Projects - Blatt & Bild

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Some of our previous projects


Our work for filmmakers
Berlin's Odyssey
A virtual reality tour of the city at the iconic TV Tower
The TV tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Berlin. Located in what was East Berlin, it now represents the unified city and houses a state of the art exhibition that takes visitors on a 15 minute, virtual reality, journey through 900 years of Berlin’s history.

The VR tour starts in the Middle Ages, when the city was little more than a village and takes the viewer through the Renaissance, the German Empire, the decades of division and into the modern era of unification. It offers an insight into the construction of the Tower, takes viewers into the homes of normal people on both sides of the wall and compares the television programs that were broadcast during the era of partition.

In collaboration with the production company Timescope, Blatt & Bild helped develop the concept for the VR tour. We unearthed the archived film footage and old images that were used in the exhibition and oversaw the project to ensure historical accuracy.
Fritz Bauer's Legacy – a reflection on the Nazi trials
A film by Sabine Lamby, Cornelia Partmann and Isabel Gathof
This film focuses on the yet unanswered question of why it took several decades for Fritz Bauer's opinion of the law to find its way into the German courts. He was of the opinion that a criminal regime was only able to operate because there were people who were prepared to commit heinous crimes and/or others who were willing to ignore mass murder. This applied to everyone who worked in the extermination camps, regardless of their position in the military hierarchy, or whether or not they had themselves committed acts of brutality or murder.  To witness it was to be a part of it.

More than 40 years after the first German Auschwitz trials, in which Fritz Bauer was the General Attorney, the German legal system is only now following his approach. In the trial against John Demjanjuk in 2011, he was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison, for having been an accessory to murder during the war. This was the first time someone was successfully prosecuted on the basis of having been an accessory to the murderous Nazi regime.

The film covers all the trials held since 2011 and goes into much detail about the last of its kind in 2015. That of Oskar Gröning – the accountant of Auschwitz.

Blatt & Bild contributed to the research for this film. We unearthed historic newspaper articles which reflected public reactions to the Auschwitz trials in the 1960s and scoured files from the picture agencies at Ullstein Bild, SZ-Photo and Picture Alliance. We also combed the collections of memorial sites at KZ Neuengamme and scoured through the vast collection of microfilms of national and regional German newspapers, at the State Library in Berlin.

The film premiered at Frankfurt's Cantate Saal on 12.5.2022.
Hitler and Stalin - The clash of tyrants
A film by  Michël Prazan
Siècle Productions made a 90 minute documentary about the close political relationship between Hitler and Stalin.  They covered the relationship from the early 1930s, through the second world war and up to the demise of Stalin in 1953 and pays particular attention to the pact of non-aggression made between the two leaders in 1939.

The film is made up entirely of archive footage and Blatt and Bild found many of the documents, old images and film footage from the pre-war era. We scoured the German Federal Archives, the Political Archives of the German Foreign Office and searched through the records held at numerous image agencies, including Ullstein, Getty, SZ-Photo, Archiv für Kunst und Geschichte (AKG) and Bildagentur bpk.

Most of the photographs, film footage and documents we found were colourised and brought to life with contemporary technologies.

The documentary was broadcast across France on 9th May 2022 and is available on replay here until 6 September 2022.


The Nazis et l'Argent
The Nazis and the money
A film by Gil Rabier
In June 1940 Hitler's tank troops launched surprise attacks on Holland, Belgium and France, with the sole purpose of taking control of Europe.

Germany had no financial resources, few raw materials, no oil and no foreign currency, so how did the Nazis succeed in their mission, without money and supported by a weak economy, to sustain the catastrophic effects of the Second World War?

The film uses contemporary 3D animation and a combination of rarely seen archival material. It illustrates how the Nazis succeeded in anchoring their racist and violent beliefs, into all areas of the German economy, from national industries and agriculture, to small business owners and sole traders. The film shows how the Nazis created an economic model based on robbery and mass murder and convinced the German nation that they were morally justified to rule Europe.  

For the animations, Blatt & Bild went to the Federal Archives.  There we uncovered the original technical drawings of the German ‘Tiger’ tanks, as well as documents from various Ministries of the Reich, including the aviation, agriculture and finance departments.

We also found several original German newspapers, in which the headlines screamed of ‘’huge economic successes in Europe’’ to the German nation. The successes they spoke about involved the mass exploitation of Soviet prisoners of war and the forced labourer of thousands of people across Europe. All are described with a shockingly cold administrative language.
Our work for academics
Richard Travers, Macquarie University Sydney
German and Australian combat units in the Battle of Crete - Adversaries or brothers in arms?
   
The purpose of this PhD thesis is to examine the social structure of the Luftwaffe's Paratrooper Regiment 2, and other military units, involved in the fighting at Rethymnon, on Crete in May 1941.

It is a study of the German and Australian soldiers who were engaged in the battle. It is a study of the men who fought, not a study of the battle itself and the subjects are ordinary, unrecognised soldiers, not the generals.

The ultimate question is: were the men who fought at Rethymnon so different from one another, or were they quite similar?  

Blatt & Bild conducted extensive research on reams of military service record books and dog-tag registers in the German Federal Archives, in Berlin. We were able to locate the required Wehrstammbücher by analysing the many different databases held at the Federal Archives.
“Thanks, Corinna.  I greatly appreciate the work you are doing”.
Richard Travers

British Library, Public Domain
German Historical Institute Paris
This project by the German Historical Institute in Paris produced an interactive online map which  provided information about the location of the various German and French government offices in France during the German occupation.

 
 
Blatt & Bild established the database of information and historical photos and developed the online search tool which was based on the official German telephone directories and French administrative records.
Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)
Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)
Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)
Prof. Dr. Claire Andrieu
Research for Prof. Claire Andrieu as part  of her project Helpers et lyncheurs dans l’Europe allemande,  1940-1945. The  aim was to find people who had witnessed German airmen bailing out of their planes and to establish how the population in various European countries  reacted to members of the German air force, who had been forced to make emergency landings in enemy territory.

Blatt & Bild carried out research for this project at the former Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt). We also conducted an interview with the former German pilot, Joachim, who was shot down over London in 1944, had to exit his plane by parachute and was subsequently held by the British as  prisoner of war.
Our work for journalists
WDR
The Unknown Doctor
Research in collaboration with Sabine Rau, head of ARD Studio in Paris
Jacques Bloch is a former French Resistance fighter. He is  Jewish and has spent over 70 years searching for the name of a particular German doctor.  During a battle in 1944 he was seriously injured and was subsequently arrested by the Germans. He was taken to the prison in Montluçon and one of the prison doctors ordered that he be treated for his injuries.  Jacques received the treatment he needed, but the doctor was executed.

Jacques lost his arm, but he survived the war and has been searching for the name of the doctor ever since. He wants to honour his name and hopes to be able to thank his family for the act of kindness that saved his  life.

In February 2020 ARD Studios aired a national appeal on Tagesthemen, but there were no leads, so Corinna joined the hunt for the Unknown Doctor.

She analysed reams of documents, piles of German dog-tags and the registers of casualties, but as yet the Unknown Doctor remains an unknown entity and the hunt goes on …  
Our work for individuals
Auszug aus einem Lazarettbuch
German military hospitals in Belgium during the First World War
Yannick Van Lierde
Belgium
The primary aim of this study was to identify individual soldiers, list their injuries and make a record of what eventually happened to them. The secondary purpose was to establish a record of everyday life in German military hospitals during The First World War.

For this project Blatt & Bild accessed and analysed the extensive hospital registers from the German military hospital in Geraardsbergen. These records formed the basis for Mr Van Lierde’s research.

‘’Thanks again for your valuable help in this case‘‘.
Yannick Van Lierde
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