Straschek’s TV series is not only one of the earliest explorations of the emigration from Nazi Germany, but also one of the most intelligent.
Günter Peter Straschek: “Filmemigration aus Nazideutschland,” FRG 1975, episodes 4-5, approx. 60 min. each, OV Production: Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR), Sender Freies Berlin (SFB) Participants: Gitta Alpar, Lotte H. Eisner, Fritz Lang, Anatole Litvak
Straschek’s TV series is not only one of the earliest explorations of the emigration from Nazi Germany, but also one of the most intelligent. He interviews dozens of exiles from the film industry and organizes their statements not by person, but by phases of emigration, which allows a collective history to emerge. The first three episodes are about the dangers in Germany, in some cases also about imprisonment, hasty escapes, often long odysseys, and the many difficulties of starting over in a country whose language the new arrivals do not speak.
Parts four and five of the series are about the turning point Stalingrad, being put to use for antifascist purposes in anti-Nazi films and the US Army, and why things were much more difficult for the
actors in exile than for the composers and some screenwriters, for example. These episodes are
about the McCarthy hearings and the question whether or not to return to Germany, a country that
has become alien and whose residents consider themselves to be the true victims. Straschek
complements the exiles’ lively accounts with wisely selected film documents, some of which are
12:00 - episodes 1+2 15:30 - episodes 3+4 18:30 - episode 5 Guests: Volker Pantenburg (Freie Universität Berlin) talks with Julia Friedrich (Museum Ludwig, Köln)