TITEL (LFS02256 4)



Christmas celebration of the family of Pastor Emil Lind in Speyer


ZT: Wir feiern Weihnacht 1934. Kinder spielen mit Krippefiguren unter dem Weihnachtsbaum, Familie und Verwandte mit Weihnachtsgeschenken, Pfarrer Lind spielt auf Klavier, Familie singt Weihnachtslieder, Kinder wachsen Ski.


Reference / film number :  LFS02256 4
Date :  1934
Coloration :  Black and white
Sound :  Mute
Timecode :  00:02:02
Running time :  00:00:00
Film-maker :  Lind, Emil
Reel format :  16 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

The two-minute silent film from the family of the Speyer pastor Emil Lind captures very typical moments of the Christmas party of a middle-class family. The private film begins with an inscription "We celebrate Christmas 1934". In the first shot, which is unfortunately a bit too dark, the two sons of the family are playing with the nativity scene, which is under the Christmas tree decorated with tinsel. They both wear dark clothes, shorts and knee socks. In the manger, the birth of Jesus with Mary and Joseph, the three kings and animals is re-enacted. The nativity scene was initially very common in Catholic areas, but in the 19th century it was also set up in Protestant families.

This is followed by the giving of presents to the family with the couple, their daughter and two sons and two other young women. Since Emil Lind can also be seen in the picture, the camera must have been operated also by someone else. Many books, items of clothing such as a scarf, sweater and tie, and handicrafts can be seen on the gift table. The presents are handed over with a smile on their faces and people try on what looks staged for the camera. For example, one of the young women Emil Lind puts a tie around his neck, which is directly illuminated by the spotlight. In the next shot, the family has lined up around Emil Lind, who plays the piano, and they sing together fervently, presumably Christmas carols. On the piano, the notes are lit with two candles; this recording too is ultimately a bit too dark. The closing sequence shows the family inspecting skis, which were presumably also a Christmas present. Skiing became very popular as a recreational activity in the first half of the 20th century. The two girls run their hands over the running surfaces of the winter sports equipment while the son holds the ski poles. A young lady comes into the picture from the right, drying a plate.

In Speyer, Emil Lind was an important person as a Protestant pastor. Born in 1890 as the son of an elementary school teacher, he studied economics, philosophy and theology in Heidelberg, Halle, Utrecht and Strasbourg, where he heard Albert Schweitzer, with whom he was connected for a long time. In 1918 he married Katharina Elisa Ackermann and had a daughter and two sons with her. After various stations, he came to Speyer as a pastor in October 1925. In 1929 he was the main organizer of the 400th anniversary of the Speyer protestantation. At the closing event, he gave a speech to an audience of more than 100,000. He was also active as a journalist, published a number of books and between 1930 and 1936 was the “editor” of the magazine “Der Speyerer Protestant”, which appeared monthly. Although he had been trained by representatives of Protestant liberalism, Lind joined the rightwing national church unity in 1938 without being a member of the NSDAP. That is why he was suspended from the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate in autumn 1945 and was given early retirement in 1946 at the age of 56. He then worked as a freelance writer and speaker. He died in December 1966 after a long illness.

His estate includes several private films about his family, most of which were made in the 1930s (see “Familienfilm 3”, “Familienfilm 4”). They make it clear that he was very connected to his place of birth Schwegenheim and the region around Speyer.

Kay Hoffmann

Places and monuments



BÜMLEIN, Klaus, SCHLECHTER, Armin (Hg.), Emil Lind und Albert Schweitzer, Verlagshaus Speyer: Speyer, 2019; CARL, Viktor, Lexikon Pfälzer Persönlichkeiten, Arwid Hennig Verlag: Edenkoben, 1998; Emil Lind: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Lind_%28Pfarrer%29 (konsultiert 12.1.2021)

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