The Axe of Wandsbek (1951)

  |  Drama

The Axe of Wandsbek (1951) Poster

After a crime is committed during the Nazi era in the Reeperbahn area of Hamburg,the aspiring local leader,a ship owner,needs to find an executioner to kill the perpetrators(the crime is ... See full summary »


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27 March 2003 | FilmCriticLalitRao
| A truthful portrayal of abhorrent nazi times.
Das Beil von Wandsbek is a truthful portrayal of abhorrent nazi times. Falk Harnack's primary goal was to reveal the fact that scores of abominable murders were committed by ordinary people like Teetjen acting on other people's orders.His film shows how owing to penury an ordinary citizen is forced to slaughter fellow human beings.Teetjen makes the biggest mistake of his life when he joins the Nazi party.His plight is further exacerbated when he is made a scapegoat by his ex comrade Footh.Nazi thugs hoodwink him till the very end by promising him financial support.It is a bitter truth that all sincere works of art are never free of controversies.Das Beil von Wandsbek was no exception to this rule.After its premiere it was withdrawn from German cinemas as the cultural authorities misinterpreted its artistic merit.They believed that it neglected the role of working classes and roused sympathy for the butcher.It was re-released in 1962 under a new revised version devoid of pivotal suicide scene.It was only in 1981 that the original print was made available for general public viewing.

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Plot Summary




Release Date:

11 May 1951



Country of Origin

East Germany

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