This biographical essay focuses on the life during the war years of German filmmaker Rudi Hornecker who lived and worked in Holland from 1926 until his untimely death in 1961. While pursuing his career in advertising he was at the same time an enthusiastic amateur filmmaker who won several international prizes in the 1930s. When war broke out advertising opportunities were reduced to a minimum. However a second career arose for him when he was offered a job in the film industry. He worked first for the German producer Alfred Greven and his Paris-based company Continental Film. In 1942 he returned to Holland to work for the national-socialist oriented company Nederland Film that was based in The Hague. A fruitful year followed in which he shot at least six films only to be interrupted by the German Wehrmacht which finally enlisted him. Not wanting to fight Hornecker succeeded in obtaining a job as war cameraman for the Organisation Todt returning to Holland to film the bunkers and fortresses that this organization was building along the Atlantic coast. When public life and also film-making came to a virtual standstill due to the railway strike of September 1944 Hornecker shot the footage of the winter of famine that was to make him famous. He subsequently presented honger! (1945) as a 'clandestine' film production which became the predominant opinion about it. This article argues however that honger! could not have been made clandestinely. Be that as it may the film did establish Hornecker's reputation and he was the only filmmaker from the Nederland Film unit to launch a successful post-war film career.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Barten, Egbert. (2006). '…das waren eben noch Zeiten! - "Zeiten von Kultur…und noch etwas!'''. Hoe Rudi Hornecker (1901-1961) de Tweede Wereldoorlog doorkwam. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 9(1), 25–68. doi:10.18146/tmg.546