Billy Wilder’s A Foreign Affair (1948): Prostrate Germany As a Source of Laughs
by Andrew Hamilton
TO INFORMED viewers Jewish director Billy Wilder’s acclaimed comedy A Foreign Affair, released in the immediate aftermath of WWII, makes strange viewing today. It provides, however, a window into the strange psyche of the now dominant race.
Set in the ghastly ruins of postwar Berlin, the “riotously funny” comedy celebrates GI and Communist sexual exploitation of starving young “blonde German Fräuleins,” insults the German population and its defeated government, and conveys the message that benign American and Communist conquerors are kindly and generously reintroducing German barbarians back into “civilization.” The WWII “good Communists” motif, played down by 1948, is nevertheless still present.
The oblivious, self-congratulatory Jewish American chauvinism thoroughly inculcated into American military officers, GIs, politicians, and the public via the mass media is hard to take.
One studio blurb read, “Gals go for guys with candy bars.” Happy young German women eagerly trade sexual favors for American candy and other tawdry gifts, including, in one scene, a dirty used mattress. Jewish caricaturist Al Hirschfeld was hired by the studio to create drawings for use by theater owners to promote the film.
What really sets the movie apart is that it is not WWII propaganda per se, like so many Hollywood productions then and now, but a post-war propaganda film designed to rally popular support for the destruction of the German nation and its reconstitution as a Jewish American colony.
The propaganda is skillfully conveyed through a particularized romantic story. Half-Norwegian, half-Yankee actress Jean Arthur plays a “prim, self-righteous” congresswoman from Iowa, a member of a visiting congressional delegation investigating the morale of “American boys” stationed in Germany.
There she (unconvincingly) falls in love with a cynical, dishonest, exploitative American officer played by Norwegian American actor John Lund. In the rubble of a destroyed apartment building he secretly keeps a mistress (real-life German émigré Marlene Dietrich). The two women vie for the unpleasant officer’s affection. In the course of the story it is revealed that Dietrich, currently working as a chanteuse, had formerly been the mistress of a top Gestapo (naturally!) official and regularly rubbed shoulders with the Nazi elite, including Adolf Hitler (naturally!).
In real life Dietrich was an anti-German bisexual. She tirelessly promoted the American-Communist war effort against her country.
Dietrich started in German films in the 1920s and early 1930s, gaining international recognition for her breakthrough role as cabaret singer Lola-Lola in the decadent Weimar production The Blue Angel (1930), directed by Austrian-born Jew Josef von Sternberg. Despite his name, Sternberg, who subsequently guided Dietrich’s early Hollywood career, was not a member of the nobility. The “von” was fake, as was that of another famous motion picture Jew, Erich von Stroheim.
Dietrich had an affair with Sternberg, behavior characteristic of young, aspiring White actresses ambitious to get ahead and the Jewish men who control access to the industry. (See “Theodore Dreiser on Early Hollywood.”)
Much of A Foreign Affair was filmed on location in the Communist sector of Berlin. There are plentiful, vivid images of the city’s ruins caused by some 363 Allied bombing raids. Shot by Wilder, these images, which suggest the deliberate, large-scale annihilation of racial, familial, and social ties by Left-wing ideologues, are among the film’s most striking. A White editor of the film told Wilder that the shots made him feel somewhat sorry for the Germans. Enraged, the director replied, “To hell with those bastards! I hope they burn in hell!” (The official Narrative claims that Wilder’s mother, grandmother, and stepfather died in the “Holocaust.”)
It is easy to demonstrate the close link between Jews, mass “private company” entertainment, and government policy with this film.
The screenplay was co-written by Billy Wilder, who is very well-known, and his frequent writing partner Charles Brackett. The two maintained a precarious relationship for twelve years before finally parting company after their last film together, the famous Sunset Boulevard (1950).
Wilder, born in Austria-Hungary (now Poland), moved to Germany where he worked as a tabloid journalist and a gigolo who danced with rich women for a fee before finding work as a screenwriter. When Hitler came to power he moved to the U.S. to work in Hollywood.
Wilder was a heavy drinker, Communist sympathizer, and womanizer despite being married.
Brackett, a rare Republican in Tinseltown, was an Old Stock American, as was his wife, to whom he remained loyal despite the sexual temptations offered by the city. After her death he married her sister.
It is noteworthy that one of the clashes the writers had during the making of A Foreign Affair involved a scene in which Dietrich, while brushing her teeth, deliberately spits into John Lund’s face. Brackett, deeply offended, objected strenuously to the scene, but Wilder casually dismissed his concerns.
Whenever I see the familiar spit-in-the-face routine enacted onscreen I instantly think: “Jew.” It is reflexive. The act typifies the Jewish attitude to non-Jews.
Wilder directed A Foreign Affair and Brackett was credited as the producer. Wilder’s influence was unquestionably dominant. Generally, the director has more control over a film than any other single individual. Also, Brackett likened his producer role in their joint movies to that of “a fifth wheel.”
In 1945 Wilder was paid to become a U.S. Military Government Film Officer in Berlin, and make recommendations for the reorganization and “denazification” of the German film industry.
During this period the Psychological Warfare Department of the U.S. Department of War hired Wilder to direct a propaganda short entitled Death Mills to instill guilt in the German people.
Early Holocaust propaganda, it employed many of the tropes now incorporated into “history,” university and school curricula, TV, movies, the Internet, and “Christian” and other religious teachings: torture, human medical experiments, gas chambers, skeletal figures contrasted with well-fed, prosperous-looking Germans, piles of emaciated corpses, mass graves, crematoria, the Arbeit macht frei sign, claims of “the greatest mass murder in human history,” etc. Some of the footage was provided by America’s Communist ally.
Even England’s extremist Guardian newspaper, which worships Jews and promotes White genocide, has called Death Mills “a hectoring piece of propaganda.”
It was during these months in Berlin that Wilder conceived the idea for A Foreign Affair. Fascinated by the shattered Aryan city, he wrote a report on U.S. military stationery called “Propaganda Through Entertainment” (August 1945).
In it he expressed the view that an “entertainment film” involving a love story and the “highest possible level” of technique “in writing, casting, etc.” would be the most effective way to achieve “our [Jews’ and government’s] program of re-educating the German people.”
After the war German-born Erich Pommer, a Jewish movie producer now in U.S. Army uniform, was installed at the U.S. government’s Information Control Division in Berlin to take over the German film industry. He placed what was left of UFA’s facilities at Wilder’s disposal and arranged for Germany’s studio to advance A Foreign Affair’s expenses in deutschmarks.
UFA had been Germany’s primary producer of movies from 1917 to 1945.
As is so often the case, most people have never heard of Erich Pommer. Yet, predictably, he wielded enormous power. Jewish film historian Ephraim Katz wrote that “Pommer produced many of the most successful German films of the 20s and early 30s. The percentage of the artistic and commercial hits among his German—and later French, British, and American—films was nothing short of amazing.”
Until 1933 Pommer made all his films in Germany, and from 1923 to 1928 was head of all production operations at UFA, where he cultivated many stars. But with the advent of National Socialism he moved to Los Angeles.
Pommer’s role in A Foreign Affair starkly illustrates the joint participation of Jews and government, including the military, in the mass media.
On a lesser note, German Jewish composer/songwriter Frederick Hollander/Friedrich Hollaender was hired by Wilder to write the three songs sung by Marlene Dietrich in the movie — “Black Market,” “Illusions,” and “The Ruins of Berlin.” He also plays her piano accompanist.
In 1930 Hollander had written the film score for The Blue Angel, including the hit “Falling in Love Again,” and also accompanied her onscreen on the piano.
“The Syncopators,” advertised on a bass drum in Dietrich’s A Foreign Affair cabaret scenes, is an inside reference to the real-life “Weintraub’s Syncopators,” the hottest jazz band in Weimar Germany, which had played backup music for Dietrich and Hollander in The Blue Angel. It was a Jewish group.
Billy Wilder, Erich Pommer, Marlene Dietrich, and Frederick Hollander: Weimar culture reintroduced into Germany by American occupation forces in 1948. Things had come full circle.
A Jewish writer has suggested that the opening scenes of A Foreign Affair showing “an American plane flying first through the clouds and then over” devastated Berlin is a “remarkable reversal of the opening sequence of Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will, which documented Hitler’s triumphant Nuremberg rally of 1934.”
Instead of a triumphant Hitler passing over Aryan Nuremberg, Americans pass over the ruins of the German capital reduced to rubble by the unholy alliance of Jewry, world Communism, and America.
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