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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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(p.221) 17 Frenzy
Veit Harlan

Frank Noack

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter deals with the completion of Harlan’s last two Nazi-era films, Opfergang and Kolberg, during 1943 and 1944. Joseph Goebbels finds Harlan’s aesthetics outdated and his use of heavenly choirs on soundtracks embarrassing. Nevertheless, he wants him to adapt William Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice for the screen and intends it to be the regime’s first anti-Semitic film since Jud Süss. He is dissatisfied with Harlan’s work on Kolberg, in particular his sadism: Harlan has a stone wall collapse on a woman giving birth. Goebbels orders cuts and rewrites. German films are still released in neutral countries such as Switzerland and Sweden, and for the Swedish premiere of Opfergang in October 1944, Kristina Söderbaum is allowed to return to her homeland.

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, cuts and rewrites, heavenly choirs, neutral countries, outdated aesthetics, sadism, Sweden, Switzerland, Opfergang, Kolberg, The Merchant of Venice

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