Fête hitlérienne à Gengenbach (0026FN0013)



Excursion from Paul Spindler to Gengenbach and a festivity in Berghaupten.


Reference / film number :  0026FN0013
Date :  1933
Coloration :  Black and white
Sound :  Mute
Running time :  00:00:37
Film-maker :  Spindler, Paul
Reel format :  9,5 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Second World War : prewar, Cross-border tourism
Archive :  MIRA

Context and analysis

In 1933 Paul Spindler from Strasburg filmed some short scenes in Gengenbach with a length of 36 seconds with his amateur film camera Pathé-Baby in the format 9.5 mm. Unfortunately, he didn't leave any recordings or notes on his film. It is not known exactly when he took his pictures, nor what event he filmed. It is a very short fragment, a little out of focus and usually very shaky and too dark. The first thing that catches the eye is swastika flags and people who have gathered on a large meadow. The weather seems to be pleasant, people tend to wear summer clothes. There are few people in uniform and too few swastika flags for an NS event. In all, Paul Spindler filmed nine shots. The first clearly shows the entrance to the Gengenbach town hall. To the right of the entrance is a horse and cart with two horses and a decorated carriage with unified people: a man, two adult women and several children are working on the carriage. At the town hall itself, some floral decorations can be seen to the left of the entrance. The second setting is the view from the market square towards the upper city gate. Numerous swastika and imperial Reich flags can be seen at the town hall. The flag degree issued by President Hindenburg on March 12, 1933 stated that, on official occasions, the previous Reich flag with black and white red and the swastika flag should be hoisted until final clarification. A group of young girls in white dresses runs from the upper city gate towards the town hall. A little boy in shorts stands on the market square with a view towards the town hall entrance and wagon. A cut to the market fountain follows with his knight figure "Schwed". The two horses in the wagon drink from the well. The changed camera position now clearly shows flags along the street. A couple moves on the market place, otherwise it is empty. The next shot shows a large meadow with many people. You can see people sitting on benches. Some conifers are decorated. In the background, buildings such as a church and a school or administration building as well as a transformer tower can be seen. A few masts with swastika flags are set up in the meadow. When the camera is panned, some booths become visible. A decorated car with an illegible lettering comes into the picture on the right. Most people are grouped around something, maybe a competition or music. In the next shot, the camera captures individual people on a orchard. A younger woman leans against a tree, a slightly older woman with a hat laughs at the camera, a third person comes into the picture from the left. Cut to three young women in white clothes, the camera follows them. A further camera pan captures the large meadow with the many people, the booths and the striking tower. Cut to a group of four children who clearly orient themselves towards the stands to the right with their gaze and posture. Only a toddler with a curly head in a stroller looks towards the camera. The next scenes are too dark and barely recognizable, but details are visible through digital brightening. Some people in SA uniforms can be seen on the festival meadow. Some young women wear the uniform of the Bund Deutscher Mädel (BDM). The last scene is difficult to see. It shows a chapel, apparently in a vineyard. Intensive research in the city archives, in contemporary newspapers and on the Internet bring the result that the pictures of the meadow were taken in Berghaupten near Gengenbach. Through multiple sources and taking the weather conditions into account, two events can ultimately come into question, which are documented in the fragment. It could be the May 1st celebration that the National Socialists raised as a day of honor for the work, including the transmission of speeches from Berlin. May 1, 1933 is a Monday and public holiday with full payment of wages. The weather is rather changeable, but with a pleasant 16 ° C to 20 ° C. However, the festival meadow in Berghaupten is not mentioned in the articles. A second possibility is a fair in Berghaupten, the so-called Jörgenfest. The parish has been celebrating the Jörgen Festival on April 23 in honor of the namesake and patron saint of the local church of St. Georg since 1870; in 1933 this is a Sunday. It fits that Paul Spindler's amateur film shows stalls and booths on the edge of the large meadow and explains that the market place in Gengenbach is nearly deserted. However, the weather on this day is rather cool. Ultimately, the locations could be clarified, but not which event was recorded by Paul Spindler and when this event took place.

André Pörner

Places and monuments

Gengenbach; Berghaupten

  1. This film analysis is still in progress. It may therefore be incomplete and contain errors.