Günter Peter Straschek
Günter Peter Straschek, born in Graz in 1942, was one of those critical and rebellious minds who refused to put up with the conformism of the Austrian post-war order. Namely, the repression of that which had happened, and the reversal of roles that turns the perpetrator into the victim. The workforce in schools, society and politics was, after all, largely the same as in Nazi times. After a trip across the Balkans to the Middle East, including a stay in Israel, Straschek arrived in West-Berlin in 1963 and was accepted as a student at the newly founded Film and Television Academy in 1966. Friends with Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, whose film “Not reconciled” (Nicht versöhnt) he had seen and written about in 1965, he was among those students with a socialist and Marxist orientation who experimented with different cinematic and social approaches, and whose work soon became scandalised. As a result, they were expelled from the Academy in 1968.
An early preoccupation of Straschek’s concerned the question of what had become of those Jewish as well as non-Jewish film people who had been subject to persecution and forced into exile by the Nazis. His (ultimately lifelong) research aimed at recording the life stories of all those who had been working in film, no matter how famous or obscure they were. This was how a first ‘film emigration archive’ came together, which served as the basis for the five-part TV series “Film Emigration from Nazi Germany” (edited by Werner Dütsch at the West German Broadcasting Corporation WDR, Cologne). This was to be Straschek’s last filmic work and remained lost in the TV archives for decades.
The series is a unique document not least for its formal and aesthetic features, since here a ‘Cinema person’ uses fixed camera angles and plan sequences, operating camera and sound in a way that runs counter to all TV conventions. A technique that wins over and fascinates, since there are no smoothening inserts: the more than eighty interviewees in different parts of the world, by virtue of their physical presence and their manner of speaking (such as, for instance, their distance to German linguistic expression) reveal at every moment their being and their being-there – they articulate what has occurred to them and what they have experienced.
Films from the Film Emigration
- A Foreign Affair (by Billy Wilder), 1948 I 01.06 / 02.06
- Der Kongress tanzt (by Erik Charell), 1931 I 04.06 / 07.06
- To Be or Not to Be (by Ernst Lubitsch), 1942 I 05.06
- Kuhle Wampe (by Slatan Dudow), 1932 I 06.06 / 09.06
- Dans les Rues (by Victor Trivas), 1933 I 09.06 / 12.06
- Confessions of a Nazi Spy (by Anatole Litvak), 1939 I 13.06 / 16.06
- Hangmen Also Die! (by Fritz Lang), 1943 I 16.06 / 19.06
- Man Hunt (by Fritz Lang), 1941 I 18.06
- Hitler's Madman (by Douglas Sirk), 1943 I 20.06 / 24.06
- Die Vier im Jeep (by Leopold Lindtberg), 1951 I 21.06
- Berlin Express (by Jacques Tourneur), 1948 I 21.06 / 26.06
- Die letzte Chance (by Leopold Lindtberg), 1945 I 22.06 / 23.06
- Tarnished Angels (by Douglas Sirk), 1957 I 23.06 / 26.06
- Der Verlorene (by Peter Lorre), 1951 I 25.06
Günter Peter Straschek: Filmemigration aus Nazideutschland
A project by Cinematek and Goethe-Institut Brussels in collaboration with Sabzian.
- Filmemigration aus Nazideutschland I (1975), 58' I 05.06 / 08.06
- Filmemigration aus Nazideutschland II (1975), 116' I 12.06 / 15.06
- Filmemigration aus Nazideutschland III (1975), 113' I 17.06 / 19.06
Thanks to Maren Hobein, Julia Friedrich, Stefan Ripplinger and Karin Rausch.