Phobia Past and Present.

Phobia Past and Present

Photo: aboutpixel
Author: Garry Green
Keyword: phobia

Every now and then, Germany's past throws the country into deep public debate. Whilst this site is mostly concerned with the present day, front-page news in the media causes us to address a particularly deep phobia: the Third Reich. So where do we start, the 20's, 30's or maybe the 40's? Let's try the present day and take a look how cinema and intense discussion is splitting this country once again.

Those that represent the German Angst are having a field day over the new movie, "Mein Führer". In despicable, scandal, disrespectful, challenge some attacks aimed at the filmmakers. At last, long overdue normalisation, old hat, voice other, perhaps more modern members of society.

Naturally, looking back over 60 years and facing reality is not necessarily easy as a German. But should anyone under the age of, say, 75, hold any responsibility for the wrongdoing? Or be expected to think they hold responsibility?

Obviously, talking Hitler also means addressing the Holocaust, always a source of ongoing debate. Differentiating between soldiers on the battlefield and mass genocide becomes a necessity and consideration of whole folk the result. Especially since the Director is Jewish and the star of the film a local controversial comedian, not an actor.  Many say the responsibility of the generations claiming to define today's Germans is to permit continuation of the course of modernisation and change in society begun long ago.

Discussion today is still very often not what German society may find humorous or light-hearted but what other nations might think if, for instance, this historical disaster became an everyday, heaven forbid, funny topic. Some actually claim though, that this shift would help remove the stigma from the extreme right. The search for national pride is ongoing. Maybe one test is to see if the film is translated into English and count box office results.