NEW YORK (Aug. 17)
The West German entertainment industry has been mobilized to carry to the German people the truth about the Third Reich, the newspaper Variety reported here today. It said show business was "playing a major role via television, films, traveling exhibits and shows in intensifying the examination of the Third Reich."
The paper reported that at the recent Mannheim documentary film fest, "thousands of students saw films dealing with the Nazi era." It said the West German Government had bought prints of the French documentary, "Night and Fog, " dealing with the Nazi regime, and was showing the film to students and organized groups.
In Frankfurt, "10,000 shocked Germans" attended the first week of an exhibit, "Night Descended Over Germany," depicting the crimes of the Hitler regime, the paper stated. In Dortmund, an exhibit of newspaper clippings and documents on National Socialism was opened for schools by the Westphalian-Lower Rhenish Institute for Newspaper Research, it reported.
The West German television network recently carried a program dealing with the Jews who survived the concentration camps and now live in Germany. Another TV program dealt with the torture of the Jews under the Hitler regime. This fall, the paper reported, the West German network will carry a series of programs sponsored by the Cologne station and the South German network called "the road into the Abyss, 1933 to 1945."
On the stage, the paper said, Berthold Brecht’s play, "Schweik in the Second World War," has been a sensation. The story is of a Czech soldier who defies the Nazis in an attempt to protect his Jewish friends.
The paper noted that "the film industry in Germany has yet to meet the problems of the Nazi era head-on with a true examination of Hitler and his henchmen." It criticized a number of recently produced films on the Nazi era which, it said, made the Nazis "the traditional ‘bad men’ and the non-Nazi Germans the ‘good brave soldiers’ playing out their roles in a war not of their making."