T. int.: My Crimes After Mein Kampf. Scen.: José Lacaze. F.: Géo Blanc. Mus.: Wladyslaw Eiger. Int.: Roger Karl (il colonnello), Pierre Labry (Röhm), André Valmy (Ernst), Albert Morys (Hitler giovane), Line Noro (Frieda), Nicolas Amato (sottotenente), Alain Cuny (Van der Lubbe). Prod.: Films Régent. Digibeta. D.: 84’. Bn.
I had absolutely no idea about the horror and treachery I would discover in making this film. We reconstructed powerful scenes with authentic archive materials: the Nazi St. Bartholomew’s Night, the assassinations of Röhm and of General Von Schleicher and his wife, the indictment of Van der Lubbe, a part played by Cuny, the pseudo arsonist of the Reichstag […]. All the reconstructed documentary scenes were shot in real locations. We
only shot one day in the studio. Röhm’s assassination was shot in the basement of a villa; Pierre Labry’s make-up was done in a way to make him resemble the Führer’s unfortunate comrade, including the scars on his face.
Alexandre Ryder, interview by Doringe, “Pour vous”, n. 573, November 8, 1939
Warning, UFO-film. Après Mein Kampf, mes crimes is a docu-fiction that was made before the term even
existed. A film that is mediocre verging on ridiculous but also a fascinating historical document. After the Daladier government declared war on Nazi Germany, in September 1939, the Commissariat à l’Information asked director Alexandre Ryder (known at the time for his musical comedies!) to make a film against Hitler. Ryder, who used the symbolic pseudonym Jean-Jacques Valjean for the film, devoted himself to it with
the delicacy of a Panzer attack. He alternated sequences of current events with overly melodramatic scenes with actors (including Alain Cuny as the Reichstag arsonist) of the young Führer, the persecutio of the Jews, the Night of Long Knives (wrongly called ‘the Nazi St. Bartholomew’s Night’), denunciation within families… A disturbing detail, Ryder criticizes Goebbels’s propaganda while employing the very same strategies, image manipulation and common slogans included. The film came out in March 1940; three months later it was prohibited once France was occupied. Copies were sequestered and destroyed, but the producer Jacques Haïk managed to salvage most of the negative. Thus Après Mein Kampf, mes crimes had a second life in 1945, with the addition of an epilogue on the extermination camps and the fall of Berlin.
Samuel Douhaire, Après Mein Kampf, mes crimes, “Télérama”, October 11, 2008