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

over 500  German film

original posters between 13th.gif

1927–1954  from

Germany and from

many 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.)

 

Um Das Menschenrecht

 

[note: An ESSAY on the film appears at the bottom of this webpage.]

 

 

The Munich communist "Red Republic" leaders as illustrated in the 1934 book Rotmord in München (Red Murder in Munich) by Rudolf Schricker, Zeitgeschichte Verlag, Berlin, 1934, 1st edition.

The Red leadership was seen by the vast majority of Munich residents as foreign and alien to Bavarian values and its conservative society. The murder of bourgeoise hostages by the Communists was seen as a horrifying threat to life akin to the Bolsheviks in Russia ... taking power with no mandate and imposing their will on an unsuspecting public.  The Freikorps military units employed by the Weimar government to oppose and overthrow the Red leaders are championed in the film Um das Menschenrecht.

 

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Arya Film announced in its 1934/35 catalogue (depicted below) that it was producing a WWI trilogy with the film titles  STOSSTRUPP 1917, DIE LETZTE NACHHUT, and UM DAS MENSCHENRECHT. The first film, STOSSTRUPP 1917, was released (original poster in our Collection seen here) but the second film, DIE LETZTE NACHHUT, was never produced, due to financing problems. The third film, however, was made, and the poster shown on this page.  The films were based on the WWI and post–WWI German defeat as described in best–selling books by author Hans Zöberlein, such as Der Glaube an Deutschland, which sold in the hundreds of thousands of copies. Zöberlein is shown in a frontespiece of one of his books below, and the book is shown at right in its 500,000th edition print–run.

 

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Here is the extremely rare Arya Film distribution catalogue annoucing all three films for the 1934/1935 season, from our Collection:

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BELOW, the artist postcard for Hans Schlenck issued with the Programm von Heute cinema-goer's booklet at the time the film was screening in 1934.

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In March 2021, we found on a militaria website a photograph of Zöberlein as a serving Wehrmacht officer. He is pictured on the right.  The man at the left has been identified as Oblt. v. Poschlinger of the 8./I.R.468 Infantry Division.  This is the only photograph we have found which shows Zöberlein in uniform in WWII. It was taken ca. 1939/1940.

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FILM  ESSAY:

 

Hans Zöberlein and his second film, FOR THE RIGHTS OF MANKIND (Um das Menschenrecht, 1934)

 

Hans Zöberlein was born on 1 September 1895 in the Bavarian Franconian city of Nuremberg, the son of a shoemaker. He himself worked as both a bricklayer and stonemason until the start of WWI.  He married a girl from Munich and they raised a family of four daughters and one son.

As a shock troop commander of the Bavarian 26thInfantry Regiment he survived some of the bloodiest battles of that war, including Verdun, the Somme, and in Flanders. It was for his courage in the Marne that he was awarded the Iron Class 1stClass, as well as Bavaria’s highest award for NCO’s and soldiers, the Golden Medal for Valor. There, he manned four machine guns, killing hundreds of French soldiers in an action behind enemy lines single–handedly. He had not been aware that his unit had in the meanwhile retreated.  He was decommissioned as a Sergeant 1stClass.

Within months he had joined the Freikorps von Epp, which eventually numbered 30,000 storm troopers. It was involved in the bloody suppression of the Soviet Republic in Bavariain Munich April–May 1919, being responsible for various massacres,  and saw heavy action in the Ruhr in April 1920.

In 1921 he first joined the NSDAP and the SA. In November 1923 he took part in the Munich Hitler-Ludendorff Putsch, for which he later received the Blood Order. After the re–founding of the NSDAP following the temporary ban on the party in November 1923, he rejoined as Party member 869. This very early membership number earned him the prestigious Golden Party Badge of the NSDAP.

He remained involved with the SA and from 1926–1928 was Leader of the Munich Sturm 2 battalion. Two years later he was made Führer of the Standarte 1 there.  In 1930 a bloody street battle took place during a heated election campaign. Zöberlein’s SA troops and Reds murdered one another, and he himself was seriously wounded. In his trial in May 1930 he was successfully defended by lawyer Hans Frank; later the Governor-General of the Generalgouvernement Polen. In 1943,  Zöberlein was made a SA Brigadeführer. 

He trained as an architect but was not terribly successful. Turning to his war experiences prompted him to write a book, Faith in Germany, in 1931. It was considered at the time, alongside Ernst Junger’s In The Storm Of Steel, the best account of the Great War as written from the German perspective. Adolf Hitler, not known for lending his name to   assist the promotion of books other than his own,  penned a Foreword to Zöberlein’s front memoir, in which he wrote:  “The Right Way!  Here is the front’s legacy!  One can hear the heart of the front beating, the source of that strength which forged our eternal victories. ….  Unsought, a social question presents itself, thoughts about ‘men without a homeland.’ This book has something to say to everyone:  the soldiers, the politicians, and thinking Germans of every class. It is the heritage of the Front for adolescent youth!

Munich. February 1931. 

(signed) Adolf Hitler

 

The book concluded with the words: The war is over. The battle for Germany continues! Volunteers to the Front.It became an international best–seller, and it had sold over 800,000 copies by 1945.

Zöberlein’s book, his newfound fortune, his hard–core ideology and Nazi Party connections, allowed him to produce and direct the film based on his book – Shock  Troop 1917.  Following the huge success of the film in Third Reich cinemas, a new motion picture production company, Arya Film GmbH; was founded, with Zöberlein as its Head. The inaugural publication announcing its plans explained: 

Arya is the primal root word, from which ancient cultural languages of the world derive the value concept of the indigenous, race–conscious Aryandom. 

The Arya Film Company is aware of the moral obligations that a German filmmaker carries, and acts accordingly. True to its name, it does not want to be a mere business enterprise, but an ideologically bound work community. Out of conviction, it represents the strictest Aryan principle for all its employees. 

The tremendous success of the “Shock Troop 1917” in all German districts is not only a convincing proof of the outstanding artistic and life–like design of this film, but even more a wonderful testimony to our peoples’ unbroken will to fight. 

A second film titled The Last Rearguard was announced, with the storyline commencing at war’s end:“The Last Rearguard” shows us the people, the inner events, the terrible mental attrition in the days of the German retreat in 1918 and culminates in the internal political collapse, in which the unbroken German front was not involved. We do not experience the war itself as a front war, but in the whole wild robber romance of the rearguard action. The years of struggle seem pointless. The whole sacrifice brought in vain – the homeland demanded peace.

This “Stab-in-the-back” film was to be followed by For the Rights of Mankind(Um das Menschenrecht), about the Freikorps during the days of the Munich Red Soviet Republic. These two films were to be, with Shock Troop 1917, a Trilogy of the Nation– the culmination of this unique symphony of the German spirit, which witnessed and bore the unshakable faith in Germany.

The brochure continued:

“For the Rights of Mankind”lets us experience the path of suffering of the German people in the years 1919/1920. The highest and holiest thing the war gave birth to, the only thing the unbroken heroic warriors could bring home from the war, was the spirit of the front, awakened from the common experience of struggle, distress, and blood sacrifice –the faithfulness of so often tried companionship. But this camaraderie is now being challenged by a new fight at home.

It's about everything, about the last thing, about the right to life –– For the Rights of Mankind. And in this fight comrades face each other, war comrades in the various political camps. Yesterday they stood shoulder to shoulder, today they stare at each other as enemies from burning eyes. -– Fratricide.... This is tragedy that shakes us to the core. Freed and strong, we experience the end. Only in this way, and because each one gave himself completely, could the seeds of the great popular camaraderie, of the people's community, of true socialism, flow from the common blood; the socialism of action.

 

The second film, for financial reasons, was never produced, but incorporating material from it, the final film was made.

Historian Dr. Jay Baird called Um das Menschenrecht  ‘an outstanding example of the triumphant Freikorps genre in literature and film.’ (Baird, Jay.W; Hitler’s War Poets, Cambridge, 2008, pg.99)


Zöberlein's second autobiographical novel, The Command of Consciencefrom 1937, traced the rise of the National Socialism through a shoemaker’s son and soldier. It presented a whole series of enemy images: Jews, Communists, Social Democrats, "Reds", clerical conservatives, the clergy, the Freemasons. The book was vehemently anti–Semitic, calling Jews “pigs” and “vermin.” It laid the defeat of Germany in the war and all of Germany’s misfortunes thereafter on a Jewish “Stab-in-the-back.” It  had sold over 600,000 copies by 1945. 

 

Early in WWII, Zöberlein was a commissioned officer in the Luftwaffe, and served in the “Löwengeschwader,” or Bomber Wing 26, in all European war theaters. He was decorated for action in Norway, Crete and North Africa. After eighteen months of active service, he was recalled by the Propaganda Ministry. An epic film spanning from the end of WWI to the victory in WWII was never started.  His three subsequent books also sold over 750,000 copies by war’s end. 

 

On April 28th, 1945,  Hans Zöberlein acted as leader of one of the notorious "Werewolf" commands in the foothills of the Alps. After a left–wing resistance group of the Upper Bavarian town of Penzberg deposed the NSDAP mayor in order to surrender without further losses, Zöberlein had sixteen persons executed as traitors. For this "Penzberg murder night" the author was first sentenced to death in 1948, later commuted to life imprisonment, but then he was released in 1961 for health reasons. On February 13, 1964, he died in Munich.

 

His two films, Shock Troops 1917 andFor the Rights of Mankind stand testament to this hard–core soldier, Freikorps member, early Nazi Party member, Hitler Putschist, Stormtrooper, “Werewolf,” author, ideologue and filmmaker – perhaps the most fanatical of Third Reich film men.

 

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

 

Note: As this ultra–rare original poster is not found in any other film archive, we have put our watermark across it, so as to prevent others from trying to reproduce the poster without our permission on their own websites for whatever reasons. We apologise to our own website visitors, who we know would prefer to have an unblemished reproduction to study. This poster was purchased  from a private collector in stunningly pristine condition. It is printed on double–weight high quality poster paper, and has never been folded in 80 years. We brought it back to Australia in a long poster tube as cabin baggage. This was also the case for the never-folded second poster we purchased, also from this same private collector, of  SA MANN BRAND. 

 
Year
1934
 
Director
Zöberlein
 
Country
Germany