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Ernst Thälmann - Son of his Class

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Ernst Thälmann - Son of his Class
Ernst Thälmann - Sohn seiner Klasse
Movie Poster
Country GER.jpg East Germany
Directed by Kurt Maetzig
Johannes Arpe
Release Date March 9, 1954
Language German
Studio DEFA
Distributor Progress Film
Main Cast
Character Actor
Ernst Thälmann Günther Simon
Fiete Jansen Hans-Peter Minetti
Arthur Vierbreiter Erich Franz
Martha Vierbreiter Erika Dunkelmann
Krischan Daik Raimund Schelcher
Änne Harms Karla Runkehl
Otto Kramer Gerhard Bienert

Ernst Thälmann - Son of his Class is a 1954 East-German movie directed by Kurt Maetzig and Johannes Arpe. In November 1918, a leaflet reached the German soldiers on the Western Front urging them to do the same as the Russian peasants and workers and actively fight against their oppression. Tählmann, who had long since realized the futility of the war and was serving his time as an involuntary soldier, began to fight alongside his comrades immediately after his return home. However, the working class's attempt to revolt is prevented by right-wing social democrats, and the working class is threatened with depolarization.

A sequel followed one year later, covering his last life years.

The following weapons were used in the film Ernst Thälmann - Son of his Class:


Luger P08

German officers including Hauptmann (Captain) Alland (Adolf Peter Hoffmann) and some soldiers can be seen with Luger P08s.

Luger P08 - 9x19mm Parabellum
A Luger is used by Fiete Jansen (Hans-Peter Minetti) during an ambush of the 1923 Hamburg Uprising. The man next to him holds a Gew. 88.
Alland fires his Luger during the same ambush.
Hauptmann Quadde (Werner Peters) leads a charge on a Spartakus newspaper barricade.


Gewehr 1898

The Gewehr 98 is widely used by German soldiers, Freikorps troops, and left-wing members (Spartakisten, USPD, and KPD).

Mauser Gewehr 1898 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Mauser Gewehr 1898M - 7.92x57mm Mauser
While on his way to developing an important message for his comrades, Hannes Harms (Wilfried Ortmann) takes cover with his Gewehr.
A G98 hanging between German soldiers in a shelter.
Freikorps officers getting arrested with Gew. 98s.
Red members take the police's rifles. Note the different rear sights: The left Gewehrs have post-war tangent-leaf rear sight while the right rifles have Lange Visiers.
Insurgent with their Gewehr 98s before the Hamburg uprising.
The Gewehr of the soldier in the background is fitted with an SG 98/05 bayonet.

Karabiner 98AZ

A broken rifle that could be a Karabiner 98AZ is briefly seen lying in the mud.

Karabiner 98AZ - 7.92x57mm
Note the grasping groove, tangent-leaf rear sight and the missing bolt handle.

Lebel Mle. 1886

Some French Lebel 1886s are used by German soldiers.

Fusil Lebel Modèle 1886 - 8x50mmR Lebel
The soldier in center and on the left have Lebel rifles.

Karabiner 98b

During various uprisings of the 1920s in the Weimar Republic, Reichswehr troops can be seen with Karabiner 98b. Some are equipped with S84/98 bayonets for the Karabiner 98k.

Mauser Karabiner 98b - 7.92x57mm Mauser
A soldier getting hit by a stone holds a Karabiner 98b. The rifle has a bent bolt handle, tangent-leaf rear sight, and full-length barrel.
This Kar 98b seems also to be equipped with an S84/98 bayonet.

Gewehr 1888/05

Both Weimar forces and insurgents have Gewehr 1888/05.

Gewehr 1888/05 - 7.92x57mm (8x57 IS)
Members of the Kapp Putsch march with Gewehr 88 rifles.
One Freikorps officer tries to hold back insurgents with the buttstock of his rifle.
An insurgent points his Gew. 88 at a Kapp Putsch member. Note the swastika on their helmets as a sign of their warlike appearance.
A line of red insurgents armed with Gew. 88.
Police forces advance in the streets of Berlin. Their rifles have side-mounted bayonets.

Karabiner 1888

The Karabiner 1888 is also seen in some scenes.

Karabiner 1888 - 7.92x57mm (8x57mm I Patrone 88)
A Sturmmann named Müller complains why the truck blocking the road.

Machine Guns

Maxim MG 08

Maxim MG08s are used by both factions. Some are fitted with modified Interbellum muzzle boosters.

Maxim MG 08 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
Reichswehr soldiers transport the Maxim to crack down the Spartacist uprising in 1919.
A Spartakist defends the encircled building. In this scene, and many more, the gunner and belt carrier only wiggle the gun/ammo belt. The top cover is not closed properly and bobs up and down.
Soldiers awaiting the command to open fire at demonstrators.
A Reichswehr Maxim team tries to repel an ambush in a street of Hamburg.
Otto Kramer (Gerhard Bienert) mans an MG 08.

Maxim M1910

An abandoned Russian Maxim M1910 lies beside a German trench.

Maxim M1910 - 7.62x54mmR
The end box is seen on the left.
Note the ribbed water jacket.

Maxim MG08/15

What appears to be a Maxim MG08/15 modified with a fore-mounted bipod is briefly seen.

Maxim MG08/15 - 7.92x57mm Mauser
An unused MG08/15 with the fore mounted bipod is seen on the right.
Two soldiers on the right seem to be using this Maxim as well. It is


Flare Gun

An unknown flare gun is used by a German officer during the trench defense.

The flare gun is seen with the standing soldier next to the entrance of the shelter.


Stick grenade mockups that resemble Model 16 Stielhandgranates are used by soldiers and insurgents. The fact that there are only 2 grenades seen at a time suggests that there were only 2 mockups.

Model 16 Stielhandgranate
A stick grenade attched to Alland's belt.
Two Stielhandgranaten in front of Alland.

10.5 cm leichte Feldhaubitze 18

Anachronistic 10.5 cm leichte FeldHaubitze 18 are used by German soldiers and Kapp putschists.

Leichte Feldhaubitze 18 - 105mm
A lFh 18 under the command of Hauptmann Quadde on the Western Front.
A light howitzer being pushed into position during streetfighting against Spartacists in 1919.
At the start of the 1920 Kapp Putsch, putschists uncover a hidden howitzer from a barn.

15 cm sIG 33

The 15 cm sIG 33, also anachronistic for WWI and the early 1920s, can be seen.

Schweres Infanteriegeschütz (sIG) 33 - 149.1 mm (5.87 in)
An sIG 33 in No Man's Land can be seen in the left distance.
The gun being towed in the right.

Mark A Whippet tank

A British Mk. A Whippet tank is used by the Freikorps during the Spartacist Uprising in 1919. This tank seems to be a real one rather than a mockup that could be purchased from the Soviet Union for the movie. Historically the use of this tank is correct; the Whippet tank "A249" was used by the Freikorps. This tank was captured by German troops in 1918 at Bray, France. After the uprising, the Allies took it back and was then scrapped.

The tanks provides covering fire for the advancing infantry.

Armored Car

An armored car is used by the Reichswehr in Hamburg, which is a replica to resemble an Ehrhardt E-V/4.

ErnstThälmannSon-Armored Car.jpg

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