GANGSTERS, PRISONERS AND GIS – The post-war years in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Bavarian Alps is commonly known for its picturesque surroundings, its alpine setting and Bavarian tradition. This image […]


GANGSTERS, PRISONERS AND GIS – The post-war years in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

Garmisch-Partenkirchen in the Bavarian Alps is commonly known for its picturesque surroundings, its alpine setting and Bavarian tradition. This image has history. Hitler tried to establish Garmisch as a German model town with the Olympic Winter Games in 1936. Then the war came and the „Führer“ propagated Garmisch as an unconquerable Alpine fortress due to its geographical location. However, this myth was quickly unmasked by the approaching US Army who, in 1945, were only faced with a handful of SS members trying to defend the town. The takeover took place peacefully. Like that, Garmisch was safe of bombardments and its original, idyllic appearance was preserved.

With the victory over Nazi-Germany, people were living together in Garmisch, who had faced each other as enemies just a few weeks ago. American GIs met local Germans: Nazis and followers, children and widows, POWs, working men and refugees. And Jewish DPs were also living in town. The close Austrian border and the general food shortage made Garmisch the center of a booming black market. Different groups and their realities clashed in a specific way and in the tightest of spaces. This makes Garmisch a prime example of the post-war-years in Bavaria.

Director: Annette Baumeister
DoP: Johannes Straub
Research Assistance: Marlene Wynants
Commissioning Editor: Andrea Bräu (BR)
Executive Producer: Reinhardt Beetz
Production Manager: Sebastian Johannsen

Koproduktion

BR

Förderer

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