The City without Jews
Jews are hounded by mobs and driven from Vienna in this 1924 expressionist film based on the satirical novel by Hugo Bettauer. The sensational film that anticipated the Holocaust and cost Bettauer his life was rediscovered in 2015. With commentary by film scholar Noah Isenberg (UT Austin) and a live score.
Recently restored and featuring a new soundtrack, The City Without Jews is one of few surviving Austrian Expressionist films, and the magnum opus of the great director H.K. Breslauer. Filmed in 1924, it can be seen as a chilling premonition of the Holocaustthe premise is the political rise of the Christian Social Party, which orders all Jews to evacuate Austria. In the ensuing months, the sober reality of a society without Jews sets in, as cultural institutions close and cafes are replaced with beer halls. Eventually, the economy declines and unemployment runs rampant. Based on the dystopian book by Hugo Bettauer and intended originally as political satire, it became the subject of controversy and censorship, especially in conjunction with the rise of Nazism.
Center for Jewish History (View)
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