Assess the view that Leni Riefenstahl was documenting history rather than creating propaganda.

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Leni Riefenstahl's films gave the world the lasting images of Nazi Germany, whether in the form of propaganda or as she claims, in a completely historical sense. Following the second world war, Leni Reifenstahl was both praised and put down for her contributions to the Nazi Party through her films. Some historical debates state she was creating propaganda films knowingly and deliberately for the Nazi regime while others have succumbed to her adamant protest that she was merely creating films that reflected her technical creativity, artistic accomplishments and the history of the time period. Riefenstahl began her career as a dancer and actress, but it was her films of the 1934 Nazi party rally and of the Berlin Olympics two years later that brought her prewar acclaim and postwar infamy. Her films of the Nuremberg rallies were stated by historian Susan Sontag as being "the most purely propagandist films ever made", while others argue that her films could not be cited as propaganda as they lacked many of the elements that would traditionally make them so.

Riefenstahl's film made of the of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Olympia, perhaps raises much of the debate surrounding whether Leni Riefenstahl was creating propaganda rather than documenting history as many analysts and historians have perceived elements of Nazi ideology through her pioneering film techniques. Amidst all of the claims made against her for over half a century, Leni Riefenstahl remained relentless in denying the allegations made against her; whether she was a Nazi sympathiser and propagandist or purely an artist. However, through the allegations made against her and her films, either way there is no doubt regarding that "through her lens, Leni Riefenstahl gave the world the lasting images of Nazi Germany".

Helene (Leni) Berta Amalie Riefenstahl was born in Berlin in 1902 and...