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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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 <email@example.com>
The film was seen by 20 million Germans during its original theatrical run. An additional 20 million people in other European countries are estimated to have seen it. It was also shown to all SS inductees at the request of Heinrich Himmler, a policy that was implemented two weeks after the film's premiere. See more »
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 »
This film can be viewed from several different angles, and it indeed is. First of all, it's by no means a bad film, meaning - it's very aptly directed, and the narrative runs smoothly. Some of the leading actors are very good, especially Ferdinand Marian, who doesn't stoop to anything banal and draws us a fascinating portrait of a man you can both hate and love. Then there are the shots where German people have had enough of his cunning mastermind, and take justice in their own hands. Of course, when one is immersed in the film, you would do the same. Which means, the film works as it is meant. But then - one is always allowed to ask oneself whether it was impossible for this kind of thing to happen in 1730s Germany. I think it wasn't. I think we can watch this film, and hate the bad guy, without automatically deciding to hate every Jew in the world. After all, there are hundreds of films produced in Hollywood, where the bad guy is Russian or who ever. I do think we as human race are sufficiently grown to leave our emotions in the cinema auditorium and not be influenced by something that we know is not right.
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