples
antisoviet/anticommunist films I married a communist (I Married A Communist, 1949) - Ambassador of the fear (The Manchurian Candidate, 1962) - the red tide (1984) - Rambo III (1988)
abolishment of the death penalty DEAD one Walking (1995)


  • Gerd Albrecht, National Socialist film politics, Munich (Hanser) 1969
  • Hilmar Hoffmann, „and the flag leads us into the eternity “. Propaganda in the LV film, Frankfurt (Fischer paperback) 1988
  • Erwin of quiet, „Germany, awakes! “. Propaganda in the film of the third realm, Reinbek (rororo) 1968
  • Dorothea Hollstein, “Jud sweet” and the Germans. Anti-Semitic prejudices in the National Socialist feature, Frankfurt (Fischer paperback) 1983
  • Dorothea Hollstein, anti-Semitic film propaganda. The representation of the Jew in the National Socialist feature, Munich and Berlin (publishing house documentation) 1971 (identically to the aforementioned title)

see also

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