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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 118 (November 1947)

Impounded films,   pp. 7-[8] PDF (1.4 MB)


Page 7


r"UHE FILMS were impounded in July
J. 1945 when an Information Control
regulation was posted in the town
halls of every city and village in the
US occupied areas and broadcast by
radio  and press.  The regulation
directed that all motion picture film,
exposed and unexposed, professional
and amateur, except those of strictly
family significance, be turned over to
the local German town mayors. The
officials were instructed to impound
the films and guard them until they
could be gathered at various central
collecting points for removal to the
storage rooms at Geiselgasteig.
However, some footage which would
have been of extreme historical inter-
est was lost. Before the posting of
the directive, many a reel had been
used as a new and amusing toy by
children or to kindle fires by adults.
Some former theater owners or motion
picture film projectionists hid prints,
IMPOUNDED PRINTS at the Bavarian
Filmkunst in   Geiselgasteig,  near
Munich, are Inspected by the chief
archives manager.    (ICD OMGB)
thinking they might some day repre-
sent a tangible financial asset. Some-
times they even buried the films
under heaps of manure or farm soil,
where, of course, the celluloid rotted.
For example, MG film control author-
ities were never able to piece to-
WEEKLY INFORMATION BULLETIN
ORE THAN 1,000,000 feet of
M valuable documentary motion
picture film are in the custody of the
office of Military Government for Ba-
varia. The films, which are extremely
informative sociologically, reflect the
customs, prejudices, and propaganda
of the Nazi era. They are filed in
guarded storage rooms at the Bavarian
Filmkunst in  Geiselgasteig,  near
Munich.
Included among these is a large
library of films kept by Hitler in his
mountain retreat at Berchtesgaden,
among which "Hitlerjunge Quex,"
"Fuqitives," and "Traumulus" were
his favorites. He also had a large
collection of animated cartoons in
English, sub-titled in German, which
he was known to have shown for re-
laxation. He possessed short films on
the Atlantic Wall and on the West
Wall activities. Expert locksmiths of
the Bavaria Filmkunst succeeded in
opening the vaults containing these
films without damaging theme
Many of the impounded films have
been used in evidence at war crimes
trials at Dachau and Nuremberg. Sev-
eral, including  the  feature "Ich
Klage An" (I Accuse), were exhibited
during testimony in the medical trial
at Nuremberg. Many impounded prints
have been placed at the disposal of
the EUCOM Intelligence School for
the training of occupation personnel,
by demonstrating Nazi propaganda
techniques, and assisting in German
language inst ruction.
10 NOVEMBER 1947
7


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