Jud Süss / Jew Suess (1940)
by Der Stürmer
In this notorious NS propaganda historical film, a conniving, ambitious Jewish businessman, Suess Oppenheimer, snares a post as treasurer to the Duke of Wurttemburg by showering the corrupt duke with treasure and promises of even greater riches. As the Jew’s schemes grow more elaborate and his actions more brazen, the dukedom nearly erupts into civil war. Persuaded by the Jew, the Duke all but scuttles the constitution and alienates the assembly by lifting the local ban on Jews in Stuttgart. In a final outrage, the Jew rapes a wholesome German girl and tortures her father and fiancee. When the Duke succumbs to a sudden heart attack, the assembly of Elders try the Jew and sentence him to death for having “carnal knowledge of a Christian woman.”
Directed by Veit Harlan; music by Wolfgang Zeller; featuring Ferdinand Marian, Werner Krauss, Heinrich George, and Kristina Söderbaum.
Germany, 1940, B&W, 95 minutes, German dialogue, English subtitles.