The premiere of the antisemitic propaganda film Der ewige Jude in Berlin on November 28, 1940 clearly signified the coming catastrophe for European Jewry.
(5) As Hornsh[phi]j-M[phi]ller and David Culbert note in their detailed study of Der ewige Jude, the film originates at least partly in the drama of Goebbels' private life; having "fallen into disfavour" with Hitler due to a love affair with actress Lida Baarova, Goebbels sought to win Hitler back by playing upon his obsessive antisemitism.
Structurally, Der ewige Jude has been described as a compilation film, or as belonging to what Hoffmann has coined the "parasitic" genre of film, due to its distortion of footage, clips, and images taken from other films and sources in a way that changes the original meaning of the images as they are torn from their context.
(14) These clips are torn from their context and manipulated--even mistranslated--to serve the ideological purpose of the Der ewige Jude. For example, as Joan Clinefelter demonstrates, Hippler takes a clip from the American film The House of Rothschild in which Meier Amschel Rothschild hides his money from the tax collector, but leaves out the context--namely, that Jewish families were forced to hide their wealth because they were taxed more heavily than non-Jewish businessmen.
Der ewige Jude also makes use of images from two Nazi-organized art exhibits of 1937: Der ewige Jude, an exhibition that Goebbels and Julius Streicher opened in Munich on November 8, 1937 and, from the same year and again in Munich, an exhibit entitled Entartete Kunst, which was a collection of the so-called "degenerate" art purged from German museums by the Nazis.
Der ewige Jude uses a series of images that attack modern art as Jewish and corrupt, in contrast to the pure Nordic beauty and art of the German tradition--which the film traces back to the Greeks.