Triump des Willens (1935) succeeds in convincing the viewer that Adolf Hitler’s rise—and the rise of the Nazi party, was an enthusiastic national movement that served as the core of Germany’s ascension to dominance. The camera work is marvelous. The cameras spend the majority of time with their lenses pointed upwards at Hitler’s face or the structure upon which he stands, a subtle yet effective tactic to generate a larger than life feel. The long shots used in Trimph des Willens are the longest I have seen done in a film so aged, and are strategically placed to absorb as much of the parade or rally as possible. The music accompanying the shots in between the cuts of Hitler’s speeches are very upbeat, which exudes a type of happiness—almost eagerness that the Nazi’s are feeling at the opportunity to participate (although, many of them seem quite austere).
At the forty-five minute mark, Hitler addresses the young men of Germany, who are known as the Hitler Youth or Hitlerjugend. Males and females between the ages of 10-18 were indoctrinated into this program, which began in 1922 and ceased activity in 1945. The Hitler Youth were seen as the future of German purity, and had Nazi ideologies instilled on them at an early age, as well as physical training, military training, and academia. The Nazi Party also used them as spies in order to gain control over the Church to gain ground in the power struggle between the Church and state. Similarities can be drawn between the activities the Hitler Youth were involved in and American Boy Scouts, as they were trained in basic skills that could be very useful in dire situations. The Hitler Youth were groomed to be the next generation of the Schutzstaffel or SS, meaning protection squadron.