Freedom Day: Our Armed Forces

Tag der Freiheit: Unsere Wehrmacht ( Day of Freedom: Our Armed Forces ( 1935 ) is the third film directed by Leni Riefenstahl that focuses on the German army tells the Seventh. Congress of the Nazi Party , which took place in Nuremberg . 1

Tag der Freiheit was given for lost at the end of World War II , but in the 1970s an incomplete edition of the documentary was discovered. Preserved images show that Riefenstahl principally took up the approach he used in The Triumph of Will ( 1934 ), although certain more expressionist sequences clearly foreshadowed the more daring style he would adopt in Olympia ( 1938 ). 2


A warning of what is to come is presented by means of the representation of a battle simulation staged by the German troops during the ceremonies in Nuremberg by Day of the Armed Forces of Germany in 1935 . The camera follows the soldiers from their preparations early in the morning in their tents and when they march singing to the wide square where a miniature war takes place where the infantry , cavalry , aircrafts , antiaircraft defenses participate . Likewise, the first public appearance of the new German tank takes place that is presented to Adolf Hitler and thousands of spectators.

The film ends with an assembly of Nazi flags to the son of the Deutschlandlied and with a shot of German airplanes flying in a swastika formation .


As several generals of the Wehrmacht protested the army’s minimal presence in The Triumph of the Will , Hitler proposed his own “artistic” commitment so that the documentary would open with a slow camera that followed a line of all the “obviated” generals, So that their egos would be appeased. According to his own testimony, Leni Riefenstahl rejected this suggestion and insisted on maintaining artistic control over The triumph of the will ; However, agreed to return to the 1935 Congress and film a film exclusively on the Wehrmacht, which became Tag der Freiheit . 3


  1. Back to top↑ Movie Review , New York Times
  2. Back to top↑ «Leni Riefenstahl • UCLA Retrospective» . The German-Hollywood Connection . Archived from the original on November 21, 2015.
  3. Back to top↑ «Tag der Freiheit» . Archived from the original on November 21, 2015.