In this notorious Nazi propaganda historical costume melodrama, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Süß Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kristina Söderbaum ...
Dorothea Sturm / Faber
...
...
Rabbi Loew / Levy - Oppenheimers Sekretär / Schächter Isaak / seniler Alte (as Werner Krauß)
Eugen Klöpfer ...
Landschaftskonsulent Sturm
Albert Florath ...
Obrist Röder
Malte Jaeger ...
Aktuarius Faber
Theodor Loos ...
Franz Joseph Freiherr von Remchingen
Hilde von Stolz ...
Herzogin von Württemberg
Else Elster ...
Luziana
Walter Werner ...
Herr Fiebelkorn
Jakob Tiedtke ...
Konsistorialrat
Otto F. Henning ...
Vorsitzender des Gerichts (as Otto Henning)
Emil Heß ...
Schmied Hans Bogner
Charlotte Schultz ...
Frau Fiebelkorn
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Storyline

In this notorious Nazi propaganda historical costume melodrama, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Süß Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by showering the corrupt duke with treasure and promises of even greater riches. As the Jew's schemes grow more elaborate and his actions more brazen, the dukedom nearly erupts into civil war. Persuaded by the Jew, the Duke all but scuttles the constitution and alienates the assembly by lifting the local ban on Jews in Stuttgart. In a final outrage, the Jew rapes a wholesome German girl and tortures her father and fiancée. When the Duke succumbs to a sudden heart attack, the assembly of Elders try the Jew and sentence him to death for having "carnal knowledge of a Christian woman". Written by Kevin Rayburn <kprayb01@gwise.louisville.edu>

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Drama

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Release Date:

23 January 1941 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Jew Süss  »

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(Tobis-Klangfilm)

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production used residents from the Jewish ghettos of Prague and Lublin as extras in several scenes. See more »

Goofs

The film tells that Joseph Süß Oppenheimer lived in the Jew Alley (Judengasse) in the ghetto in Frankfurt before he moved to Württemberg. Actually he lived in Württemberg, since his birth in Heidelberg. Even his first meeting with Karl Alexander, before he became Duke of Württemberg was in Bad Wildbad, a place in Württemberg See more »

Quotes

Joseph Süß Oppenheimer: I thought Württemberg was rich?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Forbidden Films (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nazi propaganda as historical allegory
21 April 2015 | by (NYC suburbs) – See all my reviews

"In this film I show primordial Judaism, as it was then and as it has remained until today, substantially unchanged. In contrast to international Judiasm, there is only the Jew Süss, the elegant court financial adviser, the treacherous schemer; in short: the disguised Jew." -Veit Harlan, DER FILM, Berlin, January 20, 1940

In 1737, German-Jewish financier Josef Süss Oppenheimer stood trial for "fraud, embezzlement, treason, lecherous relations with the court ladies, and accepting bribes" and Veit Harlan's anti-Semetic propaganda piece is the Nazi "prosecution" to Lothar Mendes' 1934 British "defense" film of the same name. In the early eighteenth century, no Jews were allowed to enter Stuttgart and the crafty Jew Süss vows to get in and open the way for the rest of his people. Indebted to the money-lender, the weak-willed, blustery lech Duke Karl Alexander allows him in and makes Süss his financial adviser against the advice of the governing Counsel. Soon, the city begins to buckle under the heavy taxation and rampant inflation and after he begins pimping for his sovereign, Süss persuades the Duke to lift the ban on Jews. Next, Süss urges him to disband the Council and proclaim himself absolute monarch but after Süss rapes a Councilman's daughter and she commits suicide, the people rise up and revolt, causing the death of the Duke. Despite his protests that he was just a poor Jew following orders, Süss is tried, convicted, and executed, strung up in a bird cage high above the village square where in real life his corpse hung for six years as a constant reminder. "Jews aren't wise, only clever." The Jews are cast out of Stuttgart again and the film's closing speech warns future generations to do the same ...for the sake of the children.

Correlations between both Rasputin and the court of Versailles are evoked and the Lord is invoked just as often to condemn Jewry in no uncertain terms. One Councilman reads from "Luther" (a Lutheran bible?) which says that outside of the Devil, man has no worse enemy than the Jew and God wants them "scattered like ashes across the earth" (which gave me a bad ISIS vibe) but despite the reprehensible message, there's no denying director Harlan had a sure hand when it came to staging public unrest and the pomp of court intrigue. Lead actor Ferdinand Marian was reminiscent of Hollywood's Joseph Shildkraut in MGM's MARIE ANTOINETTE and he also knew his craft.

Commissioned by the Third Reich's Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, JUD Süß is almost as melodramatic and just as lavish as its British counterpart with the same attention to detail and, long unseen, had acquired a mythically horrific reputation over time. Objectionable to modern audiences everywhere except the Middle East, the film was a big hit in Nazi Germany when first released. Re-examined of late, Veit Harlan's "key historical document...remains a deeply unsettling cinematic experience" with a legit, restored DVD release.

After the war, director Harlan stood trial for "crimes against humanity" and insisted that not only was he ordered to make the film, he actually managed to tone it down considerably. He was given a light sentence and his artistic reputation has been somewhat rehabilitated in recent years. The film's Jew Süss, Ferdinand Marian, was similarly accused and committed suicide in 1946. Although I'm no scholar on the subject, like everything else, the truth about Jew Süss most likely lies somewhere between the British canonization and the Nazi demonization and the contrast between the two films is both fascinating and enlightening. Ironically, Harlan's ANDERS ALS DU UND ICH ("Different From You And Me" 1957) was another long unseen shocker that was alleged to have done for gays what JUD Süß did for Jews but seeing both the cut and uncut versions now, its clear Harlan's film was much more "sensitive" (for the time, anyway) than the homophobic German censor's cut.


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