Leinen Aus Irland (Linen From Ireland) DVD
Nazi Cinema’s Unique Anti-British,
Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels decided before the outset of the Second World War to make a series of anti-British pictures that would prepare German audiences for the coming struggle. The best known of these works were Der Fuchs der Glenarvon (The Fox of Glenarvon, 1940) and the more ambitious Mein Leben für Irland (My Life for Ireland, 1941). The genre culminated in Hans Steinhoff’s masterwork of anti-British propaganda, Ohm Krüger (Uncle Krüger, 1941), but it began with Heinz Helbig’s Leinen aus Irland (Linen from Ireland, 1939).
Der Fuchs der Glenarvon and Mein Leben für Irland portray the revolt of the Irish against their British oppressors. Leinen aus Irland is more indirect. The film is set in Bohemia and Vienna in 1909. Bohemian Linen Production, founded in 1751, has always employed poor, simple weavers, but the firm is going bankrupt. It is bought out by the Prague conglomerate Libussa—a symbol of unremitting corporate greed—who wish to import duty-free linen from Ireland (the threat of the British Empire) to Vienna, which will ruin Austrian weavers. Libussa’s all-powerful Jewish Secretary General, Dr. Kuhn, represents the spirit of Jewish Mammon, seeking, as he does, to dominate the European and global textile market.
Besides being anti-British, Leinen aus Irland is also one of the earliest Nazi anti-Semitic pictures. The first in this genre was the comedy Robert und Bertram (Robert and Bertram), released in July 1939; the comedy-drama Leinen aus Irland appeared in cinemas only three months later, in October. Although the primary focus in the latter is not anti-Semitic, it is there. Leinen aus Irland occupies a unique place in the history of Nazi cinema, for it is both anti-British as well as anti-Semitic.
Germany, 1939, B&W, 93 mins. Directed by Heinz Helbig. With Otto Tressler, Irene v. Meyendorff, Friedl Haerlin, Oskar Sima, Siegfried Breuer. German dialogue, switchable English subtitles.
- Historical Background Slideshow: Anti-British Propaganda and Anti-Semitism in Heinz Helbig’s Leinen Aus Irland
- Publicity Stills & Film Posters
- Film-Kurier Slideshow (with interactive English Translations)
- Werberatschlag Pressbook Slideshow (with interactive English Translations)
- Switchable English Subtitles
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
Libraries and Institutions Please Note: Educational Editions with PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS and DIGITAL SITE LICENSES are available.