Review of Jud Süß

Jud Süß (1940)
Diabolical History
16 March 2001
All past comments about this notorious film have been proved correct: it IS rancid, fetid, despicable. The reasons why this film was made are equally above-board: Nazi Germany's number one goal was to descredit Jews the world over by propanganda so vile as to make the average person denounce Jews as vermin to be exterminated. It is said that when _Jud Suess_ was shown, crowds of people would set themselves wildly on Jews in the streets. That Veit Harlan, who as an actor and artist always showed a certain elegance, should have anything to do with this film (and as the director he had quite a lot to do with it), is amazing. One cannot forget that being assigned films had more to do with commands than with choice; nevertheless, he should have been leery of the project that was said to vie with _Der Ewige Jude_ as the start of the campaign of racial genocide.

A final tip when viewing _Jud Suess_: Pay close attention to Ferdinand Marian's diabolical portrayal of Suess Oppenheimer. In mannerisms, the easy refinity, the worldliness, the dropping of a bon mot, the wily insouciance of the "Jew" of yesteryears' imagination; it is all caught on celluloid Agfa film. Ferdinand Marian later committed suicide, said to be because of his remorse about his "greatest" acting role.
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