Info sought on Military Film Units

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Info sought on Military Film Units

Post by Oxonian » 20 May 2022 22:19


I’m seeking any info on German military film units during the war. This subject doesn’t seem to be very well covered - that I can find at least.

My grandfather served with one of these units on both the Western Front and then the Eastern Front but beyond that I don’t know anything much about his service or which unit he would have been with. Born in 1900, before the war he was an ethnologist and academic at Dresden University and had undertaken expeditions to Africa. When war was declared, he took his horses and film camera equipment and joined a film unit, but from what my mother tells me, he mostly operated independently.

I do know that he was in the Caucasus at some point. A story my mother told me was that he entered into one village in the region where the soldiers were about to execute a boy/young man, and my grandfather somehow intervened and stopped it. In gratitude, the mother of this boy gave him a strip of brightly coloured woven woollen fabric, about 18” in length, perhaps a belt or part of the trim of the traditional costume of the region - it resembles a piece of Georgian Choka. I still have it.

I’m not sure of the correct German name for these film units. WouLd they be the ‘Propagandakompanie’? (From what I’ve read, these were something different). Something equivalent to the Allied AFPUs.

Would these units would have supplied the footage for the weekly cinema newsreels? Is there an online resource that has any of this footage available to view and if so, would it identify the unit (or even the person who shot the film)?

Any information or sources of further reading on these units would be much appreciated.

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