On 14 November 1938 – shortly after the pogroms organized by the Nazi party the night of 9 November – the German authorities ban Jewish children to attend the schools. Our short film shows at the beginning previously unreleased film material of Berlin and Jewish students of a Berlin high school, which have been filmed in 1937 by the American film director Julien Bryan. In the thirties and especially before and after the Olympics of 1936, the Nazi regime is trying to show metropolitan normality to the outside world. The pictures of Julien Bryan prove with simple observations, such as the yellow-painted park benches for Jews or the Nazi pennants in a kindergarten, that the dark shadow of inhuman totalitarian dictatorship lurks behind the surface of harmless busy everyday life. For long time Nazi party and state authorities already work on steps to further racial discrimination of the Jewish population. In 1938 the official plans for the final deprivation of rights and for the expulsion of the German Jews are elaborated. This includes the prohibition of schooling for Jewish children. A compulsory property levy that is imposed on the Jewish population in November 1938, provides a huge sum of over 5.5 billion U.S. dollars in today’s values. It helps to avert a serious insolvency of the German Third Reich, which impends in fall 1938. The disenfranchisement and dispossession of Jewish citizens ultimately serves the Nazi government to finance the military buildup for the war against its European neighbors.
Only a few Jewish citizens are able to escape from Germany. Less than 30,000 emigrants reach New York until summer 1939. The American immigration authorities keep their quotas basely. Our film shows the arrival of a ship with Jewish emigrants in 1939 in New York. We know what will happen to the children, adolescents and adults who cannot escape on such vessels.
The collection of outtakes from the 35mm footage of Julien Bryan and other film producers scanned by Framepool in HD format already includes a number of hours and will be further expanded. All footage can be licensed online for all uses.