logos.jpg“History is not about the facts. It is about the context and who is telling the story.” —Prof. Milton Fine. 

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."   –– George Orwell in his novel "1984." 

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"If we have our own why in life, we shall get along with almost any how."         –  Friedrich Nietzsche



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1927–1954  from

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Carl Peters


Note that on the poster, there is no Director listed. The originally printed credit for the Director, Herbert Selpin, with the wording SPIELEITUNG: HERBERT SELPIN, has been covered up by a well–attached strip of poster paper. This is because Selpin committed suicide in August 1942 after being denounced for slandering the German armed forces during the filming of his Titanic and his name thereafter becoming unmentionable even on his pre–Titanic film posters, credits, etc. Here is the way his name originally appeared on this poster before it was censored:

Selpin name.jpg



The August 5th 1942 issue of the trade newspaper the Film Kurier Tageszeitung on its front page printed a notice which read:



The article translates thus:

The Reich Film Intendant announces:

The film director Herbert Selpin, by means of scurrilous slander and insults, has gravely offended the morale of the war. He is therefore taken in half to be handed over to the court."

Selpin's misconduct was all the more despicable because he did not participate in the World War nor in this war, on the contrary, he was assigned to carry out important tasks in the German film. Selpin, during the court remand in the night of August 1, put an end to his life by hanging.


The handbill translates thus:

Dear Mr. Theater Owner|
According to a communication from the Herr Reichsfilm-Intendant, the name of the film director Herbert Selpin is no longer to be mentioned during the screening of films in which he has worked. (See also "Filmkurier" No. 181 of 6. 8. 42 on page 1.)
*The title credits of the films in question have been changed accordingly, and the posters are supplied with over-stickers. Insofar as over-stickers could not previously be applied to individual posters, the name Selpin is to be covered with a cover strip.
Due to time constraints, the necessary erasure of the name cannot be carried out in the advertising flyers, which is why it is expressly pointed out here that the name "Herbert Selpin" may no longer appear anywhere in public.
Old playbills are to be destroyed immediately; newly printed ones, without Selpin's name, will be supplied.
We ask you, Mr. Theater Owner, to take all necessary precautions to ensure that the name of Herbert Selpin does not appear in any publication or advertisement - (e.g., in showcases, on easels or house fronts, in any advertisement or other notices) - not even by accident or inadvertence. Because the casual handling of this matter can have unpleasant consequences for all those responsible.

Deutsche Filmvertriebs-Gesellschaft m. b. H.


The handbill:







Back to  our German poster of Carl Peters:

The actor Hans Albers attended the premiere of the film in Hamburg, and this photo taken from DER FILM newspaper of 1 April 1942, shows Albers being met at the front of the Ufa–Palast cinema by its owner, Herr Lux on a rainy day. Note the huge billboard-sized poster of Carl Peters in the background, which is the same graphic image used on our poster here.



Below from our photo archive, the prestigious  Berlin movie palace, the Ufa Palast-am-Zoo, decked out with the massive outdoor advertising (Außenfront) for the premiere.




The film premiered in Hamburg the birthplace of Peters. Here is the review as it appeared in the Berlin weekly film newspaper, Der Film #12, 22 March 1941:


An artistic film event in the Hanseatic city

Carl Peters / Ufa-Palast, Hamburg


World premieres have become a rare occurrence in Hamburg. We are therefore all the more pleased that Bavaria chose the Hanseatic city and its largest movie theater for the premiere of its film "Carl Peters". After all, where else in the Greater German Empire could there be a city whose trade and commerce have always been so closely intertwined with Germany's colonial activities as this one?  The history of our colonies is, of course, inextricably linked with the namesakes of old Hamburg merchant families.


In the true sense of the word, this film is a great historical reportage of the life, struggle and defeat of a German obsessed with his mission, Dr. Carl Peters from Neuhaus an der Elbe. It is a memorial to a man who, with his indomitable willingness to act and his far-sighted vision, was far ahead of his time and its people and therefore, in the end, abandoned by the powerful, misunderstood by the people at large, a victim.  of narrow-mindedness, timidity, malice, intrigue, hatred and resentment.


And yet this great and tragic life was not lived in vain. It is not least the mission of this Bavaria film to nourish the ardor and enthusiasm for this man and thus serve Germany's colonial ambitions. The film paints the life and work of Carl Peters in dramatic scenes. The director Herbert Selpin knew how to turn the course of Carl Peters' fate into a stirring experience, and the script written with his collaboration by Ernst von Salomon and W. Zerlett–Olfenius was an excellent basis for this.


Let's admit that the effect of the film, for all its directorial artistry, depended on the casting of the leading role. And here our Hamburg Hans Albers finally appears once again in a great acting role, as we had long wished for from him. An apostle of his faith becomes a man of action, becomes a great uncompromising personality.  Albers makes this believable to us with his highly artistic interpretation of the role.


But his fellow and opponents have also been chosen with great care, such as Karl Dannemann as a childhood friend and zealous comrade-in-arms, Fritz Odemar as an as an unconditional comrade, Ernst-Fritz Fürbringer as an influential Berlin aide, and Hans Mierendorff as a sympathetic German consul. At the head of the antagonists is Herbert Hübner, a diplomatic intriguer of oppressive stature. He is supported by Justus Paris as a demagogic assistant. Friedrich Ulmer plays a conservative maverick. Two female characters make their mark in this film without a love story: Toni von Bukovics as the caring mother and Erika von Thellmann as the scheming mistress. Friedrich Otto Fischer, Dr. Rudolf Prasch, Richard Ludwig, Dr. Philipp Maning, Jack Trevor, Resense Pasche, Theodor Thony and finally the Negro Mohamed Husen as Peter's eloquent interpreter and companion are further impressive in characteristic supporting-roles.

We have August Lauterbach, Rudolt Kley, Alfred Scheuchner and Joe Rive to thank for the excellent photography. Fritz Maurischat was responsible for the colorful and richly shaped overall design. The varied buildings were designed by Fritz Lück, Peter Adam and Henrich Goedert. Franz Doelle created a score interspersed with strong exotic rhythms.


The festive house received the film "Carl Peters" with enthusiastic approval and congratulated the present Hans Albers and his director Herbert Selpin, as well as Herbert Hübner, Karl Dannemann and Toni von Bukovics with long-lasting applause.     --- ALFRED MERWICK.