“Doña Francisquita,” 1935

Ibérica Films operated as a sort of Spanish “underground railroad” for Jewish film makers on the run from Nazi Germany.

"Jagd Nach Dem Glück"-produced in affiliation with Sascha Films (Vienna)
“Die Jagd Nach Dem Glück,” 1929/1930

Produced in affiliation with Sascha Films (Vienna)

Bruno Kastner, Dorrit Weixler und Frida Richard im Stummfilm %22Dorittchens Vergnügungsreise%22 von Paul Heidemann. Oliver-Film, 1921
Film still from “Die Jagd Nach Dem Glück”



In 1936, Ibérica is dissolved under Franco, and Oliver moves to England to work with Alexander Korda at Denham Studios. Oliver commissioned and built Denham’s film laboratories, a Bauhaus building now protected by Britain’s National Trust.

In early 1919, the Weimar Republic did away with national censorship, causing a freer creative climate and also a spike in films considered to be pornographic. The following spring, the Reich Film Act was instated in an attempt to curtail the new wave of “smutty” pictures, an act that would later enable the ruling Nazi party to officially censor ideology in German cinema

In a Film Kurier interview dated 12th July, 1920, David Oliver, head of Decla Bioscop discusses his company’s attempts at self-censorship.


David Oliver c.1931
Bronze bust by Georg Kolbe, cast at the Noack foundry in Berlin, c. 1931

“…..Not much warranted the slogan “Kunst des Dritten Reiches” in this first Grosse Deutsche Kunstausstellung.[29] The subject matter that is usually associated with this period in German history – steely eyed, blond warriors, Hitler and his henchmen in uniform, muscular farmers and breast-feeding mothers – increasingly took over the inventory of subsequent exhibitions. Nazi propaganda art emerged as reputable artists, such as the sculptor Kolbe for instance, changed their style to suit Nazi ideology and as mediocre artists, but fanatic followers of the regime, got promoted […]

A few artists are testimony to the ongoing process of a developing National Socialist style and the abandonment by artists of their aesthetic principles. The sculptor Georg Kolbe was represented with his earlier work in the “Degenerate Art” show. As he altered his style to conform to the Third Reich’s aesthetic demands, his idealized men and women in heroic poses gained entrance into the annual shows at the Haus der Kunst.”

Ursula A. Ginder, The Development of Two Pivotal Art ExhibitionsMunich 1937