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  • Frank Hensel, président de International Federation of Film Archives un espion nazi
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    Des documents nouvellement retrouvés dans les archives de la Stasi témoignent du rôle important de ce fonctionnaire nazi dans le combat contre la résistance française. D’après un rapport envoyé au #Reichssicherheitshauptamt dans la #Prinz-Albrecht-Straße cet homme à l’apparence anodine aurait démantelé le réseau de soutien aux pilotes alliés et réfugiés dans la toute la France et au Portugal.

    Voici un extrait de l’article dans le journal Berliner Zeitung du 19.10.2019

    In den nun aufgetauchten Berichten gibt ihm Hensel detaillierte Informationen über französische Résistance-Gruppen preis, die er sich offenbar zuvor bei Vertrauten aus Frankreich erschlichen hatte. „Meine Beziehungen sind heute so weit vorgedrungen, dass wir voraussichtlich ... die gesamte De
    Gaulle-Organisation vernichten können“, schrieb Hensel mit kaum verhohlener Begeisterung am 29. September 1942 an Schellenberg.
    ...
    Von der SS-Karriere wussten seine ausländischen Partner nichts, mit denen er am17. Juni 1938 die FIAF gründete. Ein erster Kongress, auf dem Hensel zum Präsidenten der FIAF gewählt wurde, fand im Juli 1939 in New York statt. Der Nachfolgekongress ein Jahr später in Berlin fiel zwar wegen des von Hitler-Deutschland eröffneten Angriffskrieges aus – Hensel aber blieb FIAF-Präsident.

    Der NS-Staat fand für den SS-Mann nun eine neue Verwendung. Nach dem Einmarsch der Wehrmacht in Paris im Juni 1940
    bezog Hensel, getarnt als vermeintlicher Direktor der französischen Niederlassung des Mitteleuropäischen Reisebüros, ein Büro in der Avenue de l’Opéra. Von dort aus war sein – wie er es selbst nannte – „Sonderkommando Hensel“ gleich in doppelter Funktion in den besetzten Gebieten unterwegs. Einerseits sollte er für die mit Filmproduktionen
    befasste Abteilung F des Propagandaministeriums „Filme und ähnliches Propagandamaterial (sicherstellen) und die sofortige
    Auswertung dieser Gegenstände“ ermöglichen, wie es in seiner Personalakte heißt.

    Zum anderen lieferte er sowohl dem militärischen Geheimdienst der Wehrmacht – der von Admiral Canaris geleiteten Abwehr – als auch dem SD Informationen, die er über sein Zuträgernetz sammelte.
    ...
    am 29. September 1942, übermittelte Hensel deutlich wichtigere Informationen an Schellenberg – und zwar eine detaillierte Aufstellung der geheimen Anlaufstellen der Résistance im unbesetzten Teil Frankreichs sowie in Lissabon.

    Die Übersicht enthält sowohl die Anschriften der „De-Gaulle-Organisation“ in Montpellier, Marseille, Toulouse und Nizza wie auch die Namen der Verbindungsleute vor Ort und die Losungsworte, über die man mit ihnen in
    Kontakt treten kann. „Bei ihnen melden sich sämtliche englische Fallschirmjäger und Sprengstoffattentäter und werden von dort aus unterstützt und weitergebracht“, schrieb Hensel an Schellenberg.

    In einer weiteren Aufstellung benannte er zudem Adressen, an
    denen sich Flüchtlinge aus dem besetzten Belgien und dem annektierten Teil Frankreichs melden können, um von dort aus mit gefälschten Papieren via Lissabon zu den gegen Deutschland kämpfenden Exilarmeen nach Nord- und Zentralafrika zu gelangen.

    „Es dürfte z. Zt. für mich möglich sein, jede Frage beantworten zu können, die die De-Gaulle-Organisation in Frankreich, Portugal, England und Kongo betrifft“, lobte sich Hensel selbst in seinem Bericht an Schellenberg. „Es wäre am allerbesten, wenn Sie in Anbetracht der Wichtigkeit all dieser
    Meldungen einen Sonderkurier für mich einsetzen würden, da jetzt täglich Nachrichten von bedeutendem Kriegsinteresse einlaufen
    können, wo es auf jede Stunde ankommt.“

    International Federation of Film Archives
    https://www.fiafnet.org/pages/History/Origins-of-FIAF.html

    Of the future four members of FIAF, Nazi Germany’s Reichsfilmarchiv was the first to be established, on 29 January 1934, even though it would only be officially inaugurated (by Hitler himself) in February 1935, by which time it already contained over 1200 films of “artistic or cultural importance”. Joseph Goebbels, a cinema enthusiast who fully understood the cultural and political value of film, seemed to have played a crucial role in its constitution. In 1935 the Reichsfilmarchiv already had a new director – Frank Hensel, who had been involved in the making of propaganda films for the National Socialist Party (which he had joined in 1928).[4] Having travelled a lot in his youth, he spoke very good English, which would be helpful in establishing international contacts with foreign archives.

    In April that year, the Third Reich convened an International Film Congress in Berlin, attended by 1000 delegates of 24 national film industries. The remit of its 9th Special Committee was to discuss the question of film archives. The outcome of its deliberations was to recommend “the setting-up of a film repository in each country for the collection of films of cultural, educational, and scientific value or showing the development of film art. The producers in each country should be required to deliver a free copy of each of their films to the Repository. Each Repository would compile a catalogue of educational films and the various repositories would have contact with one another. As far as possible, a copy of all films produced in the respective countries, educational and otherwise, should be kept.”[5] Later Hensel was to give himself credit “for having successfully prompted other countries to create their own film archives based on the German archive” at this congress,[6] but the evidence does not bear this out. Many countries had boycotted the event for political reasons. The MoMA Film Library and the BFI’s National Film Library were already about to be launched, and it is unlikely that Langlois’ Cinémathèque project owed much to the recommendations of the Berlin congress. In November 1938 he would even declare to John Abbott that one of the real strengths of the FIAF project came from the fact that unlike most other international film organizations of the 1930s, FIAF had not been initiated by the German-Italian axis.
    ...
    Between 1936 and 1938, if the Cinémathèque française, the BFI, and the MoMA Film Library had developed a friendly and, to a degree, productive relationship, there seems to be little evidence of a similar sustained partnership between these three and the Reichsfilmachiv in that period, following the initial encounter between the Abbotts and their German counterparts in Berlin in the summer of 1936. In the fast-deteriorating international climate of that period, this is hardly surprising. What is more surprising is how the Reichsfilmarchiv would suddenly reappear on the international stage and take an important part in the foundation of the International Federation of Film Archives in 1938, via its representative Frank Hensel.
    ...
    The “Trois siècles d’Art aux États-Unis” exhibition opened with a private view on 24 May 1938. Later accounts confirmed that the event, hosted by the Abbotts, was attended by Vaughan, Langlois, and Frank Hensel, and therefore provided the first opportunity for these personalities to discuss the FIAF project.[31] From then on Hensel was invited to take part in all the discussions. It is not clear how the German – who by then was no longer the head of the Reichsfilmarchiv, but still represented it abroad – managed to be included in the negotiations, especially at a time when international tension was at its highest (it was less than three months after the Anschluss). The other three partners certainly saw an opportunity to bring international legitimacy to the future organization and, after all, the Reischsfilmarchiv was a major archive with a much larger collection than the Cinémathèque or the National Film Library.
    ...
    In a letter to Langlois on 1 June, Abbott confirmed in writing the initial agreement about “the creation of an International Federation of Film Archives” which they, Olwen Vaughan, and Hensel had drafted during their preliminary conversations in the last week of May.
    ...
    The representatives of the four archives agreed to meet again, this time in a more official manner, to put the finishing touches to FIAF’s founding document. They reconvened in the Abbotts’ hotel in his Paris on 9 June, and then again on 15 June. The minutes of these first two official FIAF meetings, taken by Olwen Vaughan, were duly signed by the participants – Abbott, Hensel, Vaughan, Langlois, and Franju. During the first meeting they approved the international agreement for the proposed Federation. They also decided that the first annual congress would be held in New York in the summer of 1939, and (on Hensel’s insistence, for political balance) the second in Berlin in 1940. Until the New York congress, the Board of Directors would consist of Abbott (President), Hensel (Vice-President and Secretary), Vaughan (Treasurer), and Langlois, while Franju was given the post of Executive Secretary, in charge of the FIAF office (another victory for Langlois).
    ...
    From the moment the Abbotts sailed back to New York on 22 June, Olwen Vaughan started playing a key role in ensuring that the unfinished business would be dealt with, especially as “minor frictions” seemed to have appeared between Langlois and Hensel, as reported in correspondence between Abbott and Vaughan at the end of June.[35] She played the unofficial role of spokesperson in Europe for the Abbotts, and kept a close eye on Langlois and Hensel, whose widely different temperaments (and ideological mindset) could put the common project at risk. She regularly reported to MoMA her growing frustration at Hensel’s lack of communication, and Langlois’ vagueness and messiness.
    ...
    If Hensel and Vaughan had the copies of the Agreement countersigned by their higher authorities within a few weeks, the delay in announcing the formation of FIAF eventually came from New York, where Abbott faced his own difficulties. One of them was that the US Government was in the process of setting up a film department within the National Archives, which seemed to unsettle the MoMA Film Library’s status as the country’s semi-official film archive. Abbott initially assumed this new institution would have to co-sign the FIAF Agreement with MoMA, so he made a number of enquiries. On another front, a tough interview of Abbott by Will H. Hays’ public relations man on 25 October also showed that the powerful Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America was rather concerned about the new Federation, and by the fact that MoMA would be exchanging films with Nazi Germany on a systematic basis. The serious war scare caused by the Czechoslovakia Sudetenland crisis in late September came very close to putting an end to the FIAF Project before it was even launched. In a very anxious letter to Abbott, Vaughan recounted her presence in Paris that week, “whilst everything was at its worst. You never saw such a dreary town – all Air Raid precautions – no lights – and everyone far gloomier than in London.” She reported that both Langlois’ and Hensel’s morale was very low, and she begged Abbott to have the FIAF Agreement signed as quickly as possible to ease the tension.
    ...
    Rolf Aurich, “Cinéaste, Collector, National Socialist: Frank Hensel and the Reichsfilmarchiv”, Journal of Film Preservation, #64, April 2002.
    ...
    [33] Langlois was curiously left without a formal position in this early set-up (which was confirmed in the official Agreement signed on 17 June). This can be explained by the fact that the Cinémathèque had already obtained the post of Executive Secretary of FIAF, and the location of the Secretariat in Paris. Hensel probably also insisted on the Reichsfilmarchiv obtaining as prestigious a position as that of its American counterpart, for obvious political reasons.

    First Tango in Paris : The Birth of FIAF, 1936-1938Christophe Dupin
    https://www.fiafnet.org/images/tinyUpload/History/FIAF-History/Birth%20of%20FIAF%20Article_Dupin_JFP88.pdf

    #histoire #cinéma #France #Allemagne #espionnage #guerre