The Berlinale had instructed historians to confirm or deny the German media reports that for some years have accused the founder Alfred Bauer of having been a Nazi in prominent positions. An award dedicated to him has already been canceled and the conclusions of the study are now being disclosed.
A few days before the last edition of the Berlinale, in February, a controversy was unleashed following the report of a newspaper accusing the founder of the prestigious event, Alfred Bauer, – actually raising persistent rumors for years – to have had a past as a Nazi, even a prominent one. In Berlin they reacted promptly by canceling the prize dedicated to him and commissioning a group of independent historians to investigate further.
The Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History has now presented its conclusions: Alfred Bauer, the man who created a major cinematic event 70 years ago, also in Berlin, had strong ties to the Nazi regime and was a figure key to the propaganda strategy orchestrated by the strategist Joseph Goebbels. A role “more significant than previously known, systematically hidden by Bauer after 1945, presenting himself as an opponent of Nazism”, until his death in 1986.
The director was an advisor to the Reichsfilmintendanz, the propaganda body that guided Nazi film policy, verifying the conformity of German films with Hitler’s racist ideology. Bauer was a member of various party organizations, ever since he took power in 1933, officially taking the card in 1937.