Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

Anyone seen this recently?

Discuss Film & TV related topics here.

Moderators: Blip, The_Metatron

Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#1  Postby mrjonno » May 15, 2014 4:50 pm

Brilliant bit of drama but is it a 'fair' representation of Germans (and Russian / Poles)?

How realistic would have been in 1941 for young Germans to be relatively non-indoctrinated with Nazism and friends with a Jew?
User avatar
mrjonno
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 21006
Age: 48
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#2  Postby Varangian » May 15, 2014 7:16 pm

I saw it when it aired in Sweden last year, and I've got it on DVD. Yes, it is a very good miniseries, and IMO a pretty good representation of the wartime generation. While none of the friends is fanatical, they are opportunists, not questioning what's going on before things happen which make them get second thoughts. At first, they don't question the right of Germany to invade other countries. The nurse turns in the Jewess, and the older brother executes the Soviet commissar. Having a Jewish friend.. Well, they had been friends since childhood years, and being around 20-22 years of age, they had spent both their childhood and perhaps early teens out of Hitler-Jugend and Bund Deutscher Mädel, thus avoiding the heaviest indoctrination. There were Germans who hid Jews during the Holocaust, and even Nazi party members who helped Jews (even if that was rare). Personal friendship could outweigh official ideology.
Image

"Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings,
and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities." - H.P. Lovecraft
User avatar
Varangian
RS Donator
 
Name: Björn
Posts: 7298
Age: 56
Male

Country: Sweden
Sweden (se)
Print view this post

Re: Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#3  Postby mrjonno » May 16, 2014 8:27 am

There was a good discussion on it after it was shown in the UK and some of things brought up included that the 5 people seemed like modern day Germans (or anyone else) transplanted into 1941 and then 'corrupted' by the war into doing bad things, ie they were victims of the regime.

Yes there were definitely people who said no to the regime or even criticised it in private but that wasn't the general attitude, these were meant to be 'ordinary' Germans not Schindler.

Having the majority of Poles in the programme being shown as anti-Semitic when this wasn't mean to be about Polish anti-Semitism was also someone suspect , it gave the moral equivalence of German activities to the Poles as well. There was certainly anti-Semitism in Poland at the time but that isn't the point.

To be positive it certainly didn't shy away from the crimes of ordinary German but I do think the 5 were just a little bit too likeable
User avatar
mrjonno
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 21006
Age: 48
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#4  Postby Varangian » May 16, 2014 12:37 pm

SPOILER ALERT

OK, I can agree that the main characters were pretty likeable. I think that was for two reasons: 1) they were easier to identify with, and 2) it is harder to have a plausible story arc with a bunch of fanatics. That being said, they aren't flawless...

Wilhelm (the older brother) executes the Soviet commissar as per the "Commissar Order". His unease but ultimate compliance reflects the way the order was recieved in the Army.

Friedhelm (the younger brother) isn't very enthusiastic about the war, but grows more callous, and participates in the shooting of civilians. He mirrors the brutalization of the common German Soldier, especially on the Eastern Front.

Charlotte (the nurse) has bought into the propaganda, but seems more like a "fellow traveler" than a convinced Nazi. Her ratting out of the Jewess gives her qualms, and she begins some low-level resistance of her own.

Greta (the singer) beds the SD police officer in order to save Viktor, but also to further her career. She's a bit of an opportunist, but has a faustian revelation later in the war.

Viktor is a bit naïve at first, but has to face the truth and becomes one of the Jews who fight back. His contacts with the AK (the partisan "Home Army") is complicated by the anti-semitism displayed by some of the Poles. That has got a lot of attention, especially from some Poles who deny that there was any anti-semitism at all. I have a friend of Polish extraction who has done extensive research on the subject, and wrote a book on it. His conclusion is that there was quite a bit of anti-semitism among many Poles, but that there were also those who helped Jews. Just as the series shows, wartime Europe wasn't a black-and-White affair.
Image

"Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings,
and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities." - H.P. Lovecraft
User avatar
Varangian
RS Donator
 
Name: Björn
Posts: 7298
Age: 56
Male

Country: Sweden
Sweden (se)
Print view this post

Re: Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#5  Postby mrjonno » May 16, 2014 1:26 pm

The Polish anti-Semitism wasn't necessary factually incorrect but just wasn't appropriate in the context of a story about 5 Germans from a German made programme.

I don't have a problem say if German's want to make a programme about the suffering of say the people of Dresden being firebombed but don't combine it the story of an 'ordinary' SS guard doing his job at Auschwitz.

I just think with a selection of 5 young German's you would expect to have at least 1-2 pretty rabid Nazi's in there at least, maybe one fellow traveller and one who really didn't like what what was going on but felt he had a duty to Germany.

Some of the character development seemed a bit strange too

The younger brother going from pacifist to reluctantly sacrificing peasants in a minefield, to really not giving a shit who he killed innocent or guilty back to shooting his own general to save his Jewish friend seemed a bit contrived then getting himself killed I assume to persuade his children comrades to give up

Shame no one else seems to have watched it here, its the best piece of foreign drama on British TV for a long time
User avatar
mrjonno
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 21006
Age: 48
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#6  Postby Rome Existed » May 23, 2014 11:01 am

The characters are from Berlin. My understanding is that Berliners were noted by the Nazis as never indoctrinating like the rest of the country. A number of Berliners hid Jews. One thing to remember too is that the Germans didn't always go along with the Nazis. The Aktion T4 was stopped (or at least halted until it could be better hidden) because there were protests all over Germany when the population found out about it.

I liked the miniseries. Not as good as Der Untergang, but still pretty good.


Another thing to remember is that not only did many German soldiers refuse to carry out orders such as shooting civilians, but German soldiers were actually allowed to do so. Even the death squad type units had quite a number of people ending up opting out. It's one of the reasons why the gas chambers were chosen, they were impersonal.
User avatar
Rome Existed
 
Posts: 3777

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#7  Postby I'm With Stupid » May 23, 2014 1:31 pm

Downloading now.

Did anyone ever watch Heimat? I watched one episode back at university, but it was about £80 on DVD and it's hard to find even on torrent sites.
Image
User avatar
I'm With Stupid
 
Posts: 9632
Age: 36
Male

Country: Malaysia
Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#8  Postby Varangian » May 23, 2014 10:15 pm

I watched Heimat when it aired on Swedish TV in the 80's. Cannot say I remember much, but I would like to reacquaint myself with it, as I love chronicle-like TV series.
Image

"Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings,
and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities." - H.P. Lovecraft
User avatar
Varangian
RS Donator
 
Name: Björn
Posts: 7298
Age: 56
Male

Country: Sweden
Sweden (se)
Print view this post

Re: Generation War (German: Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter

#9  Postby jaydot » May 29, 2014 10:01 pm

i watched generation war and accepted it for what it is - one author's interpretation and dramatisation of a complicated and many sided series of events. i found it well acted and beautifully shot. as to the development of the characters, i bore in mind what friedhelm said early on "it will bring out the worst in us." or words to that effect and that is exactly what it does to him.

as a drama it captured my attention, kept it and made me eager for the next installment. it is a well done drama.

i shan't criticise it for not being the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
User avatar
jaydot
 
Posts: 1772

Print view this post


Return to Film & TV

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest