Die Stadt ohne Juden (The City Without Jews) is a 1924 Austrian Expressionist film by H.K. Breslauer, based on the book of the same title by Hugo Bettauer. The film is one of the few surviving Expressionist films from Austria and has therefore been well researched. The film was first shown on 25 July 1924 in Vienna, but the original version vanished in the war years and was considered lost for more than 90 years.
Now, thanks to a chance discovery in a Parisian flea market and the biggest crowdfunding campaign to date in Austria’s culture sector, the silent film is digitally restored and re-released in its original form.
In his novel, published in 1922, Hugo Bettauer succeeded in creating a relatively accurate allegorical vision of the near future, although the book was intended as entertainment and as a satirical response to the primitive antisemitism of the 1920s. It immediately became Bettauer's most popular work: it was translated into several languages, and sold over a quarter of a million copies. Shortly after the premiere of the film Hugo Bettauer was murdered by Otto Rothstock, a former member of the Nazi party, who was lionized by the antisemitic Austrian masses and was released from jail shortly after his conviction for murder.
Looking ahead ten years to what happened in Europe, this tongue-in-cheek "expulsion" foresaw the all-too real "extermination" of Jews. We now have the opportunity to see this film and realize that thinking a happy ending could result from such a vile proposal is truly laughable.
Live piano music by Ronen Thalmay.
Introduction by Helen Liesl Krag, PhD, former Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen.
Please sign up for the event on firstname.lastname@example.org beforehand
Payment: Danske Bank reg 1551 acc. 4589357248 or Myshop: 43662
The event is supported by the Austrian Embassy in Denmark