Hände Hoch! (Hands Up!) Alfred Weidenmann DVD
Hände hoch! (Hands Up!) is a tale of Hitler Youth boys taken from bombed cities and evacuated to rural camps, where, according to the will of the Führer, they are free to lead their own happy, carefree lives. Hitler Youth propaganda officer Alfred Weidenmann, a prolific author of boys' adventure novels, was the ideal choice to direct this morale-building, idealistic picture. He was sixteen when Adolf Hitler came to power and only twenty-five when he made Hände hoch! Exteriors were shot on location at the Kinderland country camp in the Hohe Tatra Mountains of Slovakia, and many of the lads seen in the film were actual members of that camp. When the boys are given an opportunity to assist local police in apprehending two escaped criminals, an exuberant chase through the Slovakian mountains begins.
Skillfully constructed, briskly paced, and laced with suspense and humor, Hände hoch! premiered at Berlin's prestigious Ufa-Palast am Zoo on 25 October 1942 and was enthusiastically endorsed wherever it played. Was it Nazi propaganda? Yes, for it promotes the good camaraderie of the true Volksgemeinschaft (ethnic-racial community). Its market was young boys, who needed reassurance at a time when Germany was already losing the war. It was produced by the German Film Production and Administrative Company, which had produced the anti-Semitic Der ewige Jude. It was distributed by the Nazi Party. It was awarded the German film industry's highest honor, that of "Special Political and Artistic Value". Its screenings were often introduced by speeches of Reich Minister for Propaganda Dr. Joseph Goebbels and Reich Youth Leader Artur Axmann. It is also merely a delightful comedic adventure.
Written and directed by Alfred Weidenmann. Starring Erich Dunskus, Willy Witte, Johannes Schütz, Hitler Youth cubs. Germany, 1942, B&W, 63 minutes, German dialogue, English subtitles.
Historical Background Slideshow:
- The German Film Production & Administration Company Ltd. (DFG)
Original Promotional Materials Slideshows:
- Der Film Review & Article w/Eng. Translations
- Film Kurier Tageszeitung
- Gaufilmstelle Poster w/Eng Translation
- Filmwelt Article
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)