Hitler's Useful Idols - Otto Skorzeny: Hitler's Scarface
Year: 2010
Run-Time: 1 x 50 min.

Directed by Robert Gokl

ORF and Interspot Film
Available for USA, Germany, Austria, UK, Ireland and the German language in Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein

Languages: German (ORIGINAL) , English (DUBBED)
Format: 16:9

Hitler's Useful Idols - Otto Skorzeny: Hitler's Scarface

Hitlers nützliche Idole - Otto Skorzeny: Hitlers "Scarface"

Otto Skorzeny was one of Hitler's most elusive «craftsmen of war». He was appointed commander of the newly established SS special units in 1943 and tasked with a new kind of warfare: fast special operation strikes with air support that could hit even far behind enemy lines. That same year, Skorzeny became both famous and feared around the world due to the spectacular liberation of dictator Benito Mussolini. Broad dueling scars from his student days gave him his nom de guerre: Scarface. To the secret services of the Allied forces, he was «the most dangerous man in Europe.» Until the end of the war, Skorzeny was Hitler's «most favorite command soldier». He received the orders for his most daring missions from no one but the Führer himself: after Mussolini's liberation, the capture of Hungarian dictator Miklós Horthy, for example. Even aiding in the development of special arms, Skorzeny fought doggedly to the end to avert the Third Reich's defeat. Skorzeny's special operations had a decisive impact on the course of World War II. Even moreeffective than any of his missions, however, was the Skorzeny myth. German propaganda turned him into an archetypal «Aryan war hero»: far superior to his opponents, never shrinking from any task, Hitler's «one-man secret weapon», a kind of Nazi «James Bond». Many still expected him to score a crucial surprise coup during the final stage of the war, a last-minute twist that would turn everything around, such as assassinating the Supreme Commander of the Allied forces, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, amidst his general staff in Paris. The mission never took place and was never seriously planned. However, the rumors about it made the name Skorzeny a myth on both sides of the front. Across the world, Skorzeny above all others represents the idealization of the «upright German warrior»- respected equally by friend and foe - and is held in high esteem in radical right-wing and military circles to this day. Apart from his myth, Skorzeny himself survived the war, though his voluntarysurrender to the Americans and his subsequent acquittal from all charges at a war crimes trial in Dachau, Germany, only fueled his myth all the more. What could he be accused of in postwar Austria if even his enemies didn't consider him a war criminal, but merely someone «who had only done what they would have done themselves»? To avoid the possibility of further trials in Germany, Skorzeny fled to Generalissimo Franco's Spain. where he was officially active as a businessman but also as a real estate agent. Simultaneously, he was credited with the most ludicrous worldwide military operations -«Hitler's magic bullet», so to speak, serving as a mercenary on all continents. Otto «Scarface» Skorzeny, comicsuperhero of National Socialism, a strange conglomerate of German wartime propaganda, the Allies' ongoing fascination with the Nazis, and neo-narcissistic hero worship. A superhumanshadow figure who served as a projection screen for even the wildest and most contradictory visions, for good as well as evil. Following his death in Madrid in 1975, a group of former National Socialists and neo-Nazis brought Skorzeny's ashes to Vienna. The man Otto Skorzeny is dead but his myth endures to this day. Men around the world still dream of his adventures, read his books, compete with their role model in state-of-the-art 3D computer games, and will even buy a Skorzeny puppet as an object of admiration.

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