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German film distribution in Scandinavia during World War II

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Abstract:

This article analyses Nazi Germany's film export policy towards Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway and Sweden) during World War II. The German film industry (Ufa, Tobis and others), steered by the German ministry of propaganda, took advantage of the military successes achieved by the Wehrmacht and tried to become a dominant supplier of films, hoping to take over the leading position of the American film industry. However, each film market presented its own series of problems, created by the local industry, by local political organizations or by other German organizations (occupation authorities) with agendas of their own. One of the side effects of Germany's aggressive film policy was, ironically, increased domestic production, enthusiastically embraced by film-goers eager to avoid German films.

This article is by and large based on archival documents, consulted in the German Federal Archives, the Danish National Archives, the Danish Film Institute, the National Archives of Norway, the Swedish Film Institute and the Swedish National Archives. The article does not aspire to provide a definitive, in-depth analysis of German-Scandinavian film relations during the war, but rather sketches an international framework that leaves room for amendments, corrections and future scholarship.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jsca.2.3.263_1

Affiliations: 1: LUCA School of Arts and University of Antwerp 2: Lund University 3: Danish Film Institute 4: Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Publication date: November 19, 2012

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  • The Journal of Scandinavian Cinema is a new scholarly journal devoted to film in the Scandinavian countries. It aims to become the prime site for excellent research and engaging discussions on cinema in Scandinavia, both within the national context of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and as a region existing in a globalized world.
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