Viet Harlan

Viet Harlan : Nazi Germany

Veit Harlan, the son of a novelist, was born in Berlin, on 22nd September, 1899. He became an actor and began appearing on the stage at the age of sixteen.

After working for the Berlin State Theatre for eleven years Harlan became a film actor. A supporter of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), Harlan directed his first film, Krach im Hinterhaus, in 1934. This highly successful film was followed by Kater Lampe (1935) and Die Kreutzersonate (1937).

Harlan's support for the Nazi Party was illustrated in his films, Jugend (1938), Verwehte Spuren (1938), Das Unsterbliche Herz (1939), Jud Süss (1940), an anti-semitic film which was shown in occupied countries to whip up hostility towards locals Jews. Other films made by Harlan included Der Grosse Konig (1941) and Kolberg (1944).

After the Second World War Harlan was arrested and imprisoned by the Allies. However, in April, 1949, he was found not guilty of "crimes against humanity". Veit Harlan died in 1963.

Primary Sources

(1) Ernst Hanfstaengel first met Anton Drexler in 1922.

Anton Drexler, the original founder of the Party, was there most evenings, but by this time he was only its honorary president and had been pushed more or less to one side. A blacksmith by trade, he had a trade union background and although it was he who had thought up the original idea of appealing to the workers with a patriotic programme, he disapproved strongly of the street fighting and violence which was slowly becoming a factor in the Party's activities and wanted to build up as a working-class movement in an orderly fashion.