“…Don’t you have walls covered with books that you’ll never read?” The words of the Rabbi in Jud Süß to Oppenheimer once he is in the palace. I took a lot of meaning from this text in two forms. One form is that Hitler as the “Messianic Leader” as quoted in Spielvogel would want his followers in a way that they would not to be vain and self centered and fight for the greater good of the party. How I found it this way is that the book burnings as well as other things to follow would be taken lighter after seeing this film because they would want to live modestly for their leader. And on the other side of the same coin, those who would not want to part with things like books would be treated like open distrust in the party and have negative consequences. The second point is a little further out there, but still applies in my mind that Hitler didn’t want the masses to educate themselves outside of the party for fear of revolt. Hitler was a great orator and wanted to control the masses with his voice and by select examples. This overarching control only expanded as the years and attempts on Hitler’s life expanded. With the overarching control grew his Messiah complex and this is also expressed in Jud Süß shortly after the original quote I mentioned by saying “He rules in mysterious ways over the people of this earth”. Personally I think that this film had a lot deeper meaning for the Fuhrer than just the simple degradation of Jews and I think that Chapter 5 covers in great detail how. Do you agree?
Spielvogel, Jackson J., and David Redles. Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History. Seventh ed. Chapter 5
Jud Süss (Jew Süss). Directed by Veit Harlan. International Historic Films, 1940. Film