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Kolberg (1945)

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During Napoleon's victorious campaign in Germany, the city of Kolberg gets isolated from the retreating Prussian forces. The population of Kolberg refuses to capitulate and organizes the ... See full summary »


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Title: Kolberg (1945)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristina Söderbaum ...
Horst Caspar ...
Gen. Gneisenau
Gustav Diessl ...
Lt. Schill
Stadtkommandant Loucadou
Bauer Werner
Charles Schauten ...
Claus Clausen ...
Irene von Meyendorff ...
Heinz Lausch ...
Friedrich Werner
Kurt Meisel ...
Claus Werner
Paul Bildt ...
Jakob Tiedtke ...
Hans Hermann Schaufuß ...
Zaufke (as H.H. Schaufuss)
Franz Schafheitlin ...
Fanselow (as F. Schafheitlin)


During Napoleon's victorious campaign in Germany, the city of Kolberg gets isolated from the retreating Prussian forces. The population of Kolberg refuses to capitulate and organizes the resistance against the French army, which immediately submits the city to massive bombardments. Written by Eduardo Casais <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Romance | War


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Release Date:

22 March 1998 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Burning Hearts  »

Box Office


DEM 8,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was first shown to German troops in Occupied France (La Rochelle). See more »


Nettelbeck was arrested by Lucadou after he threatened him to kill him with his sword for saying that they might have to 'eat crow'. But, differently as it portrayed in the movie, this happened not after a disagreement about transporting the cannons to Kolberg but after after the argument about Lucadou's command to rip off the pavement. Lucadou said the line in real life because during that moment a bomb came nearby. See more »


Maria Werner: Dear God, you shall not be angry about me, we lived so well so far but please help us now, please help us. Oh, I'm not afraid about myself but don't let Schill die. Only hold your hands upon Schill, father in heaven. Only upon Schill.
See more »


Featured in Münchhausen: Ein mythos in Agfacolor (2005) See more »


Ein Volk steht auf
See more »

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User Reviews

Now It's Part Of Poland
18 November 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I suppose some kind of cosmic justice has been meted out to all concerned in regard to Kolberg the town and Kolberg the final propaganda product film of the Third Reich. This piece of turf that became the symbol of German resistance to Napoleon whose story Josef Goebbels had hoped to inspire the Reich populace to resist and fight the invaders from east and west in 1945 is now part of Poland.

The film is an awesome piece of spectacle especially when you consider the money spent and the manpower appropriated from the battlefield by Dr. Goebbels to be extras, playing being French and Prussian soldiers for the camera and missing the real war where doubtless a lot of them would be killed. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of candles were lit for Goebbels in many German households today because of it.

The story is after Austerlitz Napoleon pretty much had the run of things in Europe for a while. In his march toward Russia he met this incredible resistance from the former Hanseatic League town of Kolberg. Inspired by its mayor played by Heinrich George and Horst Caspar as General Gneissenau the place held out against incredible odds until the Treaty of Tilsit was signed, one of the few places in the future united Germany to do so. A whole lot like the way the City of Leningrad held out for years against the Nazis invading though that was a comparison the Third Reich would not be making.

George who was a favorite and favored player during the Third Reich is brilliant as Mayor Joachim Nettelbrick who spent as much time battling with Paul Wegener as the first commandant of the garrison as with the French. I had to think about that one for a bit, but it occurred to me that Hitler would probably have liked the citizen mayor showing up the professional army man as George continually does. After he was just a corporal and had conquered most of Europe against the advice of most of his generals. Of course then Gneissenau who is an ideal Aryan teams up with the mayor and they triumph.

The battle scenes populated with extras who were thanking whatever Gods they worshiped that they were not in the real war only miles away are staged brilliantly. The message of Kolberg is resistance and none of the other Nazi prejudices made its way into the film.

Veit Harlan one of the Third Reich's favored directors brought this one in which in Hollywood would have had the studio bean counters tearing the hair out of their heads. Krista Soderbaum who was the symbol of blond Aryan womanhood and Harlan's wife is also in the film who sustains several tragic losses, but carries on.

In a booklet that accompanied the DVD of Kolberg I ordered it pointed out the film did not have quite the impact that Goebbels thought it would after its Berlin premiere on January 30, 1945. First of all it had limited bookings because 90% of the theaters in Germany had been destroyed by Allied bombings. And by the time it came out the people were really not responding too well to the Propaganda Ministry's pablum.

I have to say that this last film from Goebbels is brilliantly conceived and executed. But after World War II Kolberg became and remains part of Poland with its German population expelled or worse by the Russian Army and Polish resistance. So what was it all about?

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