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Refugee Today and Tomorrow

Refugee Today and Tomorrow

A fierce denunciation of anti-Semitic policies in Nazi Germany seen in the context of the global refugee crisis of 1938.

Documentary 1938 17 mins

Overview

A compelling mixture of anger and hope drives this portrayal of the persecution of refugees in Europe and Asia. The film presents a slowly building sense of injustice which climaxes in the powerful central section of the film: a depiction of Germany’s treatment of its Jewish citizens which, in its unequivocally anti-fascist message, distinguishes March of Time from other newsreels’ more timid treatment of similar events.

Two years in the making, this impassioned polemic against the anti-Semitic policies of Nazi Germany exemplifies the zeal with which March of Time reported politically and socially controversial issues. The use of maps and statistics to convey the scale of the problem is also typical, as is the sense of drama created by the mixture of real documentary footage and reconstructed scenes. The shots of Gestapo headquarters, for instance, were filmed at March of Time’s New York Studios, whereas the footage from Woburn House in London showing the interrogation of refugees is genuine.