Crossposted From Under the Fig Tree
Most days, my students leave class in high spirits, noisily pushing back their chairs and chatting away animatedly as they head off to another class, a cup of coffee or a nap. Not this time.
After an hour and a half spent watching the infamous “Jud Suss,” one of the most popular and critically acclaimed feature films the Nazis ever produced, they left the room utterly subdued, even drained.
Under the skillful direction of Veit Harlan, the fall-from-grace of an 18th-century German Jewish financier was transformed into an electrifying movie, a modern cautionary tale. In Harlan’s hands, History became grist for the mill of Nazi propaganda and the demonizing of the latter-day Jew.