In contrast to Munich and Vienna, the studios of film companies that existed in Berlin were severely damaged by the effects of the war.
But, even in a devastated city, production in all sectors began quickly.
Although a number of film units were licensed by the various occupation forces, they spent considerable time looking for suitable facilities.
The most active producers after the war were DEFA, under communist control.
Their feature films remain important documents of that period.
Die Mörder sind unter uns (The murderers are among us) , Freies Land (Free Land) and Irgendwo In Berlin (Anywhere in Berlin) were all based on post-war topics – those movies received successful premieres in the Babelsberg studios, which had for a while, been used as a store-room by the British forces.
The first cultural films produced by DEFA “Beware of epidemic danger” and “What now?” (“Achtung Seuchengefahr” and “Was nun?”) an educational film about retraining, were completed in late 1946; along with more than 40 cultural films, most of which dealt with health care, sanitation and diet.
Also the first animation-cartoon, with 40,000 individual shots was painstakingly produced.
At the former UFA studios in Tempelhof, which had been damaged, but was still usable, the British occupation authorities licenced Studio 45 and Tell the truth (“Sag die Wahrheit”).
The ROCO – Film company eyed the Wilmersdorfer indoor tennis courts as studios and the stage of the Schiller theater, even though the auditorium was completely destroyed.
Erich Pommer, one of the most important film producers in the pre-Hitler era and last chief officer for film production on the staff of General Mc Claire, was able to announce the transfer of American licenses to a number of German filmmakers.
Some of these licensees were for Berlin, but the lack of suitable studios, raw film and other materials forced them to produce modestly.