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The Mortal Storm Brown Shirts


hamradio
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Not many films portray the Brown shirt (SA) Nazis.  We are accustom to the darker uniforms of the regular German army and the SS.  Anyone payed attention the the type of Nazi's in "The Mortal Storm"? Their leaders didn't fair well (to put it mildly) after The Night of Long Knives" in 1934.

 

Just thought this tidbit was worth noting.

 

2007-07-09-stack-thumb.jpg

 

Brown shirts during the 1930's

621950.jpg

 

 

Post SA era

hqdefault.jpg

 

Knobelbecher.jpg

Edited by hamradio
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6uh4nvIoIw

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6uh4nvIoIw

 

 

Hans Westmar- Einer von vielen (1933) German w/ English subtitles

 

("Hans Westmar- One Among Many")

 

 

Nothing like a little Nazi/Third Reich imagery to get a thread cooking!

 

This film was a fictionalised account of the life of Storm trooper Horst Wessel, who became an official martyr of the movement and regime following his assassination in 1930. He wrote the words to what would be famously known as the Horst Wessel song- the official anthem of his party. The song enjoys undying popularity to this day, as the tune is quite catchy and is associated with that notorious regime:

 

 

 

 

The youtube film was posted by a person with the username "Julius Streicher" (He also uses Streicher's picture as an avatar)! Eccentrics have a field day on youtube! Here is some information the user (fan?) has posted about the film:

 

Hans Westmar (full title: Hans Westmar. Eisner von vielen. Ein deutsches Schicksal aus dem Jahre 1929 - "Hans Westmar. One of many. A German Fate from the Year 1929") was the last of an unofficial trilogy of films commissioned by the Nazis shortly after coming to power in January 1933, celebrating their "Kampfzeit" - a mythologized history of their period in opposition, struggling to gain power. The film is a fictionalized biography of the famous Nazi martyr, Horst Wessel.

Originally, the film, based on Hanns Heinz Ewers' novelistic biography, was named Horst Wessel. Josef Goebbels temporarily banned it, eventually allowing its release with alterations and with the main character's name changed to the fictional "Hans Westmar". One reason may have been to avoid "de-mystifying" Wessel. Part of the problem was that authentic depiction of the Sturmabteilung (stormtroopers), including engaging in violent street brawls with Communists, did not fit the more reasonable tone the Nazis adopted while in power, and would have undermined Volksgemeinschaft; the fictionalized Westmar, unlike Wessel, does not alienate his family and preaches class unity. It was, however, among the first films to depict dying for Hitler as a glorious death for the Fatherland, resulting in his spirit inspiring his SA comrades. His decision to go to the streets is presented as fighting "the real battle."

The film concentrates on the conflict with the Communist Party in Berlin (Karl Liebknechkt Haus) in the late 1920s. When Westmar arrives in Berlin the communists, whose leaders include several stereotypical Jews, are popular, holding large parades through Berlin singing "The Internationale". When he looks into the cultural life of Weimar Berlin, he is horrified at the "internationalism" and cultural promiscuity, which includes black jazz music and Jewish nightclub singers.

Westmar decides to help organize the local Nazi Party and becomes, through the course of the plot, responsible for their electoral victories, which encourages the communists to kill him.

 

 

Hi Hamradio!

 

As an interesting aside, the colorised picture you have posted is from one of those "Cigarette books" that were popular in Germany and the UK back then, and which are today hot collectible items in the antique book trade. These were a partnership between a book publisher and a tobacco company. The publisher would sell a book featuring text without pictures, but would provide spaces to glue in a picture. The picture would be obtained by redeeming a coupon that came with a pack of cigarettes. A typical album would require 150-200 pictures, sometimes more. That meant the poor sap had to smoke up a storm, consuming the equivalent of 20+ cartons just to fill up his picture book! A fair number of these have survived; it must have been quite a fad at one time.

 

The cigarette books covered many themes: cars, film stars, zeppelins, women's fashions etc. The ones that command the highest price today are the ones devoted to the history of the Nazi party- as they are a goldmine of rare contemporary images of the party and it's leaders in the early days. The pictures are almost all hand colored photos like the one hamradio posted (True color photography was still in it's infancy) These books are often incomplete, as the owner did not acquire enough pictures (didn't smoke enough!) to complete the album. A cigarette book about the Nazi party that is complete with all the pictures, can sell for $600- $1,000 depending on condition and rarity.

 

Cigarette books were revived after the war, but died out in the 1950's. Some were published in the US in the 1930's, but the idea never caught on over here as it did in Europe.

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...The picture would be obtained by redeeming a coupon that came with a pack of cigarettes. A typical album would require 150-200 pictures, sometimes more. That meant the poor sap had to smoke up a storm, consuming the equivalent of 20+ cartons just to fill up his picture book! A fair number of these have survived; it must have was quite a fad at one time.

 

So the reader had terminal cancer before the final page was added,  LOL!  We can understand why that fad was short lived.   At least the seller on Ebay can't claim the book came from a smoke free home.  :lol:

 

I'll watch the Youtube video this weekend, thanks for posting.

 

You also stated...

(I can't get the videos to embed using the "link" button- am I doing something wrong?)

 

It's not you, I have the same problem with some of their videos as well.

 

Just noticed something about the German soldier in the last photo in my OP.  Check out Lookalikes thread.

Edited by hamradio
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Not many films portray the Brown shirt (SA) Nazis.  We are accustom to the darker uniforms of the regular German army and the SS.  Anyone payed attention the the type of Nazi's in "The Mortal Storm"? Their leaders didn't fair well (to put it mildly) after The Night of Long Knives" in 1934.

 

Just thought this tidbit was worth noting.

 

2007-07-09-stack-thumb.jpg

 

Brown shirts during the 1930's

621950.jpg

 

 

Post SA era

hqdefault.jpg

 

Knobelbecher.jpg

Speaking of THE MORTAL STORM, it is interesting that Robert Young, who was one of the principal actors of this film, which incited Americans against the Nazis, thereby creating sympathy for the U.S. entering the war, was in real life one of the leaders of the isolationist movement to keep the U.S. out of the war.

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Hi Hamradio,

 

I fixed the problem below. I did it before but forgot the protocol. Kid Dabb gave me kind assistance. To embed a video you go to the "Special BBCode" button, choose "Media" and paste in URL. You don't use the link button for this.

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Hi Hamradio,

 

I fixed the problem below. I did it before but forgot the protocol. Kid Dabb gave me kind assistance. To embed a video you go to the "Special BBCode" button, choose "Media" and paste in URL. You don't use the link button for this.

 

 

I used the right mouse button to open the Youtube link under a separate tab, like to see the comments sometimes.

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Thelma,

 

Thanks so much for that interesting movie. This covers a part of Germany history that we don't normally get to see on American television, which is the 1920s and 30s battles, in Germany, between the Communists and the early Nazis.

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Hello Fred, thanks!

 

Here is another relevant film from that era, made in Germany. In the past I've been reluctant to post links to unsubtitled foreign films. This is however worth a mention, as it is little known and seldom seen today. There is no English subtitled version on youtube unfortunately, although I heard that there is a DVD copy for sale that has subtitles available from www.rarefilmsandmore.com.

 

SA_mann_Brand_poster_zps9a83d831.jpg

 

A heroic pose, typical of Nazi art.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSqwYleqivs

 

 

SA-Mann Brand - Ein Lebensbild aus unseren Tagen (1933)

 

GERMAN- NO ENGLISH SUBTITLES

 

(Storm Trooper Brand- An Image Of Life From Our Times)

 

 

I watched this late last night, a great time of the day for something so gritty. It's not a "glam" production like so many films of that era. It attempts to depict the environment that gave rise to all these political conflicts, which spilled over into street violence. America then had it's street violence from Prohibition and racketeers; Germany had street violence from political battles between Nazis and Communists.

 

The film depicts a struggling Berlin family, father unemployed, family near destitute and having difficulty meeting the rent. Their son became active in the storm trooper division of the Nazi party. The film depicts the period before Hitler came to power, when the party and it's paramilitary units faced police suspicion, harassment and even the temporary banning of  their flags, symbols, uniforms and public marching.

 

Both the Nazis and Communists had their networks of street spies and informants, who monitor the activities and the comings and goings of everybody on the other side. Walking alone was dangerous; members were told to always come and go in groups.

 

Storm Trooper Brand falls for a girl who works in a cigarette vending street kiosk. She is a member of the Communist Party. Love is thicker than politics I guess, and she warns him of a plot to kill him by her local Communist cell. She senses that he is otherwise a nice, decent well mannered man and takes pity on him. Together they commiserate about how both of them are after all from the same working class, divided by two conflicting visions about how to fix the mess that their society has become.

 

The chief protagonist is a local Soviet agent named Turow, whose job it is to fund and direct the local German Communist cell, with money from Moscow. The film loves playing on the idea that Communism was a foreign, Russian infiltration; Nazism was home grown and 100% German. Turow is depicted as a bit of a hedonist; his home features a constant flow and presence of pretty young women, he dresses in a silk tunic and has semi-pornographic pictures on his wall. Comrades salute one another with a clenched fist, saying "Heil Moskau!!".

 

The movie is not without it's moments of humor! The apartment building where the struggling Brand family lives is managed by a man and woman. The man, totally dominated and henpecked by his wife, has to play servile househusband, wearing an apron, washing dishes, cooking etc. while the wife plays "Fuehrer". The man is a Nazi sympathiser. The wife couldn't care less about politics, just getting the rent. The man approaches Mrs. Brand for the rent, who admits that she is unable to pay. The man is willing to overlook it, but his wife shows up, who demands immediate payment or else and walks away. The man pulls out a copy of Hitler's Mein Kampf and says: "This is the one book by wife never looks inside!". He pulls out a bumch of bills he had stashed away inside the book, gives it to Mrs. Brand and tells her to go give it to his wife. Later on the wife suspiciously tells her husband: "I thought Mrs. Brand was supposed to be upstanding and religious! Well she lied to me about the money; one moment she says she doesn't have it, the next moment she comes with a load of cash!"

 

Even funnier is when the radio announces that Hitler has been appointed chancellor. The formerly henpecked husband is electrified into manhood and switches roles on his wife, telling her what to do. A new day is about to dawn and a new cultural shift.

 

================================================================

 

 

What exactly were "Storm Troopers"? Who were the "brownshirts"?

 

They were a civilian paramilitary unit of the Nazi party. During the years of the party's ascendancy, they were a practical necessity to defend their party meetings and street parades from Communist disruption, which often turned violent. The Communists also had street fighting brigades to combat similar disruptions from the Nazis. Things got very rough, and often resulted in gunfire. 

 

After Hitler seized absolute power, he no longer needed his civilian volunteer street fighters. Now he had full control of the power of the state. This included control of the police, the establishment of a secret police (Gestapo), mass incarceration of all political opposition, banning of all parties except his own and the construction of the first concentration camps intended to house hundreds of thousand of political opponents. The brownshirts had outlived their usefulness. There was a violent purge of the Storm Trooper leadership in 1934, and the brownshirts continued on for a while, as Hitler did not have the heart to disband them or to fully repudiate them. He did owe them a lot. Without them, he would not have survived the 1920's and Hitler knew it.

 

===============================================================

 

Viewing this film today bears a broader lesson that is still relevant. The economic and political breakdown of German society came as an aftermath to WW1. The Weimar Republic is an object lesson in what happens when you get a failure of moderates, centrists and centrist govt to address economic malaise and stagnation. The people polarise into two violently opposing extremist camps of left and right. The division run through families, neighborhoods and the entire nation. Under such circumstances, it becomes a fight to the death. The winner is the "last man left standing". The winner makes sure the loser never rises again, by taking any and all measures.

 

 

 

New York Time film review from May, 1934

 

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9401EED6143FE53ABC4051DFB366838F629EDE

 

 

(Should any of you like to know what they are saying in certain parts, reference the Min/Sec marker in a PM to me and I will be glad to translate.)

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Hi Fred,

 

I tried that, but the only language choice I see offered is Estonian, which around here, doesn't help very much. I don't see English offered as a menu choice.

 

To the right of the word Estonian is a little arrow. Click on that, then click on TRANSLATE CAPTIONS. That will give you a drop down window listing many languages. Scroll down to ENGLISH and click on that. Then click OK.

 

 

This is a great film. It should be shown with The Mortal Storm.

 

Show this one first because it shows Germany in 1933 before Hitler is appointed Chancellor and while the Communists are still strong and large in number, and then at the end, Hitler is appointed, and all of a sudden the Communists begin to be rounded up and taken to prison camps, and the nice sweet young German Nazi boys suddenly begin to turn strong and mean and quickly grow in number. This is a perfect film to show BEFORE The Mortal Storm. These films fit together perfectly, and together they represent a good history lesson.

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Thanks Fred, you're amazing!

 

The resulting English subtitles are off a bit, but that's because I've never sen any language translation software that produces really good results. Translating one language into another would require a very complex algorithm, needing to cover all possible idiomatic expressions, multiple meanings etc. But it's very helpful- better than nothing if you don't know German.

 

I agree about the historical value. On another thread, you were discussing contemporary references and sources (Meaning sources from the historical time period in question) Even when they are biased or skewed, they bear some kind of witness to the time itself. One certainly gets that sense from this film!

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Thelma,

 

As your movie plays, click on CC and change the language to ENGLISH, and you will see English subtitles. Not perfect, but they will help.

 

Fred, thanks for the info on the Closed Caption translation settings.  

 

Why can't TCM show stuff like this on their Foreign Imports?  I can care less about the quality of the film.

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So the reader had terminal cancer before the final page was added,  LOL!  We can understand why that fad was short lived.   At least the seller on Ebay can't claim the book came from a smoke free home.  :lol:

 

 

Twenty cartons of cigarettes is two hundred packages. The average smoker uses one package a day. It would require approx. seven months to collect the entire set. A quick and dirty calculation shows that it is likely that I have smoked more than three thousand typical cartons in my life. The latest MRI shows that my lungs are fine.

 

My fiance sold occasional items on eBay prior to their declaring war on non-business sellers. One item was a: Feds'N'Heads game. It was a fold-out page from a magazine which was the board for a game in which players rolled dice to travel through a city buying lids while avoiding: "Busts, Bummers and Rip-Offs." The players needed to add dice, play money and markers to keep score of how much was purchased. He had noted that most which sold on eBay were sold for approx. ten dollars. He added to his the dice, money and little green houses from an incomplete: "Monopoly" game. He noted in description that the board had: "smoke damage" but no odor of nicotine. His sold for $78.

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Why can't TCM show stuff like this on their Foreign Imports?  I can care less about the quality of the film.

 

Why you ask, Ham?! Why, because of the "vast Centrist conspiracy" that TCM is all part of!

 

(...THAT'S why!!!) ;)

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Twenty cartons of cigarettes is two hundred packages. The average smoker uses one package a day. It would require approx. seven months to collect the entire set. A quick and dirty calculation shows that it is likely that I have smoked more than three thousand typical cartons in my life. The latest MRI shows that my lungs are fine.

 

My fiance sold occasional items on eBay prior to their declaring war on non-business sellers. One item was a: Feds'N'Heads game. It was a fold-out page from a magazine which was the board for a game in which players rolled dice to travel through a city buying lids while avoiding: "Busts, Bummers and Rip-Offs." The players needed to add dice, play money and markers to keep score of how much was purchased. He had noted that most which sold on eBay were sold for approx. ten dollars. He added to his the dice, money and little green houses from an incomplete: "Monopoly" game. He noted in description that the board had: "smoke damage" but no odor of nicotine. His sold for $78.

I remember that game well. Played it many times. It was originally published as a fold-out game in Playboy Magazine. You can print out this PDF and have your own copy.

 

http://www.freaknet.org.uk/graphics01/g11/Fedsnheds.pdf

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Why you ask, Ham?! Why, because of the "vast Centrist conspiracy" that TCM is all part of!

 

(...THAT'S why!!!) ;)

 

 

It is something unique in that it shows the early 1930's politics of Germany when everyone was in competition for power, mostly Nazi's vs the Communist. The very beginning states its a historic in nature.

 

One guy stood out was the old man at the Communist party gathering that looks like Andy Clyde.

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It is something unique in that it shows the early 1930's politics of Germany when everyone was in competition for power, mostly Nazi's vs the Communist. The very beginning states its a historic in nature.

 

One guy stood out was the old man at the Communist party gathering that looks like Andy Clyde.

 

Actually ham, my little, "a vast Centrist conspiracy" joke was inspired by Thelma's excellent post down there about the German film "SA-Mann Brand" and specifically the following part of her post:

 

Viewing this film today bears a broader lesson that is still relevant. The economic and political breakdown of German society came as an aftermath to WW1. The Weimar Republic is an object lesson in what happens when you get a failure of moderates, centrists and centrist govt to address economic malaise and stagnation. The people polarise into two violently opposing extremist camps of left and right. The division run through families, neighborhoods and the entire nation. Under such circumstances, it becomes a fight to the death. The winner is the "last man left standing". The winner makes sure the loser never rises again, by taking any and all measures.

 

 

(...and which I believe IS an excellent "lesson" for ALL people to remember...and not just Germans)

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Actually ham, my little, "a vast Centrist conspiracy" joke was inspired by Thelma's excellent post down there about the German film "SA-Mann Brand" and specifically the following part of her post:

 

Viewing this film today bears a broader lesson that is still relevant. The economic and political breakdown of German society came as an aftermath to WW1. The Weimar Republic is an object lesson in what happens when you get a failure of moderates, centrists and centrist govt to address economic malaise and stagnation. The people polarise into two violently opposing extremist camps of left and right. The division run through families, neighborhoods and the entire nation. Under such circumstances, it becomes a fight to the death. The winner is the "last man left standing". The winner makes sure the loser never rises again, by taking any and all measures.

 

 

(...and which I believe IS an excellent "lesson" for ALL people to remember...and not just Germans)

I can recommend The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard Evans.

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