Erwin Leiser's Film: "Mein Kampf" Eine Bilddokumentation der Jahre 1914-1945 - The film by Jewish director Erwin Leiser: "Mein Kampf" Photographic documentation of the years 1914-1945". Published by Frankfurt A.M., Zweitausendeins, 1979 - first edition. Dedicated copy by director Erwin Leiser on title page, in German: "To our trio team with warm regards". German.
Photo album of scenes from the documentary film "Mein Kampf" directed by Erwin Leiser, dealing with the rise and fall of the Third Reich from the early days of the Nazi Party to the end of World War II. The film was edited in Sweden, and in addition to German materials Leiser used footage of French, Soviet, American and English, Polish and Austrian photos. "I wanted the pictures and documents to speak directly to the generation for whom this time has passed... The most important material (which was used for the film) was the German material, from the collections of the old Propaganda Ministry in Babelsberg, Berlin... Among other things, they provided me with unpublished film reels from the Warsaw Ghetto that were recorded on behalf of the Nazi propaganda. Goebbels and Himmler did not use them because in the closed recordings they aroused sympathy for the victims instead of contempt and hatred. Even the creators of anti-Nazi documentary films from the post-war period did not dare show these images... The main thing for me was to quell all personal feelings and subordinate myself to this truth... The film's immediate surprising success probably stems from the fact that the simplicity of the concept... allowed the truth to speak so directly to the audience that it came as a shock...".
The text accompanying the documentary film and montage was written in Stockholm in the first months of 1960, and it was first screened in Gothenburg in late April. The film received good reactions from young Germans as well, arousing in them opposition to fascism, authoritarianism and war. In 1979 Leiser decided to present the film in book form, resulting in the Album before us. Leiser chose from the film only the images that leave no doubt as to their authenticity, and placed them as if standing before the reader, without being blurred by the next scene as in the film. Assuming the film's success stemmed primarily from its directness, Leiser sought to use this directness even more sharply in the book. The book contains photos from the early days of the Nazi Party, Adolf Hitler at various party events, German propaganda and blind admiration of the Führer, Hitler's close supporters, the conquest of Poland and establishment of ghettos, harsh scenes from the Jewish ghetto, Jews being led to slaughter, harsh photos from the death camps, as well as photos of camp liberation, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Nazi war criminals at the Nuremberg trials, and more. Every photo in this album is authentic of an actual historical occurrence, without editing or cropping. Most of the photos have captions.
The visual historical research done here is exceptionally important. Many of the photo descriptions are no less important than the photos themselves, since many of the pictures in the book are well known, but the public does not always know how to connect the picture to the time it was taken and the exact event it documents.
The album's theme photo that appears on the cover is taken from the 1943 report on the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto presented to Himmler. The image, often cropped where exhibited, expresses in Leiser's view the three dimensions of the extermination: Hope - on the left two hugging men demonstrating their love in the face of death, on the right the dead, above on the right SS soldiers attacking helpless people, and left above SS soldiers watching the events.
Erwin Leiser [1923-1996] was a Jewish German filmmaker, writer and actor. He was born and raised in Berlin. Leiser fled to Sweden at age 15 to escape the Nazi Party. He graduated from Lund University and worked as a journalist and drama and literature critic. His fame came from his 1960 documentary film "Mein Kampf", based on secret Nazi archives describing Nazi atrocities. He later created other documentaries such as "Nazi Cinema" in 1974. He died in Zurich in 1996.
303 p. 24x17 cm. Very good condition.