Heimkehr (Homecoming) DVD Gustav Ucicky, Paula Wessely 1941
"Nazi Germany's justification for the Polish War and Eastern Occupation."
Deluxe Edition Digitally Restored from 35mm film print.
Spring 1939. In Aa small town in Poland, German minorities are the victims of ever-increasing hatred and violence. When Poland is invaded by Hitler, all Germans are rounded up and await execution. Based on true events, Gustav Ucicky's stylishly directed Heimkehr (Homecoming) and is one of the most intense Nazi propaganda pictures ever made. It belongs to the overtly nationalistic Heim ins Reich (Back Home to the Reich) genre of films so popular with German audiences during the Third Reich, wherein homesick Germans living abroad long to return home to Hitler's new Reich ("Just think, Germans all around us, good old, warm German soil, at home among your own, to the homeland again."). Ucicky had already made the first of these back-to-the-Reich propaganda pictures, Flüchtlinge (Refugees), starring Hans Albers, in 1933. Heimkehr's dialogue is outspokenly anti-Polish and anti-Semitic ("The time will one day come, when we shall live among Germans, and when one enters a store, no word of Yiddish or Polish will be spoken, but only the German tongue.").
Technically an Austrian picture, Heimkehr was produced by Wien-Film, a Viennese studio that had been German-controlled since 1936. The film was shot in Vienna, with extensive location work in Poland, and took nearly seven months to shoot. It stars popular Viennese actress Paula Wessely, one of the Führer's favorite actresses, and her husband, Attila Horbiger. The picture was premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 31, 1941. Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels awarded it the rare Film der Nation (Film of the Nation) prize when the film opened in Berlin at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo on October 23, 1941. Heimkehr was immensely popular with audiences, was critically acclaimed, and ran in Reich cinemas for 15 months. After the war, it was seen as a major propaganda effort to justify Hitler's invasion of Poland.
Directed by Gustav Ucicky. Starring Paula Wessely, Peter Petersen, Attila Hörbiger, Ruth Hellberg and Carl Raddatz.
Austria, 1941, B&W, 95 Minutes. German dialogue, English subtitles.
Digitally remastered from 35mm print for superb picture quality.
DVD Special Features:
- Historical Background Video Essay: "The Post-War Fate of the Polish Actors who Appeared in Heimkehr"
- Original Promotional Materials Slideshows: Illustrierter Film Kurier & Das Programm von Heute with English Translations, Photos, Ads, Posters, World Premiere Program and more!
- Pictorial Report on Polish Atrocities and Polnische Blutschuld Books Slideshows
- 20 page Illustrated Color Scholarly Essay Booklet
NTSC Region 0 encoding (Entire World)