The Exile Film "Jew Süss"/"Power" (1934) and the Nazi Propaganda Film "Jud Süß" (1940)

"Jew Süss" (UK, 1934), directed by Lothar Mendes with Conrad Veidt ("Casablanca") in the leading role, is the first important film of the German-Jewish exiles. The film is based on the novel by Lion Feuchtwanger, who cooperated with the efforts to transfer his work to the screen. The film, retitled "Power" in the U.S., was intended to give an answer to the rise of German anti-Semitism. It was in many ways innovative and the Nazi film minister Goebbels was infuriated.

The racist idea to transform the original story and the film into a visual piece of murderous anti-Semitism and to steal as many visuals as possible from the exiles' film was born at this time, but it took years until the Nazi filmmaker Veit Harlan directed his anti-Semitic film "Jud Süß" (1940).

Speaker Frank Stern will illustrate the production, the ensuing discussion about the 1934 film, Feuchtwanger's reaction and the Nazi endeavors to use the film of 1934 as supportive means for mass murder. The talk will compare film sequences and try to answer the question why the Nazi film today is much more known than the anti-Nazi film.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 6:30pm



Center for Jewish History
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011


(212) 744-6400


$10; $5 LBI/CJH/Partner member/Senior/ Student

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