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A Love In Germany

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A Love In Germany

In class we viewed an interesting piece of film that displayed the life and cultural context of living under the Nazi regime, "A Love in Germany". When reading books, such as Koonz's The Nazi Conscience, Gellately and Stoltzfus' Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany, and Peukert's Inside Nazi Germany, you can gather historical facts and concepts that go into great detail about the Nazi regime. However with films such as "A Love in Germany", you see these facts and accounts play out. It is one thing to be aware of history, it is entirely another to view it as a reality that existed with people not unlike ourselves. This film in particular demonstrates the life of an Aryan German, not the harsh treatment of the Jews or the brutality of warfare. It shows a glimpse of the lives of the people under the regime that it supported and governed, something that is often ignored and overlooked. This account displayed certain issues in particular, ones that effected Germans' personal love affair. The Nazi regime was founded on inequality, not just for race, but for gender as well. This film and the readings come together to paint a picture of how ordinary people, like ourselves, were subjected to the strict and often bizarre laws within the Reich.

"A Love in Germany" is based around the love affair of a women, Paulina, and a man, Stanislaus. There has been countless movies about this topic, but not of this nature. From the initial scenes of film, you can see the atmosphere of an ordinary German town during its time. Swastikas are present everywhere and the citizens greet each other with "Hail Hitler." This government has intruded itself into the sovereignty of this place. The town is run with a sense of structure and order. The man in charge is an SS Nazi official named Mayer, a friendly man that knows the people well. It is this sense of community that was stressed in The Nazi Conscience, the notion that Germans will work together for their volk. It appears on the outside that everyone is in agreement with the regime and are united for its cause, we read in Social Outsiders in Nazi Germany that this was not really the case. As the film plays out that becomes clear. This makes an important point, the citizens all appear happy or at least complacent with the government, not questioning the guidelines and values dictated to them. Paulina is just an average woman, wife of a soldier at war, carrying out her business. For now nothing draws attention to her, however this will change.

Once our characters step foot inside, they change and become individuals. The appearance of unity fades and the ideological image of the Aryan disappears. Her love affair with the Polish worker, Stanislaus, would be an insult to Nazism. This secrete has high stakes and can not be revealed, forcing her to be two faced and live a double life. With the strict rules, not everyone can obey or truly agree with them. People would have to conceal themselves and put on a mask of agreement just to stay alive. This case of Paulina is extreme, but can exemplify how one appears in public is not an accurate representation of how they truly are.

The eventual discovery of this relationship allows us to view how such acts are to be dealt with. I noticed a sense of irony throughout this process, everything had a clear procedure, yet everyone involved was often left confused. Orders were delegated from above and sent out to the ones in charge, in this case Mayer. This concept was explored in Koonz's The Nazi Conscience, in that laws were set in stone but the interpretations of such laws were up to the discretion of the men making the decisions. This is a constant theme that the Nazi regime was built upon, even tracing back to the indecisions of Hitler himself. You couldn't help but laugh when the doctor tried to determine if Stanislaus could be Aryanized,

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