Leni Riefenstahl was Hitler’s favorite film maker, and became the most famous one of her profession in Nazi Germany. In a state where women played a secondary role to men, Riefenstahl was given a free hand by Hitler to produce propaganda films for the Nazi regime. Her two most famous films were “Triumph of the Will”, and “Olympia”, a propaganda piece for the 1936 Berlin Olympics; both of these received critical acclaim, despite their noxious content.
Although she was often accused of being the visual mouthpiece of the Nazi Party, this was something she denied and pointed out the fact that she had never been a member of the Nazi Party. Some historians have been struck by her almost childishly clumsy attempts to disassociate herself from Hitler. She claimed, for example, that she was completely ignorant of politics; that she was almost forced to make Triumph of the Will; that she barely knew anyone in Hitler’s inner circle.
“Artistically she is a genius, and politically she is a nitwit.”
Liam O’Leary, film historian.
“I am one of the millions who thought Hitler had all the answers. We only saw the good things; we did not know about the bad things to come.”. “What have I ever done? I never intended harm to anyone. I do not know what I should apologise for. I cannot apologise, for example, for having made the film “Triumph of the Will” – it won the top prize. All my films won prizes.”
Jewish Virtual Library
History Learning Site
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Leni Riefenstahl—propagandist for the Third Reich
World Socialist Web Site
Leni Riefenstahl: Film Maker Extraordinaire or Nazi Stooge?
The National Center for History Education
‘As pretty as a swastika’
Obituary: Leni Riefenstahl