section Break or continuity? "Anti-Zionism" and anti-Semitism under socialism and afterwards


  • Dagobert Loewenberg
  • DDR
  • 1967
  • 10

“If you want to storm, you use the methods of a stormtrooper” The sentence forms the leitmotif of DIE STÜRMER, a production from the editorial team of the DEFA cinema newsreel DER AUGENZEUGE. The reference to Julius Streicher's hate sheet was intentional. Israel: In the East German media of 1967, the name stood for violence, destruction and expansion.

Comparisons with the Nazi war of extermination and biblical revenge motifs had been a staple of the GDR propaganda repertoire ever since the Six-Day War. In a montage of filmed press articles, DIE STÜRMER polemicises against Israel and the Federal Republic alike. Analogies are drawn between the situation in the Middle East and that of the two German states, the Israelis are made heirs to the Wehrmacht and an ominous scenario is created inclusive of visions of the Arab states and the GDR as the victims of an imperialist global strategy.

Double Feature DIE STÜRMER & ISRAEL 74

After a brief phase of sympathy for the young Jewish state, Israel was increasingly demonised by the GDR government and media – all in accordance with the logic of the Cold War and heavily influenced by the conflict between East and West Germany and an anti-Zionist paradigm. The effect was occasionally disastrous. Anti-Semitic imagery and narratives were reproduced, atrocity propaganda was spread and, ultimately, Israel's right to exist appeared to be in question.

Text: Lisa Schoß
English: Peter Rickerby

Both screenings will be followed by a talk with Dr. Lisa Schoß, cultural scientist and consultant for the series “Break or Continuity?”


original title DIE STÜRMER

international title DIE STÜRMER

german title DIE STÜRMER

JFBB section Break or continuity? "Anti-Zionism" and anti-Semitism under socialism and afterwards

  • director Dagobert Loewenberg

country/countries DDR

year 1967

duration 10