Artur Brauner’s second film; one of the first films to grapple with the Holocaust.
Director: Eugen York DE (West) 1947/48, feature film, 88 min., German OV Production: Artur Brauner CCC Film GmbH Producer: Artur Brauner Screenplay: Gustav Kampendonk Cinematography: Werner Krien Editing: Walter Wischniewsky Music: Wolfgang Zeller Cast: Walter Richter, Winnie Markus, Lotte Koch, Josef Sieber, Siegmar Schneider
Just before the advance of the Russian troops and the end of the Second World War, Polish physician Bronek is
ordered to classify concentration camp inmates as fit or unfit to work. He helps a group of them escape. They
hide in the woods and find other fugitives who have been waiting there for weeks. Food is running short. Just
before the Red Army invades, they are in danger of being detected, but then the Wehrmacht has to retreat.
Artur Brauner’s second film was one of the first films to take up the Holocaust at all. The Nazi henchmen
remain obscure, yet the harm they caused becomes apparent. The film was not only a box office flop, it was
also met with hostility. The general public was not yet ready to grapple with the most recent past.
Premiere at the Venice Film Festival 1948
(Auswahl) DER MANN IM STROM (DE 1958) DAS FRÄULEIN VON SCUDERI (DE 1955) SCHATTEN DER NACHT (DE 1949) BRANDBOMBEN UND ENTSTEHUNGSBRÄNDE (DE 1942/1943) SPIEGEL DER ZEIT (DE 1942) TEMPO (DE 1941) DANZIG, LAND AN MEER UND STROM (DE 1939) WORT UND TAT. EIN FILMDOKUMENT (DE 1938)
Eugen York was born in the Russian Empire in 1912 and spent his childhood in Berlin. He trained with Walter Ruttmann and made a number of cultural films in the 1930s. He was involved in propagandistic teaching and cultural films during the war, including LIESE UND MIESE, propagandistic newsreels featuring Brigitte Mira and Gisela Schlüter that were soon dropped. Nonetheless, Brauner hired him for MORITURI. His career as a film director stagnated from 1958 on; later he mostly made television series.
Introduction: Frank Stern (Wien)