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Tue, Aug 1, 2017 4:19 PM

Live Poll: WWII Movies From a Nazi German Perspective

Thousands of movies have been made about World War II (nearly 6,000 movies listed in IMDb mention WWII as one of their plot keywords). Almost all of them were made from the point of view of the Allied Forces. Very few movies show the second world war from the perspective of Nazi Germany. Which WWII movie, made from a Nazi German point of view (*), did you enjoy most?

(*) story told from a German perspective, not movies that sympathize with Nazi Germany

List: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls020577802/
Poll: http://www.imdb.com/poll/Al5pGD-ivGA/

Responses

4.3K Messages

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128.6K Points

4 y ago

Maybe it's a nitpick, but I would recommend putting a "/" between Nazi and German, these movies could never have been successful had they fully embraced the Nazi ideology. in Das Boot, they were Nazis by the uniform, but there were many hints left about the contempt the officers had toward the regime, maybe it was an artistic license but nonetheless it simplified the rooting process.

Even Der Untergang shows the torments of the German people as the hostages and latest victims of the Nazi regime and in the Boy With the Striped Pajamas, the main character is a Nazi's son but still, a good German boy.

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

Seems like a fair comment, albstein. Do you agree, ElMo?

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

Not exactly the whole picture there, Albstein. Hitler blurred the line there. While it is true that many were not officially in the Nazi party, many were throughly indoctrinated through the Hitler Youth movement and his control of the education system so that he would an army of Nazi soldiers without them actually being members of the party. It was only through experience after school and in the war, they became disillusioned. I know this because of being a Roman Catholic and one of the popes was Pope Benedict XVI (aka: John Ratzinger), I had learned of his involvement in the period when Hitler was forcing the closing of all youth programs and clubs ( including the Boy Scouts in Germany) and leaving only the Hitler Youth open. Hitler went after the after school youth organization that the Roman Catholic Church was running too and was anti-Nazi . The church fought back. The battle between the two led to the signing of an agreement to which Hitler later betrayed and the church regretted signing and later renounced it. Ratzinger was first in a Catholic youth club before he was "Conscripted" into Hitler Youth program at the age of 14 in 1941 as "the Hitler Youth—as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after March 1939". https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_... . Remember that Hitler had it declared that the state was guardians of the children and not the parents. I find that scary as hell.

4.3K Messages

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128.6K Points

I agree that the term "Nazi" can be used to describe in a very loose way the German side, my point was just that it didn't reflect the fact that many German protagonists from these movies were actually defiant toward the Nazi regime.

But we get the point by reading the list. It's not totally WWII but the most significant portion of The Tin Drum deals with the conflict. Might make a good addition.

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

Thanks, ElMo. The Tin Drum has been added. Funny, I recorded this movie from tv a couple of months ago, but didn't watch it yet. Guess it's time to watch it now :-)

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

I was not trying to imply that Ratzinger was a Nazi. I was describing how I found out how Hitler was going with the kids in indoctrination. Ratzinger' father wasn't a Nazi, nor was Ratzinger's himself. Ratzinger' father was anti-Nazi and was lucky he didn't get killed or tossed in the camps. However it is documented fact that some parents were turned in by their kids because the indoctrination was that successful in some cases.

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

Yes

5.1K Messages

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121.4K Points

Some movies aren't really from a nazi's view. Some are more from the resistance view. It's ugly to say, that the resistance was nazi, too.

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

Thanks for your reaction. If you're talking about movies like Sophie Scholl - Die letzten Tage (2005), they were indeed made from the point of view of the resistance. However, a substantial part of the movie was dedicated to how the nazis dealt with/suppressed the resistance. Of course everybody knows that "The White Rose" was an anti-nazi resistance movement, so nobody is claiming that the resistance was nazi. I added this movie to the poll because it offers a good insight in how the nazis treated their prisoners and how the nazi justice system condemned members of the resistance without any kind of fair trial whatsoever.

1.3K Messages

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21.7K Points

4 y ago

Valkyrie (2008)

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

4 y ago

I don't know if this fits your topic but "The Enemy Below" tells the battle from both side's viewpoints.

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

Thanks, The Enemy Below (1957) has been added.

Your suggestion makes me think of another WWII movie which tells the story from both sides, Battle of the Bulge (1965). Maybe I should add this one, too?

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

Yes

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

Ok, thanks.

4.3K Messages

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128.6K Points

4 y ago

There's also the famous opus of Rosselini's War Trilogy: Germany: Year Zero, sure it's set during the aftermath (1948 but the film takes place much earlier) but it's the first movie to show the devastating effects on War on civilians, especially German children

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52.5K Points

Thanks, good suggestion. Added.

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

4 y ago

In thinking of Curd Jürgens, I can accross two films that sound interesting to watch and were highly rated but with a very damn low vote totals which is common for films from the 1950's on the IMDb, specially for non-English speaking movies. I think you should get probably someone's, who had seen these films, opinion on them.

The simple one first. "The Last Bridge" or "Die letzte Brücke" (1954) , 7.4 rating, and 275 votes. "A German nurse gets sent to the front because she gives medical aid to a wounded Serbian partisan during World War II." The IMDb user reviews on this are good.

The other is "The Devil's General", 7.4 rating, 879 votes. Great reviews and one of Curd Jürgens' signature roles. It is a filmed version of a play based the life of Udet who was the highest ranking surviving German flier of WW1 who in his love of flying, doing aerial stunts and to build airplanes made the mistake to agreeing to a deal from Gehrig that Udet become a member of the Nazi Party in order for him to continue flying. Even Udet said that in order to keep flying, one has to make a deal with the devil; therefore, the origin of the title of the play, "Des Teufels General" "The Devil's General". Udet was one of the first to realize that the Germans couldn't keep up production of the airplanes he designed, that the Nazis used him for publicity, and that Germany was going to lose the war in the time when Germany was at it's highest winning position in WW2, 1941. He shot himself Nov. 16, 1941. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=itmAdu7...

In the movie, Udet is called "Gen. Harry Harras" and the plot summary goes like this, "1941, the Third Reich seems to be winning the war. Luftwaffe (air force) general Harry Harras enjoys the good life as highly respected technician and Berlin ministry/ HQ official. However his outspoken critical attitude at social occasions awakes hopes from opposition and suspicion from the Nazi party. He suddenly finds himself approached and arrested by the Gestapo, who psychologically torture him. Next his position is threatened by technical aircraft trouble he'll be blamed for but may result from sabotage."
I just put them on my watch list.

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52.5K Points

Thanks, dgranger. I have added both titles. I didn't know them, but they look like little gems and make me curious to watch them.

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

Me too.

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

4 y ago

My favorite: Sophie Scholl - The Final Days (2005)

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

4 y ago

Bump

Champion

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8.3K Messages

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264.9K Points

4 y ago

Many good ones. I liked the portrayal of the young boy discovering the reality he lives in, in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

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109.7K Points

4 y ago

Das Boot (1981),

I was glad too see
The Enemy Below (1957) on the list, both sides, Battle of the Bulge (1965) should be added too, but seems to be a slippery slope as the qualifier should is equal time given to both sides.

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

I personally disagree on that. The only qualifiers that needs to be satisfied are "Is it WW2", and "Does it show the battle from Germans' POV?"

5.1K Messages

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109.7K Points

I think if that is your qualifier, than every movie that has a single scene depicting a conversation by Germans would qualify. Most movies from the Allied POV have some brief scenes with German troops POVs. It seems too broad and like almost every movie about the European theater would qualify and not really in the spirit of the question.

(edit)
Maybe equal time is too ambitious, regardless it needs to be significant. A movie like Patton that seems to be 3/4 Patton and 1/4 Rommel or Battle of the Bulge that seems to 2/3 American and 1/3 German, do seem to have enough German perspective to qualify. But, that was my earlier point about a slippery slope as to when does it cross the line from enough to be significant to be token instead. Plus, there are enough movies that are told almost entirely from the German perspective to not open this can of worms in the first place.

2.7K Messages

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76.4K Points

No, my qualifier would be more than just a few seconds or few brief scenes to show a Nazi or to paint them as villains. Would I consider films like "The Great Escape", "The Pied Piper", or "The Guns Of Navarone" as qualifiying for this category because they had one or two scenes where they develop minor characters past the typical robotic stereotype generic bad Nazi German officer? No because those movies are told primarily one side, the allied side. But would I consider films that gave substantial time, ( not necessarily "Equal time") to tell the German side of the battle like "The Sea Chase", "The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel", and "Pursuit of the Graf Spee "? Hell yes, but even then I would take the German made ones first because the ones I had just mentioned where made by the winners (except for Graf Spee which had a German co-director and co-writer, Emeric Pressburger. )

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

Thanks, dgranger. "The Sea Chase", "The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel", and "Pursuit of the Graf Spee" have been added.

5.1K Messages

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109.7K Points

4 y ago

A must add is  Conspiracy (Movie 2001).

1.9K Messages

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52.5K Points

Thanks, added. Of course, if you add a tv movie, then I have to add
Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter (Generation War, 2013) as well, probably one of the most compelling war stories from the point of view of German ordinary people.