Deutsche Welle

Music under the Swastika – The Maestro and the Cellist of Auschwitz

A film by Christian Berger

For the first time, the documentary tells the story of classical music in the “Third Reich” from an overall perspective. The focus is on the fates of two protagonists: Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch survives as a cellist in Auschwitz, while the famous conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler tries in vain to preserve his integrity and finally surrenders in a pact with the devil. The footage is high-resolution scanned, digitally restored and carefully colorized for the first time to make history tangible and bear witness to a dramatic time.

Cinematographer: Johannes Imdahl
Editor: Janine Dauterich
Archive: Linn Sackarnd
Restauration: Helden der Geschichte
Colorization: ImaginColor
Production-Management: Mária Géczi
Commissioning Editor: Frauke Sandig
Executive Producers: Tim Klimeš, Rolf Rische
Producer: Maria Willer, Bernhard von Hülsen

A coproduction of Deutsche Welle and 3B-Produktion


FIPADOC 2023: Official selection
FIFA 2023: Competitioninter & Meilleur portrait
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Master of Art Filmfestival 2023: Special Jury Mention & Best documentary in Art and Power
Music Film festival 2023: Official selection & Best documentary about music