Events Calendar
Oct 31
17:00 - 19:00
The Documentary Theresienstadt (1945) – A McGuffin of the Holocaust?
Film, Media and Culture Research cluster seminar with Dr Natascha Drubek (Free University of Berlin)

The Film, Media and Culture Research Cluster invites you to a Research Seminar with:Dr Natascha Drubek (Free University of Berlin)The Documentary Theresienstadt (1945) – A McGuffin of the Holocaust?

This is a study of the Nazi documentary "Theresienstadt" (1945) viewed through a lens of 1940s film poetics. Despite the fact that the last Jewish Elder of the Theresienstadt ghetto, Benjamin Murmelstein, claimed that it was a propaganda film aiming to deceive large audiences, the film "Theresienstadt" was not made to be seen in cinemas. Its mistaken genre identity had been an integral part of the film's post-war reception as it was distributed under the title "The Führer Gives a City to the Jews". Since its producers were gangsters in Nazi uniforms, of greater interest for the understanding of the procedures around the production of the film and its use in 1945 is fiction cinema of the 1940s, especially American film noir. Moreover, I will argue that this lost film itself is best described as a McGuffin, the pivotal device of film narratives in the 1940s.

Dr Natascha Drubek is a researcher in the area of Central and East European literature, film and media. Since 2012 she has been teaching Comparative Literature and Film and Media Studies at the Free University of Berlin. She is one of the developers of Hyperkino and the editor-in-chief of the open access academic journal Apparatus. Between 2009 and 2015 Natascha was a Heisenberg Fellow of the Deutsche Forschungsgeminschaft at the University of Regensburg and she holds a PhD from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.


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