POSTER GALLERY  --view over 500 12th.jpeg German film original posters from 1927–1954 from Germany and from across Europe!   

 

 

Note!  Posters in the Poster Gallery are PERMANENT acquisitions which are NOT FOR SALE!!   ONLY the posters listed in our POSTER STORE are for sale.  (They have a price and order button to use.)

 

 

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The Gaufilmstelle materials in our Collection

 

The Gaufilmstelle were the regional film distribution offices spread throughout Greater Germany and also in Occupied Poland and in the Protektorat of former Czech lands. They were part of the extensive propaganda network of the NSDAP.

In the 2003 book Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Kino (Kleinhaus, Bernd; PapyRosa Verlag, Köln, pp.164 ff.) the following facts about the Gaufilmstelle organisation are spelled out:

The NSDAP was keen to bring movies to the rural and farming areas, as some 23 million Germans, or roughly a quarter of the nation, lived where ther were no cinemas.  (Farmers and country folk were strong supporters of Hitler and his argarian policies, including the laws which forbad foreclosing on farms held for generations of German families.)

In 1935, there were a total of 227 mobile cinema trucks (Tonfilmwagen) being employed. By 1941 and through to war's end, there were a grand total of 835 Tonfilmwagen.

In the 1935 book Der Film in Staat und Partei (Belling, Curt; Velag Der Film, Berlin) an illustration symbolises the network of these Gau-Kries-Ort Filmstellen as of that time:

 

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 The book states that as of 1935, "more than 600" employees were working for the Gaufilmstelle across the Reich.

By the time of the Anschluß of Austria and the incorporation of the Sudenten lands into the Reich, three years later, there were 40 Gaufilmstelles (Districts), 771 Kriesfilmstelles (Circuits) and 22,357 Ortsfilmstelle (Places) in the Reich.

Each Gau or District/Region had its own film publication, as per this list found on the Internet:

•  Film und Bild. — Halle (Saale): NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Halle-Merseburg.
•  Film und Foto. — Dresden: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Sachsen.
•  Film der Partei, Nachrichten- u. Schulungsblatt d. Gaufilmstelle Bayer, Ostmark. — Bayreuth: Gauverl. Bayer. Ostmark.
•  Film in Partei und Gliederungen. — Halle (Saale): NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Halle-Merseburg.
•  Film in Partei und Schule. — Halle (Saale): NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Halle-Merseburg.
•  Der Film in Partei und Staat. — Berlin: NSDAP., Reichspropagandaleitung, Amtsleitung Film.
•  Filmdienst. — Hannover: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Südhannover-Braunschweig.
•  Filmdienst der Gaufilmstelle Düsseldorf der NSDAP. — Düsseldorf: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Düsseldorf.
•  Filmdienst der Gaufilmstelle Koblenz-Trier. — Koblenz: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Koblenz-Trier.
•  Filmdienst der NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Köln-Aachen. — Köln: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Köln-Aachen.
•  Film-Echo, Nachrichtenblatt d. Gaufilmstelle Schlesien. — Breslau: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Schlesien.
•  Film-Nachrichten der Gaufilmstelle Württemberg-Hohenzollern der NSDAP. — Stuttgart: NSDAP., Hauptstelle Film.
•  Film-Nachrichten - Mitteilungsblatt für den gesamten Bereich des deutschen Filmschaffens
•  Filmpropaganda. — Dresden: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Sachsen.
•  Nationalsozialistische Filmpropaganda. — Berlin: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Kurmark.
•  Deutsche Filmschau. Offiz. Organ d. Nationalverbandes dt. Filmhersteller u. -Verwerter. — Berlin: Dt. Film-Schau.
•  Die Filmstelle, Nachrichten d. NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Baden. — Karlsruhe: Führer-Verl.
•  Filmwacht. — Wien: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Niederdonau.
•  Berliner Filmwacht. — Berlin: NSDAP., Gaufilmstelle Berlin.

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 ABOVE: The Gaufilmstelle HQ in Silesia, Prussia.

BELOW: The relationship of the Gaufilmstelle to the German Film hierarchy is shown in the second panel of this organisational chart, copied from the pocket booklet  "Instructions to the projectionist of the Main Branches of the film Gaupropaganda Offices of the NSDAP."

 

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The Mission of the Gaufilmstelle was also spelled out in 7 key points in the booklet, along with introductory remarks:

 
" Basics.

The propagation of the German people and the care of the population by means of propaganda films and good cultural and feature films, the latter predominantly in the so-called cinema-free locations, is carried out by the main branches of the NSDAP's propaganda offices.

The main film departments (Gaufilmstellen) are not commercial companies, but party departments with only propaganda and cultural tasks!

The head of the main film department (head of the Gau office) is the supervisor of all employees of his department in a disciplinary and political sense, the head of the "Gaupropagandaamt", technically the head of the "Hauptamt Film" of the Reich Propaganda Directorate.

The main film offices receive direct instructions from the "Hauptamt Film" of the Reich Propaganda Directorate about program design, film use and all technical matters.

The diverse tasks set for party film work are essentially structured as follows:

1. Education and instruction through propaganda films of the party and the state;

2. Distribution of the newsreel and the best cultural and feature films to bring joy, relaxation and distraction from everyday worries to the population;

3. Conducting youth film lessons together with the HJ and;

4. Implementation of the currently extensive Wehrmacht support;

5. Cooperation with training and public education offices and related special efforts;

6. Taking care of the foreign people's workers gathered in community camps and;

7. Use of party films in the cinemas.

While the distribution of party-owned propaganda and feature films is carried out directly by the main film department, the practical implementation of the tasks listed in 1 to 6 is primarily in the hands of the film projectionist at the main film department.

There are few areas of work with such a beautiful and satisfying, but also important, responsible task!"

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We have very scarce Gaufilmstelle publication issues from:

 

Der Gaufilmstelle Westfallen–Nord:   Film–Nachrichten –Nr. 4  Mai 1939, Nr. 6 Juli 1939  

Gaupropaganda–Leitung Hauptstelle Film  Gau Hessen–Nassau: Partei und Film – Dezember 1938, Mai 1939  

Gau Hessen–Nassau: Propaganda–Dienst – Nr.2 Februar 1943.

Film der Partei -Gau Ostmark – Nr.-3, 1.März 1938

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We have 20 issues of the Gaufilmstelle Sachsen magazine Film & Foto which are from 1937/1938:

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A Gaufilmstelle cinema ticket from Berlin:

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We have two dozen handbills circulated for specific cinemas across Germany for various propaganda films. Here are some examples:

 

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We have these original Gaufilmstelle posters:

 

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We also have the original Gaufilm Westmark (bordering France) film poster for the Hitler Youth film Der Marsch zum Führer. The link takes you to a special page on the film, its background, history, and rare stills and materials associated with it.  It is the only known surviving poster for this film.

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Film screenings in regional towns and villages were delivered by mobile cinema vans and trucks, which hauled movie projectors, sound systems, and screens  with trained personnel to thousands of such places, and many hundreds of thousands of Germans were able to see films and newsreels annually, without having to travel to a major metropolitan city.

 

From our photographic collection:

 

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ABOVE 3 PHOTOS- The Gau Thüringen (Weimar district) mobile cinema trucks on the road. Note in the bottom photograph the installed record-player, which played military marches and the like prior to film screenings as audience members gathered, and also the 'Horst Wessel Lied' at the end of film screenings.

 

BELOW: photos from a Gaufilmstelle magazine in our Collection.

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In the photo below, the projection trailer with its window is shown at left, and the sound truck to the right, with cabling for the loudspeakers to be placed in front of the movie screen, as well as a microphone set-up to allow speakers to address audiences before and after the cinema presentation.

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In the photo below, the view inside the projector trailer.

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BELOW: In the issue of Film der Partei listed abovenews that open air cinema screenings were held in Bayreuth, attended by 11,000 people. The propaganda film S A Mann Brand was watched by 5,000 audience members alone. It reports that this 'new form' of screenings in the summer months was enthusiastically supported.  All up, there were 400 film screenngs attended by 120,000 persons. In calendar year 1937 the magazine reported some 96,000 citizens were shown films by 400 mobile cinema truck visits inside the borders of Gau Sachsen. Some 120,000 people saw films inside cinema theatres. Some 350,000 children and students attended film showings. Some 33,000 Hitler Youth members attended 66 screenings of "state-political films" such as Karl Ritter's Operation Michael and his Traitor. In total, just in one one Gau, no fewer than 967,400 persons attended films presented via the Gaufilmstelle Sachsen in  the year 1937.

 

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Further information on the film S A Mann Brand as well as it's Gaufilmstelle regional screenings in 1938, is available here.

 

 

BELOW: In the same issue, a page showing the schedule of the Tonfilmwagen or mobile cinema truck, which brought films to villages and hamlets. Note that the notorious documentary film Opfer der Vergangenheit / Victims of the Past, which promoted euthanasia for those suffering hereditary illness, was shown as a short film, along with the weekly newsreel, with the feature film Der lachende Dritte, across the Regensburg–Bayreuth area.

 

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In July 2020 we acquired probably the only surviving car pennant for a high–ranking official of the Gaufilmstelle. It was offered for sale by a militaria website in Germany.  It is the pennant from Gau Westfalen–Nord (an administrative division of Nazi Germany encompassing the Free State of Lippe, Free State of Schaumburg-Lippe and the northern half of the Prussian province of Westphalia between 1933 and 1945.) This is an incredibly rare museum piece which we were able to purchase after having missed the opportunity to do so some years ago when it was first auctioned in the USA. Our second chance simply could not be passed up.

 

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Provision of films to the Wehrmacht in the Occupied USSR though to 1944 fell to the Reichspropagandaleitung (RPL)  in a very similar method to the ways used by the Gaufilmstelle in the Greater German Reich. The RPL had its own mobile cinema trucks in the East, as per this photo from the film magazine Der Deutsche Film. Note the vehicle being towed through Soviet mud en route to a German base.

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From a 1937 issue of a Gaufilmstelle Sachsen magazine in our Collection, the announcement of the new Gaufilmstlle poster for the Riefenstahl  1934 Nürnberg Party Day film Triumph des Willens:

 

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From Dr. Goebbels' speech at the opening of the Hitler Youth Film Sessions  in Berlin, on September 29, 1940:

"From the very beginning up to the present day, the aim of the youth film work was to serve German film through a systematic film education of the young. On the other hand, however, the young people themselves should also be provided with an additional means of orientation or entertainment and instruction. In one season, after the planning of this great work for young people, an overview of all branches of German filmmaking will be given. Therefore, the selection of films is made from the entire annual production. In addition to the state-political programs, good entertainment and cultural films are shown. This youth film work is carried out centrally by the Press and Propaganda Office of the Reich Youth Leadership in conjunction with the Reich Propaganda Leadership of the NSDAP, Main Office for Film. In every Gaufilmstelle there is a HJ officer who, as the youth film department manager, directs the organisation of the youth film lessons. "

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In the "internal use only" book published by the Ufa film studio for its film diustribution staff ("Guidelines for Film Rental in the 1941/1942 Year," Berlin) from our library, the following statement is found as regards the role of the Gaufilmstellen:


The Reich Propaganda Administration (RPL), Film Department, has with its Gaufilmstelle,  to solve very special propaganda tasks during the war, and therefore must be more active than in the past.  This increased activity includes cinema presentations in both the movie theater locations and the locations without cinemas.

Here it can happen that Gaufilmstellen use film projection sites which are located on the periphery of larger cities and which have previously been used as locations by commercial cinemas. Cases are also conceivable in which there is [already] a stationary cinema even in such places or city districts, which the Gaufilmstelle is unwilling to take into account. In cinemas, films that are politically valuable and particularly valuable are shown by the Gaufilmstelle, even if one or the other very late follow-up productions has not yet been completed. These actions can lead to disputes between the theater owners and the branches.

The book then outlines five rules in place to resolve such disputes.