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The Führer Gives the Jews a City (1944)
"Theresienstadt" (original title)

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4.3
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This is the only film known to be made by the Nazis inside an operating concentration camp. Germany's Ministry of Propaganda produced this 1944 film about Theresienstadt, the "model" ghetto... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Eppstein ...
Vorsitzender des Ältestenrates der Juden / Soziologe - Mannheim - Berlin
Karel Fischer ...
Dirigent
Kurt Gerron ...
Regisseur - Schauspieler
Frau Görtz ...
Gräfin - Holland
...
Himself
Hans Krása ...
Komponist - Prag
Alfred Meissner ...
Jurist - ehem. Minister - Tschechoslowakei
Jo Spier ...
Maler - Zeichner - Holland
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Storyline

This is the only film known to be made by the Nazis inside an operating concentration camp. Germany's Ministry of Propaganda produced this 1944 film about Theresienstadt, the "model" ghetto established by the Nazis in 1941 in Terezin, a town in the former Czechoslovakia. Joseph Goebbels intended to use the film to prove to the International Red Cross and the world that Jews were being well-treated in the camps. The film, however, is an elaborately staged hoax presenting a completely false picture of camp life. Upon completion, the director and most of the cast of prisoners were shipped to Auschwitz. Only a few survived to attest to the falsity of the film. Includes study guide. Written by National Center for Jewish Film

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The Führer Gives the Jews a City  »

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Only about 20 minutes of this film survives. See more »

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Featured in Friendship Beyond the Fence (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Macabre
3 May 2004 | by (Santa Susana, Portugal) – See all my reviews

I've just recently seen on a cable tv channel (yes, there is still intelligent life out there) a documentary about the german(and unfortunately for him also jewish)actor and director Kurt Gerron. His life's history impressed me so much that I couldn't help going back to the Holocaust and the open wounds it has left all across Europe even today. "Theresienstadt" (a concentration camp by any other name in what is now the Czech Republic) was a Faust-like bargain. Gerron hadn't directed a film in seven years - since the dutch "Three Wishes". He achieved the impossible portraying a concentration camp that could pass for a normal and much improved jewish ghetto. Some of his inmates proscribed him for it. Others, who have survived, aren't entirely sure they would have done different if faced with the prospect of immediate death for themselves and their families. In any case, the "cast" (mostly children) of this surreal exercise were transported to Auschwitz shortly after completion of the film. As were Kurt Gerron and his family. They were murdered on arrival. This has got to be, with the benefit of hindsight, one of the most disturbing pieces of film ever shot. And quite impossibly to vote for on a scale of 1 to 10. It is still too soon, too fresh, utterly unpardonable.


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