German TV drama “Our Mothers, Our Fathers” that focuses on the Second World War has been released. The German press has already described it as “cultural event of the year”. However, public organizations in Poland have urged the country’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski to take decisive measures to prevent it from being distributed because it is a scandalous TV drama.
The film is dedicated to the tragic fate of five young residents of Berlin who are caught up in the bloody war. They significantly differ in terms of humaneness from German Nazis, who are portrayed as cruel beasts. According to the TV drama’s producers, these people are patriots who are fighting for their motherland but later they lose the purpose of their lives. In the end, one of the main characters kills his Nazi commander. Parallel to that, the drama shows Polish partisans. In fact, anti-Semitism and cruelty in their actions is no less than that of the Nazis themselves. This has triggered protests in Poland. Commenting on the film, Polish political writer, editor of the Open Democracy Internet portal Zigmund Dzencholovsky has this to say.
“The film that was released by German TV presents Poles as anti-Semitists and puts the blame on the Poles for the mass killings of Jews during the Second World War, but softly speaking, this is quite strange. German media must present a true picture of the events and in short show who initiated the Holocaust instead of searching for those who were involved in it. Polish official organizations, as well as the German community, could not ignore this. Truly speaking, I do not like attempts to eradicate the simple truth from the minds of people that Germans bear responsibility for the Second World War. The film is an attempt by Germans to share their blame with others. This is completely wrong. Germany must clearly formulate the truth about the events of the Second World War and it should clarify details,” Zigmund Dzencholovsky said.
The film’s producer Nico Hofmann said that the characters of the TV drama like the majority of Germans during the Third Reich are naïve and morally irreproachable and are forced to take part in the Nazi regime’s atrocities. Head of the research programmes of Russia’s Historical Memory Foundation Vladimir Simendei disagrees with him.
“It’s unacceptable to claim that naïve people served in the Wehrmacht. We know Hitler won the admiration and enthusiasm of the majority of Germans. This is the sorrowful and bitter lesson taught by Nazism that was capable of using people’s charm to achieve world domination. In this sense, an attempt to prove that Nazis were not so guilty using artistic devices is a politically motivated effort,” Vladimir Simendei said.
The replacement of German Nazism’s real stories by ordinary human sufferings and reference to the cruelty of war, according to the expert, reflects a common trend in contemporary German mass culture. According to the weekly Der Spiegel, owing to aggressive advertisement, over 20 million people have already watched the film.
Do you know anyone who survived the atrocities of WWII? Would they be willing to talk on camera about what they witnessed?
My mother, Irena Krzyzanowska and her family suffered at the hands of Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. She and her sisters were imprisoned in a slave labor camp in Cottbus, Germany. My father fought the German army in Poland and France.
Unfortunately my parents are no longer alive, and much of this generation has passed away. The Holocaust museum in Washington DC is looking for non-Jewish Poles who would be willing to talk about what they went through during WWII.
This is a very important initiative to preserve the history of Poland while these Polish survivors are still with us. So please join us on May 6th at the Kosciuszko Foundation to learn more about this initiative.
And because many seniors do not use email or the Internet, please call them and tell them that we want to hear about their lives during WWII, and to preserve their history.
Polish Victims of Nazi Germany