It turns out that the Kremlin is not that creative. According to an article posted online on 29 March 2015, the Kremlin’s recent propaganda film celebrating the anniversary of Russia’s annexation of Crimea [“Crimea. The Way Home”], borrows heavily from a 1939 Nazi propaganda film about Sudetenland.
The creators of the Russian propaganda film “Crimea. The Way Home” which was filmed on the anniversary of the occupation of the peninsula by troops of the Russian Federation, was inspired by a 1939 German film, dedicated to the occupation of the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia.
Even the 1939 film’s title “German Sudetenland Returns Home” is mimicked by the Kremlin, the article says.
The film describes how as a result of the unfair Treaty of Versailles the Germans of Austria-Hungary became part of Czechoslovakia, and how justice was then done in 1939. Much of what is heard in the Nazi’s agitprop film is virtually identical to what the Russian media write today and what is shown on Russian television.
A 10-minute clip from the German film is currently available online.
“In 1918 the Germans of Austria and the Sudetenland Germans were in favor of joining the German homeland. But they are still divided from one another. German Austria became an independent state. German Sudetenland was forced to enter into a multinational state.
So a never-ending grief has come to our Sudeten brothers. 20 years of Czechs rule has made a once flourishing province into an impoverished territory. Factories are closed, one in three Germans out of work and starving. Endless misery is suffered by our Sudeten brothers,” says the German film.
The next voice-over talks about meetings, which were conducted by the Sudeten Germans, led by Konrad Henlein, fighting for their “right to be German” and that Prague has long provoked Germany and tried to ignite a war in Europe.
“The Czech authorities with the help of ruthless violence want to further enslave the Sudeten population. Cannons and guns are wielded by the Czech military. Tens of thousands of refugees, German brothers, cross the border and seek refuge in the Reich.”
The article continues drawing parallels between the two films:
“…in the Russian film “Crimea. The Way Home”, Russian President Vladimir Putin also said that the inhabitants of the peninsula were suffering from Ukrainian oppression.
“We cannot leave this are and the people who live there to fend for themselves, under the rule of nationalists,” he said in the interview. Putin also said that they had occupied Crimea only because the Crimean population wished it. In his film, the Russians, like the Nazis, claimed that the government in Kyiv was preparing to massacre of the inhabitants of Crimea.
“Almost the same tricks and manipulation are used in both of the propaganda films,” the article states.
“…the German film explains how the leader of the Sudeten Germans Konrad Henlein organised German units “militias” and tens of thousands of Germans “volunteered to defend their homeland against the excesses of the Czech military clique”. Nearly similar statements are heard in the movie “Crimea. The Way Home”, created with the Kremlin’s money.
In his speech, the leader of the Sudeten Germans, Konrad Henlein says:
“For 20 years we were forced to live in a country we do not like. To which we do not belong. Which was only done to cheat our people.”
The article continues, “The exact same statements can be heard with respect to Ukraine by Russian propagandists.” And concludes:
Some shots of the German film of the Sudetenland are painfully reminiscent of the events of Spring 2014 in Crimea and the Donbas. They tear down Czech flags and signs from the homes of the Sudeten Germans, and hang instead Hitler’s swastika. Symbols of the Nazi Party were placed on Czech license plates. The same thing was done today by the separatists in Luhansk and Donetsk, who glued their own symbols over the Ukrainian flag on license plates.
And both the German and Russian films argue that the populations of the annexed territories gladly met occupation troops as liberators.