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Nazi Propaganda - "The Eternal Jew"

WARNING!!  THIS RACIST FILM WAS CREATED DURING THE REGIME OF ADOLF HITLER TO VILIFY THE JEWISH PEOPLE.  A PIECE OF NAZI PROPAGANDA, AND DELIBERATELY VICIOUS, IT IS PROVIDED HERE TO SERVE AS ITS OWN PRIMARY SOURCE.

NOTE THAT THE FILM IS BANNED IN SOME COUNTRIES BECAUSE OF ITS RACIST, PREJUDICIAL CONTENT.  PROCEED WITH GREAT CAUTION.


In the movie, Inglourious Basterds, a Nazi character called Hans Landa (portrayed by Christoph Waltz) likens the Jewish people to rats.   Hitler's regime explicitly made that comparison, as demonstrated in this propaganda film, beginning at 16:15. 

Hans Landa - also known as "The Jew Hunter," in the film - takes the Nazi regime's message seriously.  His principle job is searching for Jewish people who might be hiding in France (and elsewhere).

This film also makes the following claims at the noted segments:

12:30 - The Jewish people are "perpetual wanderers"

13:40 - "Their homelessness is a matter of choice"

30:30 - Germany was helpless, in 1918, at the end of World War One

The Eternal Jew, banned in some countries for its racist, prejudicial content, is at least one source which may help us understand why Nazi soldiers and German citizens were convinced to support Hitler's policies and regime. 

Stig Hornshøj-Møller, a Danish scholar who studied the film and produced a source-critical review of it, notes the following regarding its background and impact on the German people:

Goebbels made the idea of a genocidal solution of the Jewish problem saturate the whole film, which must be considered as his personal attempt to make Hitler himself draw the "natural" consequences of his own exterministic ideology. The film was tested and recut according to Hitler's wishes several times, before the Führer finally endorsed it for public showing, probably on May 20, 1940 - the day, when German troops reached the English Channel and thus made the fall of France a matter of time.

However, it was several months before "The Eternal Jew" began to be distributed, because Goebbels awaited the finalizing of yet another important part of his antisemitic propaganda package: the feature film "Jud Süß." The latter was intended to inflame antisemitic feelings, which then were to be "proven by facts" in the "authentic film document." "Jud Süß" had its opening night, with much publicity, at the film festival in Venice on September 6, 1940, while "The Eternal Jew" was shown to the top people of the Third Reich two days later as an example of the new type of propaganda which should prepare the German public to the continuation of the war. Now it was impossible to anyone present to be ignorant of the fact that the war was not just a "normal" war. It was an outspoken racial war against "alien world views."

"The Eternal Jew" finally had its public premiere on November 28, 1940, when the director, Fritz Hippler, in an interview broadcast all over Germany, claimed that the film contained the very proof for Hitler's prophecy from 1939. Hippler also pointed out, that the premise of the prophecy, the war, had become a reality. Immediately after the film had been shown all over Germany, Hitler began to recall the prophecy in his speeches and in private conversations, thus clearly verbally endorsing the message of the film about the necessity of launching the genocide.

In other words, it can be argued that "The Eternal Jew" was Hitler's promulgation to the public about what was to be expected in the war against the Jews, in which he used the emotional power of modern reality-like mass-media in order to transfer his decision to ways of thinking and actions within perpetrators and bystanders. The German people should - just as he had outlined in his critique of the German propaganda after the Reichscristallnight - all by themselves and by their own conviction take the decision of systematically killing the European Jews:

What one cannot solve benignly, one has to solve by means of violence, as it cannot go on like this.

From a purely historical perspective, "The Eternal Jew" is undoubtedly a very important means for the understanding of both Nazism and the Holocaust. No other single historical source gives so much information and insight about Nazi ideology and world view as this film.

The film is in German, dubbed here in English.


Media Credits

Quoted passage from "The Eternal Jew - a Blueprint for Genocide," by Stig Hornshøj-Møller (Danish scholar, filmaker, writer and author of a critical-source review of "The Eternal Jew"). 

The paper was presented at a Holocaust conference in Sweden (on March 24, 1998) and a Holocaust conference in Millersville, Pennsylvania (on April 27, 1998) the year before Hornshøj-Møller's death.

"The Eternal Jew," released in 1940, online via YouTube.

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Nazi Propaganda - "The Eternal Jew"" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 07, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Nazi-Propaganda-The-Eternal-Jew-/1>.
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