Legion Condor (film)

Legion Condor is a 1939 German war film directed by Karl Ritter and starring Paul Hartmann, Albert Hehn and Fritz Kampers. The film portrays the German Condor Legion which fought in the Spanish Civil War. Because of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the production was halted after 15 days of film-shooting, on 25 August 1939, to avoid offending the Soviets who had supported the other side in Spain and who were negatively portrayed in the film. Karl Ritter's diary entry that day states that Hermann Göring had called the Ufa studio to tell him to abort the film.

Legion Condor
Directed byKarl Ritter
Produced byKarl Ritter
Written by
Music byHerbert Windt
CinematographyGünther Anders
Edited byGottfried Ritter
Release date
not released
CountryNazi Germany

The film is often confused with the full-length documentary film by Karl Ritter, IM KAMPF GEGEN DEN WELTFEIND (In the Battle against World Enemy #1), released on 15 June 1939 on the same subject. LEGION CONDOR was planned as a sequel to Ritter's highly successful 1938 feature film, POUR LE MERITE, also starring Paul Hartmann, Albert Hehn, Fritz Kampers, Carsta Löck, amongst others.

In August 2018 the long-lost Ufa film script was found in a used bookstore in Berlin. No copy of the script is found in any German film archive or institution. A monograph on the film has been published by William Gillespie. The book draws on the previously unpublished 1939 dairy entries about the film by Karl Ritter, kindly provided by the Ritter family. The book has been assigned ISBN 978-0-9808612-6-6 and is 244 pages in length, with 38 B&W and 4 colour plates, as well as 126 footnotes. The entire film script has been translated into English, and twelve never-before-seen Ufa press photographs from some of the film scenes shot before 25 August 1939, are reproduced from Austrian archives. Publisher is German Films Dot Net in Sydney, Australia. The book title: "Legion Condor – Karl Ritter's lost 1939 feature film."




  • Kreimeier, Klaus (1999). The Ufa Story: A History of Germany's Greatest Film Company, 1918–1945. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-22069-0.
  • Gillespie, William (2014). Karl Ritter: His Life and 'Zeitfilms' Under National Socialism (2nd ed.). German Films Dot Net. ISBN 978-0-9808612-2-8.

External linksEdit