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DVD Cover
Directed by Helmut Dietl
Written by Helmut Dietl
Ulrich Limmer
Starring Götz George
Uwe Ochsenknecht
Christiane Hörbiger
Release date(s) 1992
Running time 115 min.
Country  Germany
Language German

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 to Stunk, a colloquial expression for a scuffle or altercation.



Fritz Knobel (the movie's alter-ego of real-life forger Konrad Kujau) supports himself by faking and selling Nazi memorabilia. So he sells a portrait of Eva Braun and one volume of Hitler's alleged diaries to factory owner Karl Lenz. Lenz presents this on a "birthday party to the Führer" to his guests, among them sleazy journalist Hermann Willié. Willié is working for the magazine "HH press" (real-world Stern magazine is located in Hamburg, which is abbreviated "HH" on German car license plates; "HH" is pronounced "haha"). In the events Knobel writes down according to what happens around him; after he meets his later lover Martha, she becomes his inspiration for Eva Braun. As he then comes under increasing stress, having to deliver the remaining volumes that he had already sold, he turns more and more into a mock image of Hitler himself.

Since the circulation of Stern had been in decline for years at the time since its glory days under editor Henri Nannen (and has been since then), the depiction of its "HH press" movie counterpart and the people who are running it is also quite telling.

International awards


In 1993, the film Schtonk! was nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Foreign Language Film (losing it to the French film Indochine), as well as for a Golden Globe in the same category (losing it to Indochine just as well).


In 1992, Schtonk! won 3 Film Awards in Gold at the German Film Awards in the categories Outstanding Feature Film, Outstanding Individual Achievement: Actor (Götz George), and Outstanding Individual Achievement: Direction (Helmut Dietl), as well as the Best Screenplay Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival (Helmut Dietl, Ulrich Limmer). In 1993, Harald Juhnke won the Ernst Lubitsch Award for his role as Pit Kummer in Schtonk!

Major characters


External links

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