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Directed by Peter Hagen
Produced by Alfred Bittins (line producer)
Dr. Scheunemann (line producer)
Hermann Schmidt (producer)
Written by Werner Kortwich (writer)
Starring See below
Music by Walter Gronostay
Cinematography Sepp Allgeier
Edited by W. Becker
Release date
Running time
97 minutes (Germany)
Country Nazi Germany
Language German

Friesennot is a 1935 German film directed by Peter Hagen.[1] Made for Nazi propaganda purposes, it concerns a village of ethnic Frisians in Russia.

The film has also been known as Dorf im roten Sturm (Germany; reissue title) and Frisions [sic] in Distress (USA).


Soviet authorities are making life as difficult as possible for a village of Volga Germans, most of whose ancestors originated in the Frisian Islands, with taxes and other oppression.[2]

After Mette, a half-Russian, half-Frisian woman, becomes the girlfriend of Kommissar Tschernoff, the Frisians murder her and throw her body in a swamp.[3]

Open violence breaks out and all of the Red Army soldiers stationed nearby are killed by the villagers.They then set fire to their village and flee.[3]



Despite Nazi hostility to religion, a cynical piece of anti-Communist propaganda depicts the Communists as posting obscene anti-religious posters, and the Frisians as piously declaring that all authority comes from God.[4]

The portrayal of Kommissar Tschernoff does not conform to the heavy-handed depiction of Communists as brutal and murderous in such films as Flüchtlinge; he is truly and passionately in love with Mette, and only with her death does he unleash his soldiers.[3] A villager objects to the affair on the grounds that even though her mother was Russian, her father's Frisian blood "outweighs" foreign blood, and therefore she must not throw herself at a foreigner.[3] Her murder is presented as in accordance with the Nazi principle of "race defilement."[5]

Ban and reversal[edit]

After the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, in 1939, the film was banned; in 1941, after the invasion of Russia, it was reissued under its new title.[6]


  1. ^ "New York Times: Friesennot (1936)". NY Times. Retrieved 2010-10-31. 
  2. ^ Erwin Leiser, Nazi Cinema, pp. 39-40 ISBN 0-02-570230-0
  3. ^ a b c d Erwin Leiser, Nazi Cinema, p. 40 ISBN 0-02-570230-0
  4. ^ Erwin Leiser, Nazi Cinema p40-1 ISBN 0-02-570230-0
  5. ^ Richard Grunberger, The 12-Year Reich, p. 384, ISBN 0-03-076435-1
  6. ^ Erwin Leiser, Nazi Cinema p. 41 ISBN 0-02-570230-0

External links[edit]