Film: 1309

War + Military | 1930 | Mute | B/W


Nazi propaganda promoting the Hitler Youth (HJ), just prior to World War Two.
Makes good use of the magnificent alpine views of the Austrian Tyrol, lays great emphasis on the military yet pastoral nature of the HJ, and even has some Riefenstal-esque footage of Hitler saluting a parade of HJ; it also appears typically homoerotic.

Intertitle: Arbeitsdienst II: Teil. Kulturfilm Institut G.m.b.h. Dr. hans Curlis.

A line of slim and muscular young men, stripped to the waist, come forward to pick up tools from a pile in front of them. They are in the countryside, but an electricity pylon can be seen behind them. They are supervised by a man in uniform wearing a swastika armband. As each young man picks up a spade, they throw it over their shoulder like a rifle. The camera pans across to show a slate-roofed building they are standing beside, and then the mountainous landscape with snow patches on the grass. A telegraph pole can also be seen, and a wooden cart. The boys stride across the rough but picturesque - poets would say sublime - landscape, with conifers in the distance.
The young men now walk across a field with a spectacular view of the Austrian/German Tyrolean mountains before them. Some of the boys carry garden forks instead of shovels, but in every case they are sloped over their shoulders like rifles. Against this alpine background they set to work.
The HJ are to cut away the turf from the hillside. The work has already been started; there is a clear distinction between the area of grass and that of the already-cleared ground. As soon as the reach their destination, the young men set to work. Thos with spades drive the sharp rounded ends into the ground, levering up the sod as they do so, then moving on to the next. Meanwhile, the boys with the forks spear the clods of earth and toss them to one side. The camera pans down the line of boys working.
A close-up showing two young men working in harmony - the HJ teaching young men to operate as one well-oiled machine, in preparation for the army. One boy cuts and levers the earth with a shovel, while the other spears and throws the clods away with his fork. [the effect of this is slightly blunted by it appearing that the earth has been pre-cut and also that the boy with the fork is having a tougher time than his colleague].
Now a line of young men, all barechested and in rough trousers and boots, move down the field cutting turf and levering it up with their spades in synchronicity.
Other HJ are working in a similar team to pick up the sods and toss them to one side.
Further along from them, three young men are using pickaxes and shovels to clear a large mound of stones and dirt.
The supervisor, in uniform with armband and cap, inspects what one of the pickaxe-wielding boys is doing. Two boys are moving clods of turf. One spears clods from a haphazard pile amd throws them to his comrade who arranges thm into a neater pile. Two other pairs of boys are doing the same thing.
A wide shot shows that a huge area of the mountain has been stripped. As the superisor walks over, the young men stop and look; One of them comes out to meet him. He gives the supervisor a Hitler salute. The supervisor salutes him briskly in return. The other young men go back to work.
Snow-capped peaks and forest-covered hillsides can be seen in the background. The young man hurry to the edge of he fields. They slope their tools over their shoulders as if they were rifles, forming two lines. They march off, against this alpine backdrop.
In military formation, the men walk along a road, past a large wooden alpine building. They now wear military caps (without peaks), tunica and belts. They stop suddenly and, again as if they were rifles, tajke their tools from their shoulders.
Now the aryan youths are heartily pulling off their long-sleeved vests (and in one case, a checked shirt and braces) and hanging them up. Then, taking an enamelled metal bowl with a sponge in it, they hurry over to a trough fashioned form a tree-trunk. Placing their bowls there they soap their hands and arms (using water from a running tap). They briskly spash water onto their faces and necks.
Now we see a parade ground. A sergeant stands before a regiment of uniformed HJ who stand to attention. One of them comes out and stands slightly ahead of the sergeant, to give orders. The cadets turn to face left (a slick, synchronised military movement) then march off, watched by the drill sergeant and another official.
The cadets, still in uniform, now sit at long benches to eat. They stand up while one, at the end of one of the tables, speaks.

Intertitle: Tischspruch: Dienst am Dolk, das soll de Inhalt unseres Daseins bleiben. Hierl.

Inside a wooden cabin, men in uniforms sit around a table laid with a a checked tablecloth, cutlery, crockery and bowls, and one large bowl sits in the centre of the table. One man, stainding, serves soup from this large bowl into one of the men's smaller bowl. He then goes around the table serving the men.
We see the Germans eating. One takes potatoes from a bowl. Flowers in a vase decorate the table. One of the men looks up and grins appreciatively.
The regiment, in uniform, stands in formation on the bare field they created. The beautiful craggy mountains are displayed in all their spleandour behind them. The boys' jackets ruffle a little in the breeze. In a series of rapid, precise movements, they perform weapons drill with their tools, directed by a drill sergeant.
Now a different drill sergeant directs some men (standing against a different background) [the picture jumps here]. The soldiers raise their spades to their shoulders, then turn first left, tehn right, then to face forwards once more. They then return their spades to their sides.
A close-up of the square-jawed, clean-shaven men holding their tools sloped over their shoulders, then perform more drill. The soldiers march off in formation.
A smaller group of soldiers stands in front of some chalet-like barracks. They perform various manouvres.
In a classroom, a large map is attached to one wall. Three men in uniform stand in front of it, gesturing and pointing at it in explanation, while a group of cadets sit and observe.
A large lake with reeds growing at the edges. Aryan boys in shorts (and nothing else) run into the water in a big group. One boy wears skimpy black trunks (making him look slighlty out of place). He carries a small box which he places on the bank. The boys splash around in the river.
Two boys, now in trousers but still stripped to the waist, use watering cans to water plants growing neatly outside the wooden, chalet-like huts (which are probably barracks). These huts have their wndows open. Other men dressed in a similar way polish their shoes.
Now a close up, as two HJ polish their spades. One puts polish from a bottle onto a rag, and smears the head of the spade withi long streaks of polish. He offers another young man the bottle, but gets no response and so places it on a bench to the right of the screen. Another HJ is darning some socks using a wooden darning mushroom and a darning needle. A soldier in a Nazi armband points out holes in an item of clothing to another man with sllicked-back hair. A group of three HJ make a model aeroplane; their uniformed supervisor investigates. When he comes over, they stand sharply to attention and one gives the Hitler salute.
An HJ in uniform carries two metal pails full of pig slop. He walks past a duckpond (some runner-bean canes can also be seen in the background; this brief section emphasises the rural, self-sufficient nature of the Nazi dream). The boy throws some food to the ducks, who swim over to eat. Picking up the buckets, he goes through a wooden gate and comes to a pig pen. He empties one of the buckets into a trough and the other onto the floor. The pigs scoff their food.
Among the bean-canes, two other HJ are hoeing.
A jovial sing-song; Germans playing accordions.
On a parade ground, a drill-sergeant inspects a line of men in uniform. He is holding a fistful of papers, and wears a knife in a sheath at his waist. One soldier spins around to be inspected and is handed one of the pieces of paper. There is a close-up on the face of the next soldier in line as he performs the same movement; he too is handed a piece of paper. The third soldier does the same; the button of his left breast-pocket is unfastened, and is done up by the inspector. When all the men have their pieces of paper, they jump to attention then run off (one skips away camply, waving his paper).
The soldiers walk through an alpine village. They stroll along at leisure (one carrying a small leather bag) past the typically austrian houses, and past a low stone wall with logs stacked against it. They then turn into another street.
Outside the chalets/barracks, a 'sentry' patrols up and down outside holding his spad sloped over his shoulder. Above him as the camera pans up are some mountains, some power lines, and then the clouds.
A flag showing two sheaves of wheat and an acorn flutters against a mountainous background.
A man in uniform raps on a drum.
Men play trombones, from which hang banners showing the design on the flag mentioned above, superimposed onto a swastika. In the background, a sculpture shows the same design.
A view of a huge Nazi rally. Thousands of people stand in rows in an enormous stadium - probably Nuremburg. The crowd ripples as they give the Hitler salute. The fuhrer himself stands on a gigantic stone podium with a microphone in front of him, and is saluted by a lieutenant - Hitler returns the salute.
Troops march past the spectators' stands (incorportaing Adolf's podium) behind which flutter tens of swastika flags and a where is placed a huge german eagle, wings outstretched, atop a swastika. A closer view of the troops on parade - they are carrying shovels. A band plays in the foreground as other uniformed men march past carrying swastika banners. Adolf Hitler, leader of the '1000 year German Third Reich', stands in his classic uniform with his hair slicked back. He gives the Nazi salute to the troops parading past, standing in the back of a leather-upholstered German staff car, attended by troops. More men march past carrying spades and flags, as the band plays on. Hitler continues to stand and salute them as they march past him; our last view is of Hitler as he stands in his car.

Intertitle: Deutsche Jugend, Sei Stoltz auf die Ausgaben, zei denen Dich der Arbeitsdienst ruft! Hierl

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 1309.