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."

 

POSTER GALLERY  --view

nearly 600 German film

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1927–1954  from

Germany and from

many Axis and Neutral countries

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.)

 

Feuertaufe

 

The poster was acquired from Joel Nelson, co-author of POSTERS OF THE THIRD REICH, GN Publications, 2007.

 

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Also in the Collection is the sheet music for the song "Bomben auf Engelland" published by Beboton Verlag for Tobis Filmkunst.

 

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The 1940 FEUERTAUFE documentary film (The Baptism of Fire)


“ The pride of our young Luftwaffe, whose baptism of fire was so convincingly proven in the Polish campaign, and the impression of the extent of destruction that was brought to the opponent of these weapons: these are the two deep and harrowing experiences from the apocalyptic images of this film that match the elemental force that penetrates the cinema audience members. ” Thus started the review of FEUERTAUFE in the Reich Film Chamber’s magazine Der Deutsche Film in May 1940, which hailed the documentary as “the most important film of the month.” FEUERTAUFE’s director was Hans Bertram, the handsome world–famous aviator, whose around–the–world adventure in 1932 with a navigator in a two–seater Junker aircraft captivated the world press. The two men’s survival after crashing in the barren Australian outback and their unexpected re–emergence weeks later, thanks to help from Aborigines, made Bertram an aviator hero and a wealthy man through his best–selling memoir of the flight. Bertram subsequently joined the Sturmabteiling (SA) in January 1934, and his 16mm films about his flying brought him into contact with the film industry. He provided the film direction and aviation footage for the Herbert Maisch Luftwaffe feature film DIII88 in 1939, and as a result was then handed the FEUERTAUFE documentary film project. The Reichs Air Ministry provided Bertram with a first–class assortment of manpower and equipment to document the Polish campaign. He had 27 men at his disposal, which included fourteen cameramen, three aircraft and a fleet of 8 automobiles, to assist with the fast–changing warfronts. This was an immensely difficult task, as the actual war campaign only in fact lasted eighteen days, and his camera crews were not always in the right places to film. Nonetheless FEUERTAUFE is a most impressive documentary film of its genre, which along with SIEG IM WESTEN, demonstrated Germany’s mastery of the documentary propaganda film. The script and footage provided audiences with an historical prelude of the Polish campaign, charging that the cause of the war was the corrupt and conspiratorial plutocracy of Great Britain, which had sworn to destroy National Socialism. The attribution of blame for the outbreak of the war – the British and French providing a blank check to the Poles despite two decades of diplomatic failure to address German grievances about the Polish Corridor, Danzig, and overwhelming Germanic populations in East Prussia – were woven into the narrative. Thus the inevitable response from Germany was not only righting a perceived long-standing wrong, but was shown as the culmination of an historic mission (even if it meant making a pact with Stalin to avoid a two–front war). The film followed the militarist theme of the brave and fearless German soldier, willing to fight and die if necessary for the Reich, and for the Führer. The indomitable Germans forces, vastly outnumbering the unprepared yet chauvinistic Polish armies, provided Bertram’s cameras with a compelling, and even romanticized vision of modern warfare. Combined with the rousing music from composer Norbert Schultze, “Bomben auf Engelland,” the film proved incredibly popular with audiences, whose own fathers, sons, and brothers were undoubtedly part of the same war. Youngsters were apparently completely captivated by the film as well as by its stirring song. The Tobis film studio spent huge amounts of money on promoting the film and audience anticipation was immense. The film was premiered on April 5, 1940 at the prestigious Ufa Palast am Zoo cinema in Berlin, with Hitler and Göring in attendance. It was shown across the Reich in all capital cities, but also in many smaller towns. The reach of the screenings of FEUERTAUFE was vast. Koblenz, Stettin, Liegnitz, Karlsbad, Oppeln, Reichenberg, Graz…. and hundreds more such places. Audiences were naturally awed by the success of their Luftwaffe, and many cinemas were bedecked with festive foyers attended by representatives of the Wehrmacht, the Nazi Party and government officials. Especially remarked by audiences was the use of newsreel footage that had not yet been shown in the Wochenschau newsreels themselves. Seven cameramen who died in combat while filming FEUERTAUFE were commemorated in the opening credits, which brought a particularly moving poignancy to viewers even before the film had shown its first images. The use of trick photography maps and charts to illustrate the war were highly effective and quite novel. Then a surprise ending with Hermann Görings’ closing remarks were highly praised, according to the SD reports on audience reactions to the film. FEUERTAUFE was rushed into circulation even to rural areas and villages by the highly–organized Gaufilmstelle organization, which had hundreds of 16mm projection trucks (Tonfilmwagen) equipped with sound systems and portable outdoor screens, which could be erected quickly and transported across Germany. Even the smallest hamlet could see what their cousins in the big cities were talking about. The very rare film poster OUR VICTORIOUS ARMY IN POLAND shown here is dated May 5th, indicating that the film was circulating in such rural and regional towns and villages only four short weeks after it’s Berlin premiere. Subtitled or dubbed versions in many languages were rushed into print. The film was also shown across Europe and the Soviet Union and by June 1940 had already premiered in the USA and South America as well. The British government, however, banned the film from being shown in Great Britain. Film historians claim that the release of the film in European countries was meant to intimidate both hostile and neutral governments with this supreme showing of German military might.

 

--- William Gillespie, author of Karl Ritter, 2nd edition ©2014, and The Making of the Crew of the Dora, ©2016. 

 
Year
1940
 
Director
Bertram
 
Country
Germany