Der Rat der Götter

Der Rat der Götter (The Council of the Gods) is an East German black-and-white film, directed by Kurt Maetzig. It was released in 1950.


In the early 1930s, Dr. Scholz is a chemist working for IG Farben. While he develops new types of rocket fuel and a gas which he believes to be a pesticide, his corporate superiors support Adolf Hitler in his quest to dominate Germany, and subsequently, the whole of Europe. Director General Mauch and his fellow managers, who jokingly call themselves 'the council of the gods', are cleverly using the Second World War to earn a fortune, by supplying the Third Reich and - through their cartel with Standard Oil - the Western Allies. Scholz, fearing to lose his position, turns a blind eye even as he realizes what the gas he developed is used for. Throughout the war, American bombers do not destroy IG Farben plants, as they are pressured by the company's associates in the United States to leave its infrastructure intact. After the war ends, the Americans acquit most of the directors from charges of crimes against humanity and secretly use their experience to produce chemical weapons, that would be deployed against the Soviet Union. After an explosion in a chemical factory kills hundreds, Scholz - who is now a communist - cannot remain silent. He publicizes the truth about IG Farben's wartime activity, warning that they plan yet another to make more money. An immense demonstration takes place outside the firm's headquarters. The American general supervising the managers proposes to disperse them with tanks, but Mauch refuses, fearing the crowd's reaction. The demonstration turns into a May Day rally.