Wandering Jew

(redirected from Ewige Jude)
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a legendary Jew condemned to roam the world for mocking Jesus at the Crucifixion

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The premiere of the antisemitic propaganda film Der ewige Jude in Berlin on November 28, 1940 clearly signified the coming catastrophe for European Jewry.
6) Presenting itself as a documentary and carrying the subtitle "a cinematic contribution to the problem of world Jewry," Der ewige Jude appeared as the third in a trio of antisemitic films in 1940, along with the two fictional films Jud Su[beta] and Die Rothschilds.
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.
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.
The challenge of Der ewige Jude is to destroy all familiarity, and one of its techniques is to look closer and closer at its object until the sheer force of repetition renders the familiar ever stranger.
Der ewige Jude combines this gnostic agenda of early cinema with the racial physiognomy that served Third Reich ideology.
Not only does Der ewige Jude subscribe to such theories that lay claim to the visual markers of race, it also mimics the "monologic structure" of observation that characterizes both Lavater's physiognomic gaze and the famous panoptic penitentiary of Jeremy Bentham.
The confession scene allows the viewer one of the film's few unmediated images of Lorre, whose anonymity, like the assimilated Jew in Der ewige Jude, allows him to hide in shadows and crowds and to conceal his true identity.
1) In disfavor today for its authoritarian tone, which appears to be built into its very structure, the omniscient voice-over of Der ewige Jude is essential to its persuasiveness and its goal of indoctrination.
Recall that just as Barthes begins by studying advertising images because, he argues, "the signification of the image is undoubtedly intentional," the intentional and indeed calculated purpose of a pseudo-documentary propaganda film like Der ewige Jude is obvious, and subject to a Barthes-inspired reading of images.
In Der ewige Jude, anchorage is the most significant, and is wielded as a weapon against any "subversive" interpretation of the filmic images.