Research for Media - Blatt & Bild Archiv-Recherchen

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Our work for film and documentary makers
The Nazis and the money
A film by Gil Rabier
In June 1940 Hitler's tank troops launched surprise attacks on Holland, Belgium and France, with the sole purpose of taking control of Europe.

Germany had no financial resources, few raw materials, no oil and no foreign currency, so how did the Nazis succeed in their mission, without money and supported by a weak economy, to sustain the catastrophic effects of the Second World War?

Based on research carried out by the latest generation of historians, this film explores the economic, industrial and financial network behind the Third Reich. In particular, the film focuses on the key figures, largely forgotten by history - Hjalmar Schacht, Dr. Georg von Schnitzler, Fritz Sauckel and Erich Müller.

The film uses contemporary 3D animation and a combination of rarely seen archival material.  It illustrates how the Nazis succeeded in anchoring their racist and violent beliefs, into all areas of the German economy, from national industries and agriculture, to small business owners and sole traders. The film shows how the Nazis created an economic model based on robbery and mass murder and convinced the German nation that they were morally justified to rule Europe.  

For the animations, Blatt & Bild went to the Federal Archives.  There we uncovered the original technical drawings of the German ‘Tiger’ tanks, as well as documents from various Ministries of the Reich, including the aviation, agriculture and finance departments.

We also found several original German newspapers, in which the headlines screamed of ‘’huge economic successes in Europe’’ to the German nation. The successes they spoke about involved the mass exploitation of Soviet prisoners of war and the forced labourer of thousands of people across Europe. All are described with a shockingly cold administrative language.
Hitler and Stalin - A pact with the devil
Siècle Productions made a 90 minute documentary about the intimate political relationship between Hitler and Stalin.  They covered the relationship from the early 1930s, through the second world war and up to the demise of Stalin in 1953 and highlighted the pact of non-aggression made between the two leaders in 1939.

The film was made up entirely of archive footage and the French documentary maker, Michael Prazan, needed our help finding archived documents, historic images and film footage from the pre-war era. We searched through numerous image agencies, including Ullstein, Getty, SZ-Photo, Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte (AKG) and Bildagentur bpk. We scoured the German Federal Archives and the Political Archives of the German Foreign Office.

Most of the photographs, film footage and documents we found were ‘coloured in’ and brought to life with modern software technologies and the documentary is due to be broadcast across France, on prime-time television, at the end of 2020.

Ils ont libéré Paris
En France à l‘heure allemande
Archive research into  photo and film documents, research into diary records (Bundesarchiv Berlin, Bundesarchiv Militärarchiv Freiburg/Breisgau, Tagebucharchiv Emmendingen) for these two projects by French  documentary film maker Serge de Sampigny (histodoc, Paris).

Contribution  to interview with Timo von Choltitz, the son of Dietrich von Choltitz,  the military governor of Paris in August 1944.  

Our work for journalists
The Unknown Doctor
Research in collaboration with Sabine Rau, Head of ARD Studio in Paris
Jacques Bloch is Jewish and a former French Resistance fighter.  He has spent over 70 years searching for the name of a German doctor.  Jacques was injured in battle and subsequently arrested by the Gestapo. He was taken to their prison in Montluçon and as he was being processed into the camp, one of the military doctors ordered that Jacques be treated for his injuries.  The doctor was immediately shot dead.  

Jacques survived the camps and since the end of the war he has been desperately trying to find who this kind doctor was. He wishes to honour the doctor and hopes to be able to thank his family for the act of kindness that saved Jacque’s life.

In February 2020 ARD Studios aired a national appeal on Tagesthemen – the German equivalent to the BBC – but nobody came forward with the name of our doctor.  Since February Corinna von List has been supporting Sabine Rau, the head of ARD Studios in Paris, in the search for the Unknown Doctor.

Corinna is a specialist in unearthing files on the former members of the Wehrmacht and has many years of experience in the archives, libraries and War museums throughout Europe. She is currently analysing reams of documents, piles of German dog-tags and old photographs in the hunt for this kind, German military medic.

As of yet, the doctor remains unknown, but if he can be found, Blatt & Bild will find him.
Ravensbrück Concentration Camp
Marie-Laure Le Foulon, Paris
Archive research for the publications shown here, in The National Archives, London, the records of the Paris Police Department and the archives of the City of Paris, the Val de Marne departmental archives (Fresnes prison), the documentation centre at Ravensbrück, a Nazi concentration camp for women, as well as with the International Tracing Service (ITS).

    • Lady Mensonges. Mary Lindell, fausse héroïne de la Résistance, Paris: Alma Editeur 2015
    • Le Procès de Ravensbrück. Germaine Tillion : de la vérité à la justice, Paris: Cherche Midi 2016

With detective instinct we sift through archives, libraries, film databases and picture agencies and find what you have been looking for.

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