Hans-Otto Borgmann

Hans-Otto Borgmann (20 October 1901 – 26 July 1977) was a German film music composer during the Third Reich.[1]

Hans-Otto Borgmann
Hans-Otto Borgmann

(1901-10-20)20 October 1901
Died26 July 1977(1977-07-26) (aged 75)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, film producer, actor
Years active1928–1977

He joined UFA as a silent film music conductor in 1928, and became head composer by 1931. A melody he had composed for a documentary on Svalbard island and had become well known was taken up by Hitler Youth leader Baldur von Schirach who wrote new lyrics as "Our flag flutters before us", becoming one of the Hitler Youth's anthems.[2]

In 1938 he composed a Großdeutsche Hymne for Schirach[3] which coincided with the Anschluss of Austria.[4]

From 1937 to 1951 he collaborated on a series of films with Veit Harlan. From 1959 to 1971 he withdrew from film popular music to lecture at the Max Reinhardt Theatre and privately compose difficult atonal music.

Film music credits



  • Tango notturno, "Ich hab' an dich gedacht", on the album of the same name by Isabel Bayrakdarian (2007). The song is contrasted in the booklet notes by Bayrakdarian's husband and pianist Serouj Kradjian with the Youkali tango, "C'est presque au bout du monde", of Kurt Weill, a Jewish refugee from Nazi persecution at the same time.


  1. The concise Cinegraph: encyclopaedia of German cinema 2009 p52 ed. Hans-Michael Bock, Tim Bergfelder HANS-OTTO BORGMANN "Similar to Max Steiner in Hollywood, composer Borgmann was Germany's foremost exponent of applying the leitmotif technique to film scores during the 1930s and 1940s, ... "
  2. Baldur von Schirach: "Unsere Fahne flattert uns voran. In die Zukunft ziehn wir Mann für Mann. Wir marschieren für Hitler Durch Nacht und Not"
  3. Eva Sternheim-Peters Habe ich denn allein gejubelt?: eine Jugend im Nationalsozialismus 2000 "Baldur von Schirach dichtete eine »Großdeutsche Hymne«, die Hans Otto Borgmann vertonte, und die Paderborner Hitlerjugend sang auf einer großen Freudenkundgebung: »Großdeutschland, früher so fern, nun strahlst du hell wie ein Stern. ..."
  4. Neue Zeitschrift für Musik: NZ. Robert-Schumann-Gesellschaft (Frankfurt am Main, Germany) - 1983 "So erscheint das Autorenpaar Schirach-Borgmann in der Sammlung Unser Liedbuch noch ein zweitesmal 1938 pünktlich zum sogenannten Anschluß Österreichs mit einer Großdeutschen Hymne. "
  5. Eric Rentschler The ministry of illusion: Nazi cinema and its afterlife 1996 p319
  6. "Gold". Filmportal.de. Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  7. Linda Schulte-Sasse Entertaining the Third Reich: illusions of wholeness in Nazi cinema 1996 p333
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