The next screening is the hilarious comedy about the Hitler Diaries, the biggest hoax in modern journalism
(1992, 94 min, dir. Helmut Dietl, starring Götz George, Monika Ferres, Uwe Ochsenknecht, English subtitles)
TIME: 5 p.m.
VENUE: Howard College, MTB West Wing 1st floor, German programme, Media Room F251
About the film:
Schtonk! (1992) is a satirical German movie, retelling the hoax of the Hitler Diaries.

Subtitled Der Film zum Buch vom Führer (“The film accompanying the Führer’s book”), the movie is a grotesque farce about the events when, in 1983, German Stern magazine began to publish, with great fanfare, the 60 volumes of the alleged diaries of Adolf Hitler – which two weeks later turned out to be entirely fake. That story is commonly described one of the greatest failures of modern journalism overall.

The film is widely considered a hilarious tale, making fun not only of the events and characters who were involved in the hoax, and who are only thinly disguised in the movie, but also of the discomfort Germany has with its difficult past. It is especially fun to viewers familiar with the country.

The film is co-written and directed by Helmut Dietl and, among his many respected comedies, frequently considered his best. Dietl researched the scandal for two years and has been quoted as having to leave out several real events from the movie because they were too outrageous.

The title is a bow to Charlie Chaplin’s classic The Great Dictator, in which the Fooey repeatedly uses “Schtonk!” as an expression of disgust – the word has no meaning in German but resembles Stunk (pronounced as shtoonk), a colloquial expression for a scuffle or altercation. (



For further details please contact:

Dr. Marion Pape
University of KwaZulu-Natal
School of Language, Literature & Linguistics
German Programme
Durban, 4041
TEL: 031-260 1086/2380
FAX: 031-260 1242

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