Hitler listening to the Bruckner 7th
A recording of the first movement of Bruckner's 7th Symphony is played at the beginning of a ceremony to honor the heroic death of Nazi soldiers. Hitler seems to be in a sort of trance ...
The event took place in the courtyard of the « Zeughaus » (old Arsenal building) in Berlin. It was built in the Baroque style, to be used as an artillery arsenal for the display of cannons from Brandenburg and Prussia.
During the Weimar Republic, the government had instituted a public day of mourning to commemorate the war dead.
On 27 February 1934, the National-Socialists introduced national holiday legislation to create « Heldengedenktag » (Day of Commemoration of Heroes), cementing the observance. In the process, they completely changed the character of the holiday: the emphasis shifted to hero worship rather than remembering the dead.
Doctor Josef Gœbbels as Propaganda Minister, issued guide-lines on content and implementation, instructing that flags no longer be flown at half-mast.
The last « Heldengedenktag » was celebrated in 1945.
« Die Deutsche Wochenschau » (The German Weekly Review) was the title of the unified newsreel series released in the cinemas of Nazi Germany from 1940 until the end of World War II. The coordinated newsreel production was set-up as a vital instrument for the mass distribution of Nazi propaganda at war. Today, the preserved « Wochenschau » short-films make-up a significant part of the audio-visual records of the Nazi era.
(Video Source : « Die Deutsche Wochenschau » newsreel.) Thanks to Gilles Houle for this information.