Romans and Germans in Ewiger Wald
Immediately upon coming to power, the Nazis brought the German film industry under their direct command. The 1936 feature film Ewiger Wald (“Eternal Forest”) shows the Nazis’ view of the cycle of life and death in nature and among the people and culminates in the Nazi era. The film’s first historical scene is the Roman defeat in the Teutoburg Forest. Uniquely, it is the Volk, not Arminius, who beat back the invaders with the help of patriotic nature. Rarely has history been presented on screen with such blatant distortion. In its portrayal of Romans and Germans, Ewiger Wald harks back to Die Hermannschlacht of 1924, the subject of the preceding chapter. Ewiger Wald also parallels the Nazis’ greatest self-glorification on screen, Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will (1935). The chapter closes with a discussion of Nazi views about ideological uses of history in films and spectatorship of historical cinema.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.