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The Axe of Wandsbek (1951)
"Das Beil von Wandsbek" (original title)

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Title: The Axe of Wandsbek (1951)

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Complete credited cast:
Erwin Geschonneck ...
Käthe Braun ...
Gefion Helmke ...
Dr. Käthe Neumeier
Willy A. Kleinau ...
Ursula Meissner ...
Annette Koldewy
Arthur Schröder ...
Dr. Koldewey (as Arthur Schroeder)
Claus Holm ...
SA-Sturmführer Trowe
Fritz Wisten ...
Siegfried Mengers
Maly Delschaft ...
Frau Lehmke
Helmuth Hinzelmann ...
Oberst Lintze
Blandine Ebinger ...
Frau Lintze
Gisela May ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Thea Achenwall
Erika Dannhoff
Elfie Dugall ...


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Release Date:

11 May 1951 (East Germany)  »

Also Known As:

The Axe of Wandsbek  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

If You're Searching for Undiscovered Cinema Gems...This Is It!
17 October 2013 | by (Pasto, Colombia) – See all my reviews

........................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA...and ORLANDO, FL

Upon seeing the Promo Poster for the first time, I was vilely repulsed. My God! It looks like a recruitment poster for an SS Death Squad! Whose idea of a sick joke was this, anyway? But the image kept ricocheting around in my brain non-stop. Hmmm...1951, after the war. It's got to be ANTI-Nazi, for sure, I thought.

Many of us spend time searching for "hidden gems". "The Axe of Wandsbek" is, unequivocally, my best find to date, bar none! It is a truly misunderstood masterpiece, of great cinematic, social and historic import.

Director Falk Harnak was a member of the German resistance during the war, as was his brother and most of his extended family. Harnak's brother and most of his relatives were German Gentiles who died in Nazi death camps. Harnak himself narrowly escaped death at Dachau. After the war, the ("We Love Freedom") Americans REFUSED to grant him permission to make this film. He was forced to ask the Russians, in control of East Germany, and they gave him the green light.

AXE played to packed houses in the East until the Russians, after only 3 weeks, pulled the plug on its continued presentation and kept it out of East German release for over 30 years! (They had their own agenda, of course, and claimed AXE painted an unrealistically sympathetic portrait of the Nazis!) Harnak's film speaks a truth that has been yearning to be told for decades! "For ye shall know the TRUTH...and the TRUTH shall set you FREE!"

Before viewing, it is indispensable that you watch University of Massachusetts Historian Dr. Allen's Special Features explanation of the great social and historical significance of AXE. At 30 minutes it's a bit long, but worth it! Dr. Allen adds that in 1951 Germans seemed anathema to any forum in search of collective catharsis. All background info mentioned here comes from her interview. BTW, AXE is exquisitely made! 10*, but recommended primarily for History, Sociolgy, Poly-Sci or classic foreign cinema enthusiasts!....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!

Any comments, questions or observations, in English or Español, are most welcome!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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