Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

Introduction 11

The aftermath of the First World War 11

The War Experience 12

Research into war films: film historians 16

Siegfried Kracauer 19

Cultural historians: Eksteins, Winter and Mosse 21

Carrying out the research 25

Press sources 28

Chapter arrangement 30

Chapter 1: 'Lehrreich und amüsant' - Historical films in the period 1896-1933 33

German film industry during the First World War 36

Bufa and Ufa 39

Screening the war 41

Film in the Weimar Republic 45

Censorship 46

The military in film 49

From relative stability to crisis 53

Chapter 2: 'Die Legende von der Unschuld' - Films about the run-up to the war, especially 1914. Die letzten Tage vor dem

Weltbrand 59

The Weimar Republic and the Kriegsschulddebatte 60

1914. Die letzten Tage vor dem Weltbrand 63

Emil Ludwig and the Kriegsschuldfrage 71

Der Doppelmord von Sarajewo 75

Brandstifter Europas 77

Critical reception of 1914 80

Political context 82

Chapter 3: 'Das Dokumentarische gewinnt die Oberhand'

- Archival footage and constructions in war films 87

Der Weltkrieg, an official outlook on the war 90

The beginning of the war 95

The battles of Liège, Tannenberg and the Marne River 97

The battle of Ypres, the myth of Langemarck 99

The battles at Verdun and the Somme 102

Fort Douaumont at Verdun 103

The battle at the Somme 104

Somme and Douaumont, monuments for the unknown soldier 106

Tannenberg 112

Tannenberg without Von Hindenburg 113

History and tragedy 115

Chapter 4: 'Wenn wir Helden wären, wären wir schon längst daheim'

- Realism and anti-war tendencies in four films 123

Literary context: war literature 123

Namenlose Helden 125

Westfront 1918 127

The war scene 131

Cinematography 134

Die andere Seite 136

Niemandsland 141

National identities 144

The reviews 147

Comradeship, heroism and nationality 152

Chapter 5: 'Auf dem Meere, da ist der Mann noch etwas wert'

- Films about the German navy during the First World War 161

The surface ships 164

Unsere Emden and Kreuzer Emden 164

Criticism, mythologisation and intertextuality 168

Scapa Flow and the navy rebellion 172

The U-boat films 175

Die versunkene Flotte and U9 Weddigen 175

Critical reviews 180

Drei Tage auf Leben und Tod 181

Morgenrot 183

The press 189

Chapter 6: 'Neid, Leid, Tränen - das ist der Krieg'

- Gender and war films 193

Das deutsche Mutterherz and Deutsche Frauen - Deutsche

Treue 194

Motherhood and fatherland 198

Suffering and love in other war films 200

Companionship and betrayal: Ich hatt' einen Kameraden 206

Husbands coming back home: Feldgrau and Heimkehr 212

Epilogue 219

The various narratives 220

Myths 223

Critical assessment 224

Complex representations 225

Notes 227

Credits Weimar War Films 291

Archives and Libraries 303

Bibliography 305

Index of names 319

Index of subjects

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