The Reichsfilmarchiv (1934-1945) existed until the German surrender in May 1945. Initially conceived as a film collection, its work became increasingly professional, with current aspects of film archiving – such as the concept of a mandatory fee – being implemented to this day. Subordinated to the Propaganda Ministry in 1939, the archive was increasingly integrated into National Socialist cultural policy. Its holdings served as a source of inspiration for filmmakers who were also able to see films that were not publicly permitted in Germany. Not least because of the looting of films in the areas occupied by Germany, the stocks grew by leaps and bounds during the Second World War. The dissertation project examines the history of this media archive in the international context of state-organized film archiving, the fate of its holdings, which are still not fully restituted as spoils of war, and the role of this cinematic tradition for today’s culture of remembrance.
The Reichsfilmarchiv & its holdings in the context of the development of an audiovisual culture of remembrance