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The Riders of German East Africa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Riders of German East Africa
Directed byHerbert Selpin
Written byWilhelm Stöppler
Based onKwa Heri by Marie Luise Droop
Produced byWalter Zeiske
StarringSepp Rist
Ilse Stobrawa
Rudolf Klicks
CinematographyEmil Schünemann
Edited byLena Neumann
Music byHerbert Windt
Distributed byTerra Film
Release date
  • 19 October 1934 (1934-10-19)
Running time
89 minutes

The Riders of German East Africa (German: Die Reiter von Deutsch-Ostafrika) is a 1934 German war film directed by Herbert Selpin and starring Sepp Rist, Ilse Stobrawa and Rudolf Klicks.[1] It was shot at the Terra Studios in Berlin and on location at the sand dunes at Marienhöhe in the capital, a former quarry which stood in for Africa. The film's sets were designed by the art directors Robert A. Dietrich and Bruno Lutz. It was based on the novel Kwa Heri by Marie Luise Droop. Although produced as an anti-British propaganda film, it was later banned by the Nazi authorities after the outbreak of the Second World War for not being hostile enough to Britain, while it was also subsequently banned by the Allies in the post-war era for its promotion of militarism.[2] [3]

Plot summary

Sepp Rist plays the role of Hellhoff, a German farmer in German East Africa, who is conscripted into the Schutztruppe (German armed colonial force) at the beginning of the First World War. His wife Gerda and the young volunteer Klix manage the plantation while he is away. In 1916, the plantation is occupied by a British unit. The commander, Major Cresswell, knows Gerda is secretly supplying Hellhoff and his comrades who are concealed in the bush. He tries to use his old friendship with the Hellhoffs put a stop to her activities. In order to carry out his duty as a British officer, he has his troops occupy the area's water supply to force the German soldiers to surrender. As Hellhoff's wife and Klix are trying to clandestinely supply water to Hellhoff, she is arrested and the boy shot. He still manages to bring the canteen to the soldiers before he dies. Hellhoff and his men liberate Gerda, who was to be taken away for trial by a British military court, and make off with water and horses. On their way to join up with Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck's East African Schutztruppe command, they stop at Klix's grave. Hellhoff promises the dead boy he will come back sooner or later — an allusion to the recovery of the lost colony through German victory in the Second World War.



  1. ^ Richards p.356
  2. ^ Hull p.59
  3. ^ Gheorghiu-Cernat p.136


  • Gheorghiu-Cernat, Manuela. Arms and the Film: War-and-peace in European Films. Meridiane, 1983.
  • Hull, David Stewart. Film in the Third Reich: A Study of the German Cinema, 1933-1945. University of California Press, 1969.
  • Richards, Jeffrey. Visions of Yesterday. Routledge, 1973.

External links

This page was last edited on 3 January 2024, at 02:55
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