Citation: Von Papen, Manuel. “Keeping the Home Fires Burning? Women and the German Homefront Film 1940-1943.” Film History. Vol. 8.1 (Spring, 1996): pp. 44-63
Within this article, Von Papen attempts to depict what constitutes a home front film as well as their impact on Gemran society. He explains that the Home front film can be described as an entertainment film. Typically, the home front film is a love story, comedy, or entertainment film that serves as a reminder of everyday life. The author goes on to describe, in detail, the components of film that would constitute it as a home-front film. First, Von Papen explains that the plot must contain a love story between a man off at war and a woman back at home, holding down the fort. Next, he explains that the woman must be employed in occupations such as a conductress, auxiliary nurse, or actress, and emphasizes the fact that, in home front film, women are always looking for a man. He further describes the crucial components of home front films by focusing on the fact that women in the films typically go through a learning process during wartime in which they come to recognize that their own private happiness may have to be put on hold for the greater good of their man and country. Additionally, the author reiterates that idea that, in home front film, lthere is little mention of the hardship of the war; rather, there is a positive mentality that is maintained throughout the films. Finally, it is noted that these films embody romances which stand the test of time and separation and end up with the lovers finding each other again after some time.
In his observation of Wunschkonzert, the author focuses on the fact that the film depicts war in a very light manner. For example, he includes the fact that soldiers within the film are always seen enjoying a musical performance or even their own engagement party, or seen writing letters to loved ones back home. In addition, the author emphasizes that only one death occurs in the film and the death is seen as positive due to the fact that the character suffered death in the name of his country.
This article helps us to fully gain knowledge on the aspects of the film that categorize Wunschkonzert as a home-front film. Indeed, the romance between Inge and Herbert fall under the criteria stated above and Inge plays the role of a faithful lover who is willing to stand the test of time and support the war efforts in the name and honor of her fighting lover. In addition, the author’s description of the lighthearted approach to war in the film proves to an even greater extent the way in which this film uses the notion of entertainment to show audiences that war does not have to be seen as aggression or violent fight against an enemy; instead, the film aims at demonstarting the importance of staying optimistic, loyal, and proud of not only their fighting loved ones but also Germany as a whole.
Citation: Giesen, Rolf. Nazi Propaganda Films: a history and filmography. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2003. 151-162
The chapter entitled “Black-Out: The Home Front, or “That’s Not the End of the World,” describes movies during the Nazi film period which focused on the environment back at home during wartime in Germany. Throughout the chapter, the author depicts the role of women during this period by showing that the typical bride or fiancé in many films would be waiting for their brave, faithful soldier to return victoriously. Within the chapter, Giesen discusses Wunschkonzert as an example of a home front film. He explains the way in which movies such as these strived to keep German spirits high through a focus on music and an upbeat screenplay that depicts war in a positive light. It is also important to recognize that Wunschkonzert can be used to better understand the role of women at the time. Through the character of Inge Wagner, we witness the way in which women in German society reacted to war. Despite being separated for three years, Inge waits for Herbert and remains devoted to him until they are reunited in a hospital.
Through Giesen’s depiction of Wunschkonzert, we gain a greater understand of the way in which entertainment film was used by the Nazi regime to unite German society and keep spirits high in the time of war. Indeed, through the character of Inge Wagner, women throughout Germany were given an example of what it means to be in support of soldiers and their country in a time of fighting, yet another way in which the Nazi regime gained support through entertainment film.