Die Reiter von Deutsch-Ostafrika

Die Reiter von Deutsch-Ostafrika is a 1934 German film directed by Herbert Selpin.

Die Reiter von Deutsch-Ostafrika
Directed byHerbert Selpin
Produced byWalter Zeiske (executive producer)
Written byMarie Luise Droop (novel & screenplay)
Wilhelm Stöppler (dramaturge)
StarringSee below
Music byHerbert Windt
CinematographyEmil Schünemann
Edited byLena Neumann
Release date
Running time
89 minutes (Germany)

The film is also known as The Riders of German East Africa (in the USA).

Plot summary

Sepp Rist plays the role of Hellhoff, a German farmer in German East Africa, who is conscripted into the Schutztruppe (German armed colonial force) at the beginning of the First World War. His wife Gerda and the young volunteer Klix manage the plantation while he is away. In 1916, the plantation is occupied by a British unit. The commander, Major Cresswell, knows Gerda is secretly supplying Hellhoff and his comrades who are concealed in the bush. He tries to use his old friendship with the Hellhoffs put a stop to her activities. In order to carry out his duty as a British officer, he has his troops occupy the area's water supply to force the German soldiers to surrender. As Hellhoff's wife and Klix are trying to clandestinely supply water to Hellhoff, she is arrested and the boy shot. He still manages to bring the canteen to the soldiers before he dies. Hellhoff and his men liberate Gerda, who was to be taken away for trial by a British military court, and make off with water and horses. On their way to join up with Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck's East African Schutztruppe command, they stop at Klix's grave. Hellhoff promises the dead boy he will come back sooner or later — an allusion to the recovery of the lost colony through German victory in the First World War.

Differences from novel


  • Sepp Rist as Deutscher Farmer Peter Hellhoff / Hauptmann der Reserve
  • Ilse Stobrawa as Gerda, seine Frau
  • Ludwig Gerner as Hellhoffs Assistant Lossow
  • Rudolf Klicks as Volontär Wilm Klix
  • Peter Voß as Englischer Farmer Robert Cresswell
  • Georg H. Schnell as Colonel Black, englischer Generalstabsoffizier
  • Arthur Reinhardt as Safari-Führer Charles Rallis
  • Emine Zehra Zinser as Dienerin Milini
  • Lewis Brody as Hellhoffs Aufseher Hamissi
  • Mohamed Husen as Signalschüler Mustapha
  • Gregor Kotto as Hellhofs Boy Selemani
  • Vivigenz Eickstedt as Englischer Offizier


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