1935 Nazi Propaganda Film: "Day of Freedom" (Military Focus)

Discussion in 'The Third Reich' started by BCATP B&GS No7, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Readers who read my recent post on the Leni Riefenstahl propaganda film "Triumph des Willens" might be interested to know about the follow-up film released just ten months later. It can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_IWoMH17EY

    The earlier film focused on Hitler, senior Nazi figures and stormtroopers during the Nuremberg Rally of 1934. Around the time of its release (March 1935), Werner von Blomberg, the Minister of War and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, was engaged in an internal struggle to keep the Wehrmacht from being taken over by the SA and SS leadership. He embarked on what might be termed a 'quiet Nazification' of the Wehrmacht, which included the forced resignation of Jewish officers, the incorporation of Nazi symbols on military uniforms and, infamously, the introduction of a military oath of allegiance to Hitler (i.e. not to the state or its people).

    In any event, Blomberg and other generals had complained that the Wehrmacht had been virtually ignored in Triumph des Willens. In response to the complaints, arrangements were made to produce another film that would focus on parading Wehrmacht forces and the extensive mock battle scenes staged at the 1935 Nuremberg Rally.

    This film, Tag der Freiheit: Unsere Wehrmacht ("Day of Freedom: Our Armed Forces") is noteworthy for a few reasons:

    - it highlights the somewhat tenuous separation of the 'nonpolitical' armed forces from the Nazi leadership
    - it apparently includes the first public display of German tanks (supposedly prohibited under the Treaty of Versailles)
    - although horse-mounted troops and obsolete biplane aircraft appear in the film, the emphasis on mobile forces (tanks, armoured cars, mobile guns, aircraft, anti-aircraft guns) is not difficult to discern. (The military display occurred five years before Blitzkrieg was unleashed on Poland).

    It is interesting to note that three years after this film's release, Neville Chamberlain still clung to his belief that Hitler had no intention of unleashing the greatly-expanded German forces on the continent. Meanwhile, France continued to pour resources into the Maginot Line, without addressing the implications of Germany's massive rearmament, with its heavy emphasis on mobile forces and aircraft. The unfortunate consequences would be apparent to the world before the fourth anniversary of the film's release.
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Excellent photography. I'd be interested in seeing your views on Kolberg (1945), at the other end of the timescale.
  3. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I have an old book (1966) by Robert J. O'Neil called "The German Army and the Nazi Party"

    It has been a while since I read the book, but it was interesting reading about the intrigues carried out.

    here is a photo from the book showing Blomberg showing his support.

    There appears to be only one Person not quite in step!

    Photo of Blomberg with Hitler 001.bmp.jpg

  4. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    That would be a big negatory, there, big Tom. He is in step, it is the others who are not.
  5. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Absolutely. Everyone else is out of step!


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