Thursday, 27 September 2007

Lessons from History

Finally got round to watching Downfall (Der Untergang) Oliver Hirschbiegel 2004
Last night. It's really good as most people already know.

Only a couple of things to add:

The idea that this is all ancient history is belied by how long many of the senior Nazis lived, many of them are still around or died only in the last decade. The contrast with their millions of victims' short and terrible lives is stark. From the late 50's onwards these senior Nazi lived seemingly comfortable middle class lives in (from the background of their interviews ) chintzy cosy homes, did they get army pensions? The excellent health care in Germany keeping them alive for many years. In some ways it's hard to see how they "lost" as their post war lives on the surface were little different than if the Nazi's had prevailed.

The other thing that has always troubled me was whether these Fascists get paid for their interviews and therefore profit from their terrible crimes. Traudl Junge is well known to anyone who's seen the "World at War", her younger self even more striking and as carefully made up and groomed as she is in the scenes at the start and finish of Downfall. She has also popped up in many of the other "Nazi" docs that fill the tv schedules. I suppose it's similar case to the general debate about criminals profiting from their crimes except like in many other areas the Nazis are just maybe an extreme exception.

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