Action Report

Victory of Faith
Der Sieg des Glaubens -- A Film by Leni Riefenstahl.

In January of 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany. His new Cabinet which feared a "second revolution" by Hitler's brownshirted stormtroops, the SA, which outnumbered the German Army by ten to one and were headed by Ernst Röhm. Hitler immediately began to consolidate control over the entire country.

Plans were made for the National Socialist Party to stage a mass rally in Nuremberg in September 1933 to celebrate Hitler's appointment as Chancellor. Hitler commissioned actress-turned-director Leni Riefenstahl to direct the filming of the rally.

Despite reluctance on the part of Dr. Joseph Goebbels and the Propaganda Ministry, Riefenstahl was able to create "Der Sieg des Glaubens (Victory of Faith), the first of three films she eventually directed at Nuremberg. The film prominently featured pictures of Röhm, which was unfortunate.

After three months of editing, the film premiered in Berlin on December 1, 1933, to (predictably) good reviews. The film was financed completely by the Nazi Party and was distributed by local Party film distributors at a rental price of 30 RM per week.

The film shown in over 5,000 movie theaters, and there were thousands of prints of the film in circulation. In early 1934 Leni Riefenstahl was invited to speak at major universities in Great Britain to discuss her innovative film techniques.

It is known that at least one copy of "Victory of Faith" was duplicated in Great Britain at that time. Later, in June 1934, suspecting a brownshirt plot, Hitler ordered Heinrich Himmler and the SS to assassinate storm-troop leader Ernst Röhm and many of his top lieutenants. Hitler thereby eliminated any threat to his party leadership. He then ordered that any existing photos and references to Ernst Röhm be obliterated from German history, and therefore all copies of "Victory of Faith" were destroyed.

Three months later, Hitler again commissioned Riefenstahl, this time directing her to film the 1934 Nuremberg rally. It essentially became a retake of "Victory of Faith" sans Ernst Röhm. This new film, entitled "Triumph of the Will" went on to become one of the most celebrated films of its genre.

After her successes with other films such as "Day of Freedom" and "Olympia," Riefenstahl became the most successful female film director of her time. "Victory of Faith" however remained lost for over 50 years, and became the most sought-after film of the Third Reich era. A&M Productions is proud to present, for academic and research purposes only of course, the long-lost British print of "Victory of Faith," as originally produced and distributed by the NSDAP. English subtitles added.