Kristina Söderbaum: Swedish citizen, Nazi superstar

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This article deals with the reception of German film star Kristina Söderbaum in her native Sweden. Söderbaum reached the heights of superstardom, becoming one of Germany's top box office stars of all time. Until 1945 she appeared exclusively in films directed by her husband, Veit Harlan. The Swedish press closely monitored Söderbaum's career, though her most infamous film Jud Süss/Jew Süss (1940) was banned by Swedish censors. After the war, she tried unsuccessfully to resume her career, among other places in Sweden. Taking into consideration her close collaboration with Joseph Goebbels, the Swedish press, though negative, treated her surprisingly gently. In fact, Söderbaum's role in Germany during the war was never really discussed in Sweden. This article suggests several reasons for this relative silence.

Keywords: Kristina Söderbaum; Nazism; Sweden and World War II; Veit Harlan; collaboration; press reception; stardom

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Lund University

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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