In Battle Versus the Enemy of the World: German Volunteers in Spain

In Battle Versus the Enemy of the World: German Volunteers in Spain

Im Kampf Gegen den Weltfeind (Original Title)

When Generalissimo Francisco Franco led a nationalist uprising in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) against the Communist-dominated Spanish Republic, Adolf Hitler promptly dispatched German volunteers, soon named the Condor Legion, to support Franco’s army. “In a faraway land, they are to represent the greatness of Germany, the fame of German arms, the determined will of the renewed Reich.” The Republic was heavily buttressed by troops from the Soviet Union, as well as England, France, Czechoslovakia, and the United States. Realizing that a documentary about the conflict would serve Germany’s propaganda aims, the Führer invited Karl Ritter, a Luftwaffe Major and Germany’s most acclaimed cinema propagandist, to dinner at the Reich Chancellery where he assigned him the task of directing a film on the Spanish Civil War that would glorify Germany’s military might. Ritter's account of the long and horrific conflict, with its massive strategic aerial bombardment, was filmed during the actual battles by Ritter and his cameramen. One startling scene depicts British and American prisoners speaking English, in stark contrast to the German narration, and being asked, "Why did you come here to kill us?" (It is not known what became of these prisoners, whether any survived the war to return home and even whether any might still be alive.) The documentary covers the full extent of the war until the Bolsheviks (“the enemy of the world!”) are crushed, Barcelona is liberated, and the flames of civil war are extinguished. The picture ends with Franco’s glorious march-past, where he is saluted as the liberator of Spain from Communism; the triumphant welcoming home of German forces in Hamburg aboard the liner Wilhelm Gustloff; and rousing speeches by Hermann Göring and the Führer himself at the victory parade in Berlin. Ufa’s Im Kampf gegen den Weltfeind premiered on June 15, 1939 but was pulled from distribution on September 7 once the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact was signed in August. The hero of the film is the Condor Legion, about which Karl Ritter soon started filming a dramatic feature, Legion Condor. That project was quickly shelved on August 25 when all planes and troops were rushed to the east for Germany’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939. Ritter's gifts as a film maker lay in putting across a strong message. Had Germany won the war, his films would have been remembered as classic morale-boosting pictures. There have been numerous Hollywood films favoring the Republican Loyalist side of the war (For Whom the Bell Tolls), but here is a rare opportunity to view the Spanish Civil War from the Nationalist winning side.

1h 34min
July 7, 1939

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Admin comments

This excellent documentary presents events from the patriotic perspective, rather than that of the loyalists (Stalin’s stooges) and Marxist Hollywood Jews (Stalin’s agents and sympathizers). Pay attention at the very impressive ceremony of Legion's triumphant return to Germany, including excerpts of speeches by Goring in Hamburg and Hitler himself in the Berlin Lustgarten. One unforgettable scene in the film is the questioning of captured members of the Communist 'International Brigade', including black members of the Abraham Lincoln Regiment (present day antifa/blm). I would also like to bring attention to Stalin’s apparent ignorance and foolishness in appointing a caricature hooked nosed Jew as the Soviet Ambassador in Spain. This played right in to the hands of Nazi and Franco propaganda.

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