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Veit HarlanThe Life and Work of a Nazi Filmmaker$
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Frank Noack

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813167008

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813167008.001.0001

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The Trap

The Trap

(p.153) 13 The Trap
Veit Harlan

Frank Noack

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter describes in detail the preproduction and production histories of the anti-Semitic costume drama Jud Süss (1940), Harlan’s most infamous film. Two screenwriters and one director have already struggled with the project when Harlan takes over in mid-November 1939, his work being initially that of a script doctor. Joseph Goebbels is pleased with the changes Harlan makes to the script and his dramaturgical skill, which is based largely on his experience in the theater. In his quest for authenticity, Harlan visits the Lublin and Prague ghettos to select Jewish extras. Finding a suitable male lead turns out to be difficult because for complex reasons most actors are ashamed to be associated with the part of Joseph Süss Oppenheimer. Given the omnipresence of anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany, Jud Süss raises the question why the German film industry has avoided this matter for so long before this point.

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, casting, Jews, location shooting, Lublin ghetto, Prague ghetto, Jud Süss preproduction history, Jud Süss production history, propaganda, script doctor

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