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Move Film Objected by Catholics As Offensive Withdrawn in Germany

February 27, 1928
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(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Because of the objections of leading Catholics to the film depicting the life of Luther and the period of the Reformation, the production was withdrawn from exhibition in the German moving picture houses.

This development is of particular interest to the Jewish public in the United States because of the similarity of the case to the controversy over the “King of Kings,” now being shown in various American cities, to which many objections have been raised in Jewish quarters as conducive to generating anti-Jewish hatred.

The film depicting the life of Luther was first shown last Thursday, after having been revised to meet the requirements of the German censor. The producers voluntarily introduced further modifications but the day following the first exhibition a protest signed by leading Catholic ecclesiastics was published. While expressing appreciation for the modifications made in the film, the protest declared that the film still wounds the feelings of Catholics and decalred that Catholics would boycott the film. The Catholic press joined in the protest. The Archbishop of Breslau addressed a message of protest to the Minister of the Interior, urging that the exhibition of the film be prohibited.

In a statement issued the producer, Hans Kyser, declared that in filming the picture they had carefully avoided arousing any denominational controversy. Citing many instances in which, he declared, the best aspects of Catholic life were emphasized, the producer declared that they had adhered strictly to historical fact, had rejected much and used only verified material in order to spare Catholic feelings.

Despite the fact that the film has passed the censorship, the Munich police insisted on prohibiting the exhibition of the film. The producer has applied to the censor for a re-examination. In the meantime, the film has been withdrawn.

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