What are some good German films between 1933-1945 without Nazi propaganda?

A similar question was already asked in the English Quora version last year.Here is my answer at the time, with friendly support from DeepL translated into German:

In fact, most of the films at that time were not propaganda.Goebbels was too clever to bore the Germans with endless open propaganda in films. Especially during the war, inspiring and uplifting films were produced in masses. Since 1937, the German film industry has been under the complete control of the government.

There were comedies, romances, action, historical dramas and the inevitable home movie.There was also a lot of singing and dancing.

The biggest star of this time (and also after the war) was Heinz Rühmann.He made comedies like the still popular “Feuerzangenbowle” – a successful writer who never went to public school, sneaks into a school as a student to make up for what he missed with many pranks; “The Man of Sherlock Holmes was” – two unsuccessful private detectives pretend to be Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson; “Five million looking for an heir” – a confusing comedy about the inheritance of an inheritance; “Thirteen Chairs” – in the hunt for 100,000 marks hidden in one of 13 chairs, based on the novel “The Twelve Chairs” by Ilf and Petrov; “Quax, the break pilot” – an announcer pretends to be an excellent pilot, and actually learns to fly because he does not want to be exposed.Rühmann made more than one film per year during this time and was ubiquitous.

Another star of the time was Hans Albers – tall, blond and athletic, the perfect hero for action movies, but also a versatile actor.He appeared with Rühmann in “The Man of Sherlock Holmes Was”. His most famous films were “Münchhausen” – a (quite expensive) film about the fantastic adventures of Baron Münchhausen and “Große Freiheit Nr. 7” – about a former sailor who became a singer in Hamburg.Actually, the latter film had only made it to the cinemas after the end of the war, but it is such a classic German film that I wanted to mention it here. One of the songs of this film “On the Reeperbahn at night at half past one” is still popular.

Other films of the time were “Viktor and Viktoria” (1982 there was the American remake Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews and James Garner); “Anuschka” – a drama on social issues that is still respected today; “Dance on the Volcano” – lots of singing and dancing and Gustav Gründgens, one of the most respected German actors of the time; “Der Berg Ruft” – a film about the first ascent of the Matterhorn by and with Luis Trenker, who specialized in films about adventures in the mountains.

Nevertheless, the most successful film during the Third Reich was indeed a propaganda film: “The Great Love” with another great star of those years: Zarah Leander.It is about the adventures of a German fighter pilot and his love for a singer. Due to his open glorifying support for the war, he disappeared after 1945, but a song by Leander from this film is still known: “I know it will be a miracle once done” (although nowadays the ironic cover version of Nina Hagen is probably more common today. is heard).

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