“History is not about the facts. It is about the context and who is telling the story.” —Prof. Milton Fine.
The DER FILM, Nr. 15, 12 April 1941 newspaper article on the world premiere of the film is translated in its entirety below:
4. April 1941. The clock on the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin showed the afternoon hour of four has past by twenty minutes. On the street in front of the Ufa Palast am Zoo cinema, people are gathering.
In a few minutes the premiere of "Ohm Krüger" will be screened to invited guests. In this thick bunch of people a heavy transport truck stands on the sidewalk. On the top of this truck a man pivots his camera.And at the entrance to the cinema a camera is positioned. Naturally the arrival of guests will be recorded on the film stock.
A minor mistake! It isn't motion picture men who have placed cameras here, but rather television men. In all the television halls throughout the Reich capital one will see played out the scenes at the door and on the street before the great film premiere.
Diagonally across from the Ufa Palast am Zoo is a television hall. I go inside. On the screen of the TV set is the icon of the "Paul Nipkow" TV broadcaster - a national eagle surrounded with rings -- that denotes the symbol of radio signals. Out of the loudspeaker comes flute music.
At 4:30pm the station icon disappears. The female announcer appears in the picture and reports the television viewers will witness the great reception in the Ufa Palast am Zoo. The picture recedes. Now appears in large rectangular lettering the words "Ohm Krüger" - a Emil Jannings Film of Tobis.
The camera, which is on the roof of the truck, leaves the front of the theater where these large letters are fitted. The camera pivots further. It aims at the Memorial Church, captures the entire street scene, and stays fixed on the entrance to the cinema. The announcers, Dr. Storz of the television broadcaster, and R.H. Düwell (Press Chief) of Tobis, provide short, clear sentences of factual explanation. Inbetween, the camera shoots the theater entrance way.
One sees how the arriving guests disembark and enter the foyer. Leading men of the Party, high–ranking military, artists, academics. The Director of the "Ohm Krüger" film, Hans Steinhoff, is interviewed. Police hold back the enthusiastic crowds.
New guests arrive. Now Emil Jannings appears, accompanied by his wife Gussy Holl. On stage one sees the Chief of Tobis Productions, Ewald von Demandowsky with General Director Paul Lehmann. Next to them is Ufa Director Steffen. We await the arrival of Reichsminister Dr. Goebbels, who comes at the stroke of the clock at 5pm and together with his wife and Reich Radio Head Hadamowsky go into the house. Once more appear on the television screen the street scene of the rolling streetcars, automobiles and masses of people in front of the film theater.
"In the festive decorated auditorium of the Ufa Palast am Zoo the guests have now taken their places," says the announcer. The lights go out. On the movie screen roll the great events around Ohm Krüger.
For a brief moment, the television screen goes dark, and then the visitors to the television hall see the striking scenes out of the great film."
The front of the prestigious Ufa Palast am Zoo cinema in Berlin, for the world premiere of the film (from DER FILM, Nr. 15, 12 April 1941). Note the television truck on the cinema kerb, with tripod on the roof. Second photo: The Television hall on Leipzigerstrasse in Berlin, where the film premiere and film could be seen live.