Germans accept human imageof Hitler in new film

20th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2004 , HAMBURG - Amid the controversy over a film which has yet to reach German cinemas, a survey showed that over two-thirds of Germans feel it is right that a human side of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler be portrayed. The weekly magazine Stern reported that a survey it commissioned with the polling institute Forsa showed that 69 percent of Germans approved of the fact that the film "Der Untergang" (The Downfall) shows a human side to Hitler. Only 26 percent of those surveyed felt it wrong, Ster

20 September 2004

HAMBURG  - Amid the controversy over a film which has yet to reach German cinemas, a survey showed that over two-thirds of Germans feel it is right that a human side of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler be portrayed.

The weekly magazine Stern reported that a survey it commissioned with the polling institute Forsa showed that 69 percent of Germans approved of the fact that the film "Der Untergang" (The Downfall) shows a human side to Hitler.

Only 26 percent of those surveyed felt it wrong, Stern reported.

The question has been hotly debated in recent weeks in advance of the launch of the film "Der Untergang - Hitler und das Ende des Dritten Reiches" (Downfall - Hitler and the End of the Third Reich) which opens in some 400 German cinemas on Thursday.

In a country where display of Nazi emblems is banned, Germans are long accustomed to being reminded by television and the movies that Hitler was the 20th Century's ultimate war criminal.

The film portrays the last 12 days of the Nazi dictator and his followers down in a bunker beneath the Reich's chancellery building while the final battle for Berlin rages on the streets above them. It ends with Hitler's suicide.

Joining in the debate on Wednesday was historian Hans Ulrich Thamer, who in comments to the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper criticised the strong focus on Hitler in the film.

"One cannot connect the downfall of 1945 purely on Hitler's downfall," the history professor argued. "(It was) the downfall of an entire state."

Any portrayal which is too greatly focused on the dictator is misleading, Thamer said.

The film's producer, Bernd Eichinger, said in the latest issue of the German edition of Playboy magazine that the movie had to strike a balance in its portrayal by showing a human side of Nazi dictator.

The film was directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, with a top acting cast, including Bruno Ganz as Hitler and Juliane Koehler as Eva Braun. 

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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