Monday, June 06, 2005

Downfall

Saw "Downfall" on Sat night - Adolf Hitler and his associated gangsters in the bunker while up above is their self-created Dante's Inferno. Great start to the film where they are in denial about the bangs and thuds heard overhead "That can't be artillery!"

Oh yeah?

Wanna bet?

It's a compelling but nasty film that doesn't spare the details - in film and drama our German cousins share our neurotic obsession with getting period detail right, whether it's the thickness of 1940s fabrics compared to today's lightweight clothing, or the presence of the just-issued STG44 Assault Rifle which in the early 1950s Comrade Kalashnikov copied and simplified for the AK47.

For me the most upsetting parts of the film don't take place in the bunker at all, but in the streets above. Several vignettes illustrate the rock star-like cult following National Socialism had among some of the young - children and young teenagers aged roughly 10 to 14.

Today, this is the age group that vote people out of the Big Brother house and decide what song is Number One.

So it isn't impossible to see why so many of them liked at least some aspects of the Nazi package - the immaculate uniforms, the runes, the technology, the “traditions,” the idealism of creating a new classless society, the youth and fitness and beauty cult and so on. And for several exhilarating years (what triumphant vindication!) the feeling of riding the tide of History.

Unstoppable as fate itself.

Of course the dream always was a nightmare, and in April 1945 only the most deluded kept the faith. But enough did so to commit suicide. Too young and impulsive and romantic to understand what they were doing.

And what of their adult supervisors in the Hitler Jugend and Bund Deutscher Madel?

Some things are beyond belief.

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4 Comments:

Blogger David Young said...

And to think that all of this horror could have been prevented with a 'pre-emptive' strike in 1936, after the militarisation of the Rheinland. Millions saved, but a few political careers ruined when people complained about the 'thousands of innocent Germans needlessly killed, as Hitler was being contained effectively by the League of Nations' ... blah blah blah.

DY

3:58 PM  
Blogger roGER said...

"Pre-emptive" HAH HAH HAH!

Go to the library, find a history book on the origins of the WW2 and discover that there were numerous occasions to stand up to Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, NONE of which was "pre-emptive" since on each occasion Nazi Germany was the agressor!

That's the difference and the reason why I supported the 1st Gulf War (Iraq was the agressor by invading Kuwait) and didn't support the second Gulf War (Iraq was crippled and Saddam Hussien in his box). Hence the use of faked intelligence, and desperate and fruitless searches for WMD that turned out to be...

You'll have to try much harder than that to justify the quagmire of Iraq.

And please don't compare Iraq to Nazi Germany in the 1930s - it's like comparing a firework to a V2.

- roGER

11:25 AM  
Blogger David Young said...

there were numerous occasions to stand up to Adolf Hitler in the 1930s

Quite true! I totally agree. And standing up to him would have pre-empted World War Two.

And please don't compare Iraq to Nazi Germany in the 1930s - it's like comparing a firework to a V2.


OK, but which way around? I don't recall Hitler getting French help to build a nuclear power station!

DY

4:09 PM  
Blogger sergie yes said...

Hitler had no one to stand up to him, but some alert persons will recall Raymond Poincare, President of France. This great man, who died in the twenties, not to be ever replaced, occupied a portion of Germany proper, beyond the Rhineland Seccurity Zone, when Germany refused to present its payments. RIP. He and Churchill were on to german cowardice, how germans, then, would back off from a manly forceful just demand. The whole question is well presented in a book, "The Apppeasers." Go read it and become prepared.

4:53 PM  

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