A German movie about the making of one of the most notorious Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda pictures has been booed at the Berlin Film Festival.
Despite a red-carpet reception for its stars, “Jew Seuss – Rise and Fall’ has sparked fury amid claims it distorts history.
It shows Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels effectively forcing Austrian actor Ferdinand Marian to accept the part in the 1940 film.
Marian is seen to be deeply reluctant to do so. He is also depicted with a Jewish wife who ends up in a concentration camp. Neither detail is based on fact although historians have said Marian was not keen to take part.
Moritz Bleibtreu described how he approached playing arch-Nazi Goebbels.
“If you look at those guys today, you ask yourself: ‘How could this have happened?’ Millions of people watched that movie and really believed that these guys were even reputable. He is, in a way, like a clown and this clownish style I found so appealing in a way that I said to myself, go and get it. So I based my role on his physical appearance and his language.”
Director Oskar Roehler’s new work reshoots much of the original film, commercial broadcasts of which are forbidden in Germany. He is unapologetic about changing the facts surrounding the making of the Nazi hate film, which helped to set the wheels of the Holocaust in motion.