Template:Infobox Film The Eternal Jew is a 1940 propaganda film. Its title in German is Der ewige Jude, the German term for the character of the "Wandering Jew" in medieval folklore. At the insistence of Nazi Germany's Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, the film was directed by Fritz Hippler. The screenplay is credited to Eberhard Taubert. The film consists of feature and documentary footage combined with materials filmed shortly after the Nazi occupation of Poland. At this time Poland's Jewish population was about three million, roughly ten percent of the total population. Actor Harry Giese (1903–1991) narrated.

Format Edit

The movie is done in the style of a documentary, the central thesis being the immutable racial personality traits that, according to Nazi doctrine, characterize the Jew as a wandering cultural parasite. Throughout the film, these supposed traits are contrasted to the Nazi state ideal: while Aryan men are shown to find satisfaction in physical labor and the creation of value, Jews are depicted as finding pleasure in money and a hedonist lifestyle. While members of the Aryan race live healthily, rich Jews are shown as living in bug-infested and dirty homes, even though they could afford better. While Germanic/Nordic man has an appreciation for Northern culture and imagery, Jews are alleged only to find satisfaction in the grotesque and decadent. Many things that run contrary to Nazi doctrine are associated with Jewish influence, such as modern art, (cultural) relativism, anarchic and socialist movements, as well as sexual deviancy. The film criticizes Jewish religious practices, and criticises kosher slaughtering, (shechita), as inhumane, contrasting it with Nazi laws requiring that animals be anaesthetized prior to butchering.

Cast Edit

Makers Edit

Plot and content Edit

The opening shots of the film show the Polish ghettos under the German occupation. The film then goes on to show that Jews do not like manual labor, when the German military government attempts to make them clear away rubble from the street. The narrator says: "The German military government is making them [the Jews] clear away rubble. It appears as they're not used to working, and don't like it either. This isn't helplessness that's to be pitied, but something entirely different - these Jews don't want to work, but barter." The shot dissolves to a crowded ghetto street of Jews 'bartering.'

The next scenes show Palestine, the "spiritual center of International Jewry," with shots of Jews praying at the Wailing wall, mourning the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans. The film then goes on to compare the wanderings of the Jews throughout the world "with a similarly restless animal, the rat." The parasitic traits of rats are compared to those of the Jews. "They [rats] are cunning, cowardly and cruel. They represent the elements of sneakiness and destruction among animals; just as the Jews do among mankind."

In the succeeding scene, the film discusses international crimes committed by the Jews: "The parasite nation of Judah is responsible for a large part of international crime. In 1932, the Jews, who make up only one percent of the world's population, accounted for thirty-four percent of the world's dope peddlers, and forty-seven percent of robberies, forty-seven percent of crooked games of chance, eighty-two percent of international crime organizations, and ninety-eight percent of dealers in prostitution."

Other scenes include footage of notable figures such as Albert Einstein, communist agitator Rosa Luxemburg (Emma Goldman), and even Charlie Chaplin. Other noted figures are the Jewish actor Peter Lorre is shown in a scene from Fritz Lang's film M, in which he played a child murderer "with the notion that not the murderer, but his victim is guilty. Normal judgment is twisted by a sympathetic portrayal of the criminal, to gloss over and excuse the crime." A sequence from the American film The House of Rothschild is shown, which details how the Rothschilds gained financial influence over the West. Scenes of Jewish life in Poland were also shown. Adam Czerniakow, whom the Nazis appointed head of the Judenrat (Jewish Council), is shown seated in front of a seven-branched menorah, gesticulating wildly."

Toward the end of the film, after showing how Jews have been responsible for the decline of Western music, science, art, and commerce, is a scene of a cow being slaughtered for meat by a shochet (Jewish ritual slaughter), which is prefaced by a warning similar to the one in Frankenstein, telling women, children, and the squeamish about the upcoming scene. This long scene, lasting several minutes, shows the cows and sheep in all their death throes. The movie's creators apparently filmed this scene on the knowledge that Adolf Hitler was strongly opposed to cruelty to animals.

The film ends with Hitler explaining the problems of the Jewry in Europe and says:

“There is plenty of living space in the world, but the notion that the Jews were 'chosen by God' to live off the productivity of others will finally have to go. Jews will just have to get used to the idea of performing some sort of constructive activity as other people do, or sooner or later they will face trouble they never dreamed of.

"Should the international finance Jews inside and outside of Europe push people into another world war, the result will not be a victory for Jewry, but the destruction of the Jewish race in Europe." [applause][1]

The film then ends with shots of the Third Reich's youth and the narrator explaining the significance of racial purity for the German people:

"The eternal law of Nature, keeping one's race pure, is the legacy which the National Socialist Movement leaves to the German nation forever. In this spirit, the unified German people march on into the future."

Public response Edit

Unser Wille und Weg, a Nazi Party monthly aimed at propagandists provides a rationale for why The Eternal Jew was made. The author of the essay “The Film of a 2000-Year Rat Migration,[2]” who remains anonymous, believes the film shows “a full picture of Jewry,” and provides "the best treatment of this parasitic race."

The author relates the Jews move from Middle East to Egypt and their following of German colonists to rats traveling as a group, who "even then displayed the same criminal traits that they still displayed". The film is complimented for "its portrayal of the Jews' vulgar methods and the brutality and all-devouring hatred they exhibit when they reach their goal and control finance.[3]"

Also called into question is the slaughtering method which causes the author to question the “so-called Jewish religion,[4]” as butchers do their work with grins on their face.

In closing, the author states the film will be a valuable tool in the struggle to break the Jews' “power over us. We are the initiators of the fight against world Jewry, which now directs its hate, its brutal greed and destructive will toward us. We must win this battle for ourselves, for Europe, for the world.[5]

Postwar significance Edit

Post-war Fritz Hippler contended Joseph Goebbels was truly the creator of The Eternal Jew with close supervision of Hitler. It was Goebbels who gave Hippler credit as a reward of sorts “for his excellent work in the newsreel department” (Winkel, Roel. Nazi German’s Fritz Hippler, 1909- 2002. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. Carfax Publishing. Vol 23, No 2, 2003. 91-99.).

An unrepentant Fritz Hippler was interviewed in the Emmy Award winning program "The Propaganda Battle" in the PBS series Walk Through the Twentieth Century. In this interview he explains that he regrets that his name was listed as the director of The Eternal Jew because the Allies interrogated him after the war. He thought this was very unfair because, in his opinion, he had nothing to do with the killing of Jews. In an interview shown in the 2000 German documentary series Holocaust, the 90-year old Hippler described the film as "the most disgraceful example of anti-semitism."

The film has been banned for public use in Germany, the only exception is use in college classrooms and other academic gatherings, however exhibitors must have formal education in "media science and the history of the Holocaust." *The Eternal Jew - a Blueprint for Genocide

1933 film Edit

The same title had been used for a Yiddish-language picture made in the US by the Jewish Talking Picture Company in 1933.

References Edit


See also Edit

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External links Edit

Template:CinemaofGermanycs:Der Ewige Jude da:Der Ewige Jude de:Der ewige Jude fr:Le Juif éternel he:היהודי הנצחי nl:Der ewige Jude no:Der Ewige Jude nn:Der Ewige Jude ru:Вечный жид (фильм) fi:Der Ewige Jude sv:Den evige juden yi:דער אייביגער יודע

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