Posts Tagged ‘Goebbels’

WW2 Anniversary

|   26 November 2010

The most appalling film in history

The hate-filled Der ewige Jude (‘The Eternal Jew’) had its premiere 70 years ago this month.

Next Monday, 29 November, is the 70th anniversary of the first public showing of what is, I believe, the most appalling film ever made – Der ewige Jude (‘The Eternal Jew’)

This is the film that subsequently became infamous for scenes intercutting footage of Jews in the Polish ghettos with film of rats. It is a disgusting and crude piece of work that demonstrates the Nazis’ anti-Semitic beliefs at their most base. But, as I discovered when I researched the origins and production of the film some years ago, ‘Der ewige Jude’ offers us an insight into the propaganda process of the Nazis that is more revealing than the film itself.

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WW2 Relevance

|   26 August 2010

Reacting to History

As I suspected it would, the reaction of the popular press this summer to the anniversary of the Battle of Britain has been jingo-istic to the point, occasionally, of parody. This, as I wrote earlier on this blog (and also in the September edition of BBC History magazine), has not necessarily been helpful to an understanding of the real significance of the Battle of Britain in the history of WW2.

But it is a natural reaction. Everyone is proud of the ‘good’ bits of their own history – even sometimes to the point of omitting anything inconvenient that doesn’t fit the myth.

This is part of a broader problem that we often ignore. Indeed, I have had a great deal of personal experience over the last twenty years of how people can operate different standards of judgment depending on what they were predisposed to think about a particular historical subject. Let me give you an example. In 1991 I wrote and produced a film which looked at what I believe was a ‘British’ war crime committed in Austria during WW2. It was called ‘a British Betrayal’, and examined the handover by the British army of Cossack and Yugoslav prisoners to Stalin and Tito in 1945. Many of these prisoners then suffered appallingly – a number were tortured and killed. And the British Army give up these prisoners illegally – acting against Allied policy. I still think this was scandalous.

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