The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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_Interview with Mr. Frank Wisbar_
Monogram Pictures
Hollywood, California
June 24, 1943

Mr. Wisbar  was one of the most successful moving 
picture directors in Germany. He met Hitler a number 
of times primarily at the studios and at parties given 
for film people. He believes that it is a great mistake 
to consider Hitler as insane in any sense of the term. 
He considers him intelligent and clever and quite an 
actor in his own right. He believes that one of the most 
important factors In Hitler's success is his self-confidence 
which appealed to the German people at the time inasmuch 
as they were confused and lacked all confidence in the 
future. He spoke at length of Hitler's great interest in 
the film industry and the amount of time he devoted to 
it. Hitler frequently telephoned him about details of films 
in production and about even minor characters in the cast. 
Wisbar said he got the impression at times that Hitler 
devoted about an hour a day to politics and the rest of 
his time to movie details. He told of meetings which 
were frequently held for the purpose of convincing the 
directors to make Nazi movies which would, in their 
opinion, "give the people what they want." Wisbar said 
that their views along this line followed their regular 
propaganda techniques. They were to be repetitious, 
simple, devoid of all subtlety and with no concern for 
the artistic element. Goebbels, at one meeting, gave as 
an illustration of "real" drama which the movies might 
well follow, a meeting at which he was to announce 
Hitler. There were heavy clouds in the sky and Goebbels 
kept talking and talking with one eye on the clouds and 
timed it in such a way that he announced Hitler just as 
the sun broke through the clouds. This, he said, was real 
showmanship and the sort of thing the German people 
wanted. This was the type of thing which he said impressed 
them and the movies were neglecting this aspect.

Hitler considered "Our Daily Bread" filmed in 1355 or 
1936 as an ideal type of Nazi film although it was not 
made for this purpose.

Wisbar was director for Leni Riefenstahl who was one 
of Hitler's favorites. From what Leni told Wisbar he 
gathered that there was nothing abnormal sexually in 
their relationship. She told him that Hitler was very shy 
when he was with her and that he was far from dashing. 
He was so retiring, in fact, that the girl had to take the 
initiative at all times.

       On several occasions Hitler ordered the production 
of films stopped and sometimes shelved on the complaint 
of an actress. This happened so frequently that it was 
extremely difficult to manage the girls who were often 
guests at the Chancellery since they threatened to complain 
to Hitler if they did not get the part they wished or the script 
were not changed to suit their fancy.

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