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The Axe of Wandsbek (1951)

Das Beil von Wandsbek (original title)
After a crime is committed during the Nazi era in the Reeperbahn area of Hamburg,the aspiring local leader,a ship owner,needs to find an executioner to kill the perpetrators(the crime is ... See full summary »

Director:

Falk Harnack
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Erwin Geschonneck ... Albert Teetjen
Käthe Braun Käthe Braun ... Stine Teetjen
Gefion Helmke Gefion Helmke ... Dr. Käthe Neumeier
Willy A. Kleinau Willy A. Kleinau ... SS-Standartenführer Hans Peter Footh
Ursula Meissner Ursula Meissner ... Annette Koldewey
Blandine Ebinger Blandine Ebinger ... Aga Lintze
Hilde Sessak Hilde Sessak ... Anneliese Blüthe
Fritz Wisten Fritz Wisten ... Siegfried Mengers
Erika Dannhoff Erika Dannhoff ... Lene Prestow
Albert Garbe Albert Garbe ... Otto Merzenich
Hermann Stövesand Hermann Stövesand ... Friedrich Timme
Gert Schaefer Gert Schaefer ... Willi Schröter
Friedrich Honna Friedrich Honna ... Otto Lehmke
Gina Presgott Gina Presgott ... Dörte Lehmke
Charlotte Küter Charlotte Küter ... Geesche Barfey
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Storyline

After a crime is committed during the Nazi era in the Reeperbahn area of Hamburg,the aspiring local leader,a ship owner,needs to find an executioner to kill the perpetrators(the crime is blamed on the Communists) and turns to a butcher,who has fallen on hard times and can use the cash. Written by Lawrence Chadbourne

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

East Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

11 May 1951 (East Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

The Axe of Wandsbek See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Deutsche Film (DEFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
If You're Searching for Undiscovered Cinema Gems...This Is It!
17 October 2013 | by KissEnglishPastoSee 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!

KissEnglishPasto@Yahoo.com


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