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Der alte und der junge König (The Old and the Young King) is a German historical film by Hans Steinhoff, made under Nazi rule in 1935. The film ostensibly deals with the intense conflict between Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I and his son and heir, Crown Prince Friedrich – the future King Friedrich II "The Great". This is a well-known incident of 18th century German history, which had drawn much public attention in the time itself, and been artistically treated before. However, in its specific presentation of this historical theme, the film was clearly seen to be a work of Nazi propaganda aimed at extolling the Führerprinzip, i.e. blind obedience to the Leader (the King in the film's plot, Hitler in the reality for which the film was a parable); complaints of "encirclement" and the need for Lebensraum also feature. For that reason, the film was banned by the Allied military government following the Nazi defeat in 1945. However, after the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany the FSK ("Voluntary Self Regulation of the Movie Industry") subjected it a test on 4 August 1958 and ruled that, unlike other films made under the Nazis, the propaganda element in it was not so blatant as to justify its inclusion in the list of "Forbidden Films" (de:Vorbehaltsfilm).
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  • (1935)

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Synopsis

Der alte und der junge König (The Old and the Young King) is a German historical film by Hans Steinhoff, made under Nazi rule in 1935. The film ostensibly deals with the intense conflict between Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I and his son and heir, Crown Prince Friedrich – the future King Friedrich II "The Great". This is a well-known incident of 18th century German history, which had drawn much public attention in the time itself, and been artistically treated before. However, in its specific presentation of this historical theme, the film was clearly seen to be a work of Nazi propaganda aimed at extolling the Führerprinzip, i.e. blind obedience to the Leader (the King in the film's plot, Hitler in the reality for which the film was a parable); complaints of "encirclement" and the need for Lebensraum also feature. For that reason, the film was banned by the Allied military government following the Nazi defeat in 1945. However, after the foundation of the Federal Republic of Germany the FSK ("Voluntary Self Regulation of the Movie Industry") subjected it a test on 4 August 1958 and ruled that, unlike other films made under the Nazis, the propaganda element in it was not so blatant as to justify its inclusion in the list of "Forbidden Films" (de:Vorbehaltsfilm).