“While Reds dance on the graves of fallen comrades, the Freikorps march to defend Germany!”
Armistice: November 11, 1918. World War 1 ends, but there is no peace in Germany. Proletarian revolution has erupted in Munich, and unemployed frontline soldiers volunteer as paramilitary Freikorps (Free Corps) mercenaries to save the Fatherland from the Soviet-backed Red menace. The spirit of the German Frontkamaraden explodes across the screen as Hans Zöberlein’s Um das Menschenrecht (For the Rights of Mankind) reignites the turbulent era of Munich’s Soviet Republic and its reactionary, fiercely patriotic Freikorps foes.
Zöberlein was a right-wing fanatic, a decorated World War 1 veteran, a Freikorps member, an early Nazi Party member, an SA stormtrooper who had participated in Adolf Hitler’s 1923 Munich Beer Hall Putsch, and a best-selling author. His first film, Stosstrupp 1917 (Shock Troop 1917, also available from International Historic Films) is one of the great World War 1 pictures, and Um das Menschenrecht, a direct sequel to it, is one of the most energetic of the Nazi propaganda films. Zöberlein wrote, produced, and directed both pictures for his own production company, Arya Film, whose name signified race consciousness. As Freikorps hero Hans Krafft puts it, “Germany is in dire need of someone who would bring back discipline and order!” Germany hadn’t long to wait.
The Freikorps and the Reds used to be comrades in the front lines but are now engaged in a bloodbath of civil war. The superb Munich battle scenes are well staged—street by street, building by building—for Zöberlein had cast many actual Munich war veterans for these sequences. The Freikorps prevail, remaining true to their comrades who fell defending Germany in WW1.
Following its December 28, 1934 premiere, the film was shortened for general release. The present IHF release contains the deleted footage, restoring Um das Menschenrecht to its original length. Directed by Hans Zöberlein. Starring Hans Schlenck, Kurt Holm, Ernst Martens, Beppo Brem.
Germany, 1934. B/W, 118 mins. German dialogue, English subtitles.
DVD Special Features:
Digitally remastered Deluxe Version mastered in HD from original 35mm print.
- Historical Background Slideshow
- Original Promotional Materials:
- Illustrierter Film-Kurier w/ EnglishTranslation
- Filmwelt with English Translation
- Press Photos & Posters
- Mastered in HD from an original 35mm print & digitally restored for superb quality.
See also Zoberlein 2 DVD Set
Libraries and Institutions Please Note: Educational Editions with PUBLIC PERFORMANCE RIGHTS and DIGITAL SITE LICENSES are available
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)
Available February 2019. Pre-Order Today!