10 German Nazi Movies

Tuesday, December 7 by Daniel Khalil

You don't have to be a war film buff to love these 10 German Nazi movies. Of all the violent flicks out there, German Nazi movies remind us of the dark side of man and the scary potential of very organized, militant cultures. As many German Nazi movies depict, Germany sort of saw Adolf Hitler as someone who would bring about the glory, prestige, economic power and military presence of its former, pre-World War I self. Unfortunately, these ten German Nazi movies show the true side of Nazism and fascism.

  1. "Das Boot" (1981). An interesting piece of German Nazi movies, "The Boat" (as it literally translates to), tells the tale of a World War II U-boat. The tale shows the wear and tear war took on Nazi soldiers amidst the conflict.
  2. "Sieg im Westen" (1941). Taken with a grain of salt, one can thoroughly see the fault of many German Nazi movies here. Made as a propaganda film for the Third Reich, "Sieg im Westen" differs from its brethren. The film admits that the French soldiers fought bravely against Nazi forces.
  3. "Die grosse Liebe" (1942). "The Great Love" was the highest grossing film in Third Reich history. Although obviously containing propaganda, the film depicts many of the realities of war to an often ill-informed German public. It deserves, like many that stand out as such, a place among the top ten German Nazi movies.
  4. "Die Verdammten" (1969). Described by many as a mesmerizing piece of film that depicts the realities of the Third Reich, "The Damned" gave audiences a taste of grusome Nazism (although it wasn't the first to do so).
  5. "Die Blechtrommel" (1979). This selection of German Nazi movies won Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival. The flick was one of the most financially successful of German cinema in the 1970's.
  6. "The Devil's General" (1954). Post-war German cinema put emphasis on resistance during the times of Hitler. "The Devil's General," for example, depicts a Luftwaffe general who is secretly sabotoging the German war effort. This particular instance, however, is fictionalized. Many critics still sympathized with the general, and commented that Hitler and his misfits were not representative of the German people as a whole during the Third Reich.
  7. "Die Brucke" (1959). A West German post-WWII film, this is based upon a true story. As one of the more realistic German Nazi movies, it sheds light upon the realities of wartime struggles. "The Bridge" won four awards at the 1960 German Film Awards.
  8. "Abschied von gestern" (1966). Although not dealing with actual Nazi Germany, "partying from yesterday" (or as it was re-titled, "Yesterday Girl") shows the aftermath of the country in its years of reconstruction. East and West Germany aren't exactly shown as beacons of hope either.
  9. "Die Ehe der Maria Braun" (1979). Combing artistic beauty and mass appeal, "The Marriage of Maria Braun" offers an excellent piece of the German film industry. Maria, as played by Hanna Schygulla, is married to a World War II soldier who is far away (and subsequently imprisoned). She becomes the mistress of a wealthy industrialist, all the while trying to maintain her love at the same time.
  10. "Theresienstadt. Ein Dokumentarfilm aus dem jüdischen Siedlungsgebiet" (1944). Kurt Gerron, a Jewish director, was escorted to Theresienstadt to display (along with the Red Cross), how "well" Jewish inmates were being treated. So, he films the documentary (never released). After filming, Gerron was "evacuated" to Auschwitz, where he was gassed immediately.

German Nazi films aren't all necessarily propaganda in nature, although many prior to 1945 actually are. These ten German Nazi films should not be forgotten in the halls of history, and they sure as well won't be looked over among critics.