“History is not about the facts. It is about the context and who is telling the story.” —Prof. Milton Fine.
Here is the way that the Stettin Lichtspiele Theater promoted the film in 1933:
BLUTENDES DEUTSCHLAND (Director: Johannes Haußler, 1932, Terra-Film, running time: 36 Minutes / 978 meters.) The film depicted Germany from the establishment of the Reich by Bismarck in 1871, through to WWI, the Red uprisings, Ruhr occupation by French troops, Germans in the throes of the inflation–ridden Weimar Republic, and the rise of the NSDAP, with Hitler’s eventual assumption of power. It is considered an important film of "Zeitgeschichte" made prior to Hitler becoming Chancellor. A second longer version of the film was released on 30 March 1933 running 68 Minutes / 1855 meters to incorporate footage of Hitler’s assumption of power on 30 January ’33 and the celebrations across Berlin by the Nazi Party and its members –– and was the very first feature–length film of the Third Reich. The famous iconic scene of the Sturmabteilung men and others marching through the Brandenburg Gate with torches is depicted on this poster.The film is today lost and only an 17 minute fragment exists in the Bundesarchiv. The poster was designed by graphic artist Erich Meerwald, who designed few motion picture posters, and is most famous for his postage stamp designs for the Reichspost and post–1945 for the Bundespost.
Shown here for background information, from the Gillespie Collection, are: a very rare B&W original still from this lost film, showing the wife of Kaiser Wilhelm alighting a horse–drawn carriage in WWI, an exceedingly rare original 96th Street Theater cinema handbill advertisement for the film in 1941 in Manhattan, the Illustrierter Film–Kurier program for the film, and a German newspaper page heralding the new film and its storyline.
When the film was imported into the United States via the Port of New York City, in 1935, it was subject, as per all foreign films, to American censorship. The importer had to translate the sound track/narration/dialogue into English, side by side with the German original text, and submit that translated film script along with the German print for censorship review. Here we present two pages from the American censorship office in NYC to the German importer, demanding changes and deletions to the film print shown in Nazi Germany in early 1933.
After the film was censored according to the US demands, the altered film print was then approved for public screenings across America.
There were 17 cinemas scattered across America which imported German films and screened them to German populations and to non-German speaking audiences as well. ( It was common practice in the larger cities such as New York to import film prints without subtitles, as well as the film's prints with English subtitles; to cater to both audiences simultaneously.) As America did not enter WWII officially until after Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Blutendes Deutschland was shown in these US cinemas in 1940.
In Manhattan, there was the 96th Street Theatre in Yorkville, the Garden Theatre on 81st Street; the 78th Street Theatre at 79th St. and 2nd Ave; the 78th Street Theatre at 78th Street and 1st Ave (also known as the "Tobis Theatre.") Other cities with such cinemas were in Newark, N.J. (the Hindenberg Theatre), in Buffalo, NY; in Milwaukee, two cinemas in Chicago, and then those in Los Angeles and in San Francisco.
The 96th Street Theater handbill, written in German for German–Americans, explains the plot of the film thusly:
[SCROLL to the bottom of this page to see the 96th Street Theatre handbill!]
The film's festive premiere at the UT-Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (Deulig Tonwoche newsreel, 1933)