Familie und Auto (LFS 02255 2)

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A Family and their car, a visting familiy from Kusel, work duty as well as trips to the Rhine River and Heidelberg


Women on the street, men stand around the car, man looks into the hood of the car. Pan across assembled family. Children hold hands and dance around a tree. Toddler is playing at a water tub and is rocking on the arm. Man on the banks of the Rhine, barges passing by; ZT: Miss Emma Hausknecht: Two women in the garden. ZT: The new album: Boy with scrapbook (including photo by Adolf Hitler); ZT: In the labor service: Man saws fallen tree trunk, boy holds the tree; ZT: The Kuseler on the Old Rhine: Family on a walk; ZT: table tennis master: Children play table tennis in the garden, father plays with them; ZT: At Easter 1934 mom sorts little pictures: Woman sitting on stairs with pictures on her lap. Boy with easter bunny. ZT: Walk to the dredging site on the island of Floßgrün: Family walking along a dam and through the forest, along the banks of the Rhine. Excavator on the banks of the Rhine; ZT: Tilli and her pull on the strap. Walter as a single dancer: Girl plays accordion, family listens, boy dances; ZT: In the Heidelberg castle: Family on an excursion to Heidelberg Castle, views of the castle; ZT: The Sunday: Girl and boy picking flowers.


Reference / film number :  LFS 02255 2
Date :  Between 1930 and 1934
Coloration :  Black and white
Sound :  Mute
Timecode :  00:10:50
Running time :  00:10:50
Reel format :  16 mm
Genre :  Amateur movie
Thematics :  Identity, Traditions, Easter, Industrial and cultural heritage, Industry
Archive :  Haus des Dokumentarfilms

Context and analysis

The amateur film documents the coexistence and above all the free time of a family based in the Schwegenheim (Palatinate) and the visit of their relatives from Kusel between 1930 and 1934, which spanned at least three generations. The pictures are very moving and were shot with a hand held camera without a tripod. Ten writing boards provide information about the content and structure it. The first scenes, which are not preceded by a blackboard, show the Kuseler car surrounded by some men. Then a man in the Sunday twine checks the oil level on the car, whose engine compartment is open on the side. Three girls and two boys then dance around a tree. A small child washes his hands and can be seen on the mother's arm. The next scenes show an open space in a city and the Rhine, on which a paddle steamer with a smoking chimney travels. After the title 'Miss Emma Haussknecht' you can see two women in everyday clothes smiling happily at the camera. The title 'The New Album' introduces a sequence in which the family sits on the stairs to the house entrance: son Walter in a sailor suit flips through a cigarette album in which a large photo of Adolf Hitler can be seen. The 'leader' is almost integrated into the family. The title 'In the Labor Service' ironically refers to the Reich Labor Service and shows the grandfather how he saws a tree and Walter helps him with it. After the title 'Die Kuseler am Altrhein' you can see that the visit is walking there. This is followed by a sequence 'table tennis master', in which the daughter Tilly and son Walter play table tennis somewhat chaotically in a sailor uniform. The visit assumes its position and plays more disciplined. In the scene 'On Easter 1934. Mom sorts pictures' she spreads out small photos on her lap. Walter shows the baking mold of an Easter bunny first in the camera and then to an older gentleman. 'Walk to the dredging site on the island of Floßgrün', which is actually called Flotzgrün, shows the two families on a walk. It is an artificial island that was created in the course of the Rhine straightening in the 19th century. As the people change in front of the camera, it becomes clear that different family members are serving them. You visit a construction site with excavators, rails and sawn-off tree trunks. The father tries to balance on the tracks. 'Tilli and her pull on the strap. Walter as a single dancer' describes the sequence in which the daughter plays the accordion sitting on a wall. Some family members are around them. Walter begins to dance as the visit mimics a conductor's gestures. Some family members are shown in close-up. The sequence 'In Heidelberg Castle' shows an excursion of the family and that Heidelberg was a popular destination even then. The inner courtyard is filled with people - maybe it is the 'Reich Festival'. Joseph Goebbels wanted to make Heidelberg "a Salzburg of the German southwest". A SA group with musical instruments runs through the picture as the families rest on a bench. In the last sequence, 'The Sunday Bouquet', Tilli and Walter pick flowers in the garden.

The photos do not show everyday work, but family life on Sundays and public holidays as well as a visit to the relatives from Kusel. So both families are always well dressed. In addition, there is the fact that the activities shown are all leisure activities: walks, excursions, table tennis and playing an instrument. The family could only pursue these activities in their free time. Of course, the influence of the camera itself may also have played a role. That is why the festive clothing can be attributed to the presence of the camera. It is interesting to observe the radius in which the family moves. While some pictures were taken in the home town, the island of Flotzgrün is about eight kilometers from Schwegenheim and Heidelberg Castle is about 50 kilometers away. The island, artificially created in the course of the Rhine straightening, covers approximately 340 hectares, which is used for agriculture and in flooding as polders. Since 1966, BASF has been operating a BASF landfill on around 80 hectares, where building rubble and toxic production residues are deposited. Filming as a hobby and the car at the beginning shows that both families were wealthy. The car is probably a Dixi / BMW 3/15, the first model from the Bayerische Motoren Werke BMW). The car built between 1929 and 1932 cost between 2,175 and 2,575 Reichsmarks. To afford such a car was anything but a matter of course at the time, especially since Germany had been in a severe economic crisis since the stock market crash in 1929.

Jo Diseviscourt

Places and monuments

Schwegenheim; Heidelberg; Rhein

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