Belief & Beauty
September 17, 2009

It has been a long time in the making, but International Historical Films (IHF) has finally released an English-language version of the Zeitreisen Publishing documentary "Das BDM-Werk Glaube und Schoenheit" on August 15, 2009.

The DVD, titled "Belief & Beauty - The History of the Nazi BDM Movement", is region-free and should play in most DVD players and computer DVD players internationally. The disk includes the original German sountrack, an English dubbed soundtrack, and optional English subtitles. It further includes an additional documentary, "Zest for Life and Physical Joy", and a slideshow of historical photos.

Aside from the historical footage, the film includes interviews with former BDM Leader Dr. Jutta Ruediger and the former leader of the Belief & Beauty Society, Clementine zu Castell.

It is available through IHF, at this link, for $29.95.

I've heard back from several people on our Yahoo Group that have ordered the movie, and they reported that shipping from IHF was extremely fast and that they were quite pleased with the finished product.

Greg Pitty, a regular contributor to both the Yahoo Group and the website, sent me the following feedback and has allowed me to use it on my blog. I figured it would be better if I posted an impartial review, since the film is obviously quite dear to me - I did the German-to-English translation for this English-language version.

My DVD copy arrived just yesterday and I had a chance to watch it last night. IHF always do a good job, don't they - for example the historical slide show which they include with a lot of their products. I enjoyed it all - the 50 minute documentary as well as "A Zest for Life and Physical Joy". It was really good to hear and see Jutta Rüdiger and Clementine zu Castell, as well as the two leaders from Konigsberg. The cinematography in Ertl's movie was superb - it was pure Riefenstahl. The clouds!

The voice-over for the documentary was quite good - her name is there in the credits along with yours, of course, but at the moment it escapes me. It was both informative and entertaining and an essential piece of viewing. The overdub now allows countless millions of high-school and university students access to this aspect of 3rd Reich history which had hitherto been denied them by the language barrier.

Criticisms? Minor and beyond your control. Certainly nothing to do with the content, but a few production and editing points do deserve mention. But Chris, it is an extremely important document and my points of criticism are in no way detracting from the intrinsic worth of this historically important film.

I hope it gets the circulation it deserves!


Living History

Posted by BDMHistorian

I have received some fun and interesting feedback regarding professional historians who are also reenactors in my email after posting the entry below, and just want to share one in particular that came to me from Richard Killblane, the US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) command historian.

One of the fascinations with living history is the opportunity to meet others who share the same passion with that particular period of history. By doing living history, it forces many of us to do a greater level of research that we might not do if we just wanted to read a book.

Here are more living historians who are professional historians:

Doug Nash
US Military Academy class of 1980
Colonel (Retired)

Veteran of Bosnia and author of two books on the German Army during World War II. He reenacts a Corporal in some Volksgrenadier unit. He's been doing living history since I knew him at West Point.

David Steighan
Infantry Historian

Veteran of Desert Storm. He has been doing living history of all time periods for ages. He also serves as a consultant for documentary movies. He has a huge collection of weapons that are used in many documentary films.

Steven McGeorge
Lieutenant Colonel (retired)
Chief of Field History Program, TRADOC

He has been collecting and doing living history for the World War I time period since he was in high school.