Sunday, 18 January 2009

Hitler’s Barmitzvah Video

Dr Nostrum can reveal today that, until now purposely concealed, pending verification, since their discovery in the same dingy East German Flat attic that recently offered up early Death Camp plans, are two reels of Birt Acres Birtac camera film shot by an unknown hired cameraman (the initials R. V. appear on the short title sequence) in which appear Alois and Klara Hitler and son Adolf, on the occasion of his Barmitzvah.

This extraordinary luxury was one usually afforded to only the extremely wealthy, but here it seems the two reels were part of a larger project to capture a year in the history of provincial Austrian towns and the appearance of one of the most important figures of the 20th Century was entirely coincidental. The film-maker is no doubt documenting a religious event remarkable only for it's comparitive rarity beyond the Pale of settlement shtetles

In the reels we see young Adolf posing with his proud parents in front of the temporary synagogue, a brief glimpse of Adolf and the Rabbi then party scenes, including the obligatory carrying around at shoulder height in a chair, speeches, and dancing to the hired band. There is a brief glimpse at what may be a magicians act, where we see a bearded man going from table to table in a cloak and gaining applause.

In the beginning Adolf seems happy in the company of family and friends - many Schicklgruber's and Hiedler's - though obviously embarrassed at having his cheeks pinched by kvelling elderly relatives. Only at the end do we get a glimpse the future, where Adolf turns away into his mothers bosom, face scrunched into revulsion at the attempted kisses of those same elders as they leave the party.

No sound of course and, this early in cinema, no captions, but this discovery will send shockwaves through historical texts. There's no getting away from it, Hitler's fascination with home cinema started here.

No comments:

Post a Comment