A provocative movie poster: Hitler's Hitparade. It shows the swastika, adapted by Hitler as the 'Hakenkreuz', and the portrait of a fashionably dressed young lady from 1938.
Mainz (bpb) Hitler's Hitparade", a documentary film by the young German producer C. Cay Wesnigk, received the most coveted Grimme Award 2005. The public TV channel Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) announced that the film was produced for ZDF by the ARTE TV, jointly financed by the French and Germans (Jerome Clement and Wolfgang Bernhard). The winning team includes Oliver Axer und Susanne Benze (script/direction) and Alexander Bohr (coordination).
The film recalls the "Good old times of music" in the years from 1930 to 1945 in Germany, with great singers as Zarah Leander (Sweden), Marika Roeck (Hungary) Ilse Werner (Germany) and Lale Andersen with her internationally popular song "Lili Marlene" during the Second World War. Many melodies of the Hitler Era became evergreens, as for instance the folk song "Muss i denn zum Städtele hinaus". Elvis Presley was one of the successful interpreters of these songs, when he served in the US Army in Germany.
"Hitler's Hitparade" means "Hitler's Top Ten in Music" and "Hitler's Favourite Music Charts". The film by Cay Wesnigk is illustrated with several classical artworks by the most famous sculptor Arno Breker (copyright www.museum-arno-breker.org). The producers were not even afraid to show in the movie Hitler's unique, authentic portrait bust by Arno Breker.
ZDF chief Markus Schächter has realized long ago that films about Hitler always sell well. There is a great demand among the people in Europe and USA for information about the Third Reich. Under the leadership of the ZDF chief Schächter, this public TV channel, supported by the German government, became the leading distributor of the so-called 'historical Nazi-films'. ZDF has set up a separate department for this kind of productions, and gave director Guido Knoop a free hand to make use of all film materials from the NS times. However, this activity of the ZDF has also found some critics among the Jewish people, who feel that these films about the Nazi times serve more the propagation of Neo-Nazi ideas and anti-Semitism in the German society, instead of just informing about the cruelties of the NS Reich.
Copyright 2005 West Art, Prometheus 95/2005