View Full Version : Polish politicians concerned about drama showing German suffer in WW2

Monday, March 5th, 2007, 08:32 PM
The latest chapter in a series of taboo-breaking television dramas, a two-part series shows Germans as victims of violence at the end of World War II and sparks controversy among Polish and German political leaders.

Some 11 million Germans tuned in to the first of a two-part series on public broadcaster ARD Sunday night to watch a TV drama showing Germans as victims of violence as they fled eastern Europe at the end of World War II.

The first part of "Die Flucht" ("March of Millions") garnered the best ratings of the year and ARD's best in 10 years on Sunday night, and while German officials praised the film as a key milestone in dealing with the country's past.

The drama begin in 1944 and centers on a fictional countess Lena of Mahlenberg who leaves Berlin for her home in East Prussia to care for her father and the family's manor as the Soviet army approaches.

Just before the front reaches her home, Lena, like thousands of other mainly women and children, flees for southern Germany, enduring a bitter winter and Soviet bombs.

Concerns over dramatizing history

Conservative Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, however, expressed concern about the dramatization of history.

"Any attempt to revise the history of World War Two needs to be watched carefully," he told reporters on Monday, saying such a revision posed a danger to Poland and Europe. "I hope the process in Germany will be stopped."

The film's producers and actors said they intended for the film, whose second installment will be broadcast Monday, to strike a chord with viewers.

"I hope our film contributes to young and old people talking to each other about the worst chapter of German history," said actress Maria Furtwängler, who plays the countess Lena.

Director Kai Wessel, however, said he did not think attention would focus so closely on where guilt lays or vengeance, adding that he had only wanted to create a personal film that stayed true to the victims' perspective.

German suffering long a taboo topic

Germans have long shied away from discussing their 14 million countrymen who fled the Soviet army or were expelled after the Allies allowed their eviction from Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Historians estimate that some 2 million people died or were killed in the flight that began when the fall of the Nazi regime became clear in 1944.

Culture Minister Bernd Neumann was among the Germans lauding the film, which also shows Soviet troops shooting children and raping women, as a cinematic achievement that brought the plight of German expellees to light.

"No one wants to offset one side's suffering against the other," Margot Kässmann, a German Protestant church leader, told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper as a debate erupted over why Germans have long been silent.

"But reconciliation will only be possible when those guilty acknowledge their crimes and victims get a chance to tell their stories," added Kässmann, whose family was among the refugees.

Latest in chain of TV dramas

Afraid it could be misconstrued as lessening the atrocities committed by the Nazis during World War II, other political leaders have avoided the issue of German suffering. A similar debate over whether Germans could be portrayed as victims ensued last year when "Dresden," a TV series on the firebombing of the eastern German city, earned high ratings.

"It was a national trauma and 60 years later, it was time to make a film seen from the victims' point of view," said Jan Mojto, a Slovak national and head of Munich-based EOS film, which co-produced the nine-million-euro ($11.7-million) project.

A Berlin museum about the expelled Germans that opened last year also sparked controversy. Polish leaders said it was an attempt by Germans to portray themselves as victims of a war they started.

"The problem in our view is not that the issue is being discussed, but how," Marek Cichocki, foreign policy adviser to Polish President Lech Kaczynski, told a German TV talk show on Sunday. "It focuses on individuals but blots out the bigger picture. It's disturbing that so much emphasis is on individual (suffering), not the broader history."

The Welt am Sonntag newspaper said the drama was careful not to take sides.

"Germans are treated as both criminals and victims," it wrote. "It doesn't pass judgment but rather depicts all the horrors. That's a prudent approach because there are no obvious answers."

Source (http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2374468,00.html)

Liberator Germaniae
Monday, March 5th, 2007, 09:22 PM
Germans had been the victims of ethnic violence throughout Eastern Europe since the end of WW I in 1918. Members of the present ruling regime in the so-called Federal Republic "of Germany" like to pretend that they know nothing of the harassment, persecution and pogroms against ethnic Germans (and other ethnic minorities, including jews) under the rule of the newly established (nowadays unfortunately little-studied) polish regime (and other newly established states that had no prior experience with dealing with minorities), which was nothing more than a nuisance state tyrannising its minorities that constituted almost half of its total population.

Pogroms against ethnic Germans increased drastically when Britain and France guaranteed poland's western border only in spring 1939 (note that both these countries did not guaranteed poland's volatile eastern border with the now defunct Soviet Union – it was supposed to be a trap for Germany). Tens of thousands of ethnic Germans fled from their ancient homeland in what was then Western poland before the outbreak of WW II; thousands were reported missing and their corpses have never been found. Pogroms reached a peak during the "Bloody Sunday" of the then German-majority town of Bromberg on September 3, 1939, on the polish side of the border, after polish authorities had released polish prisoners from a local prison to murder approxmately 1000 Germans.

This is however just one aspect of German-polish history. The persecution of jews (and Slav minorities) by poles in the eastern parts of poland during the interwar period and under Soviet occupation in WW II, and after the reestablishment of the polish state in 1945 is however a polish responsibility only. It cannot be blamed on the Germans and their concentration camps.

poland should never have been allowed to join the EU with such a crime record, even if it had accepted responsibility and guilt.

Mac Seafraidh
Monday, March 5th, 2007, 11:53 PM
POPE John-Paul has died, the television news announces. We are filled with profound and dutiful sorrow. Many years ago, soon after he was first installed by the College of Cardinals in 1979, the story was whispered around that in 1939, as the then nineteen-year old Karol Wojtyla, he had participated in the "Bromberger Blutsonntag" in Poland in which bloodthirsty and hate-crazed Poles massacred around seven thousand ethnic Germans in the town of Bromberg (today Bydgoszcz) on the first Sunday of WW2.

I published this item, unnoticed, in my little newsletter Focal Point in about 1981. The rumours had it that he had in consequence been sought by the Gestapo throughout the war, during which he had gone underground in Krakow.

After the war, said the same rumours, his name had remained inscribed on Germany's Police Gazette or watch list, the Polizeiliches Fahndungsblatt, and it stayed there until the Pope's first state visit to Germany; whereupon it was swiftly removed.

I dislike repeating such stories without a foundation, and around 1980 I asked the Federal German Archives for access to the relevant files of the Polizeiliches Fahndungsblatt. No luck: they had been misplaced or lost, I was informed in the Bundesarchiv's reply.

Focal Point Publications (http://fpp.co.uk/docs/Irving/RadDi/2005/030405.html)

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007, 11:00 AM
Conservative Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, however, expressed concern about the dramatization of history.

"Any attempt to revise the history of World War Two needs to be watched carefully," he told reporters on Monday, saying such a revision posed a danger to Poland and Europe. "I hope the process in Germany will be stopped."

So, there it is then, at last. If telling the truth is revisionism, what does that say about orthodox history? Is it not time to stop lying?