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2022.07.18 德国动荡的20世纪

发表于 2022-7-19 20:08:08 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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What to read and watch to understand Germany’s troubled 20th century
Our correspondent picks four novels and two films that help to explain the country’s dark history
On the fourth day of the Reichsparteitig, Nazis marched onto the Zeppelin meadow where Hitler made a proclamation to the officers and party officials. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Jul 18th 2022



This article is part of our Summer reads series. Visit our collection to discover “The Economist reads” guides, guest essays and more seasonal distractions.

As war rages again in eastern Europe, Germans are reminded of the ravages of the world wars and the horrors of the Nazi and communist regimes that governed their country. Olaf Scholz, the chancellor, says the post-war order, the longest period of uninterrupted peace the heart of Europe has ever known, is under threat. Opinion polls suggest that many Germans are fearful Europe could be on the brink of an even broader war. This selection of novels and films, all available in English, helps to explain how Germans saw the troubled 20th century. The works of fiction span the two world wars and two dictatorships that shaped Germany.

Rheinsberg: A Storybook for Lovers. By Kurt Tucholsky. Translated by Cindy Opitz. Berlinica; 96 pages; $12.95 and £12

“Tucho”, or Kurt Tucholsky, is an author much loved in Germany for his wit and sparkling writing, but he is known to few readers outside the country. “Rheinsberg”, a novella, was the journalist’s breakout success in 1912. It recounts the journey of an unmarried couple from Berlin to Rheinsberg, a palace in Brandenburg that was once the home of Frederick the Great. The light-hearted story seemingly relates little of significance, as the pair stroll, chat and make love. Yet it captures the spirit of what seemed to have been an innocent period, predating the tragedies of the decades that would soon follow. The simple plot draws heavily on Tucholsky’s own experience of a similar outing with Else Weil, his girlfriend. “A satirist,” Tucholsky wrote in 1919, “is an offended idealist.” At the time that he wrote, the author was still an idealist, although he was far from being a settled soul and was in the process of abandoning his Jewish faith and becoming a Protestant Christian. In 1935, in exile in Sweden, he committed suicide.

Mephisto. By Klaus Mann. Translated by Robin Smyth. Penguin; 272 pages; $16 and £9.99

The novel, published in 1936 by one of the six children of Thomas Mann, drew from the real-life biography of Gustaf Gründgens, Klaus Mann’s brother-in-law. In the book Gründgens becomes Hendrik Höfgen, an actor who sheds his principles and chooses to promote his career under the Nazi regime, akin to Mephisto selling his soul to the devil in Goethe’s opus. The Nazis banned it. An award-winning film by Istvan Szabo with Klaus Maria Brandauer playing Höfgen was released in 1981. Klaus Mann denied that “Mephisto” was aimed at anyone in particular, but Gründgens’s family blocked its publication in West Germany until 1981.

More Summer reads
• How to watch the Tour de France from afar
• A Nicaraguan writer reflects on exile from a dictatorship
• The bitter truth behind Madagascar’s roaring vanilla trade
• Our Bartleby columnist picks beach reads for business folk
• Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on why Europe will be safer if Belarus is free

Babylon Berlin. Available on Netflix in America and NowTV in Britain

A lavish German television series, Babylon Berlin is set in the Weimar Germany of the 1920s. It is a detective story that follows Gereon Rath, a police detective who moves from Cologne to Berlin, and Charlotte Ritter, an occasional prostitute and aspiring detective. The two of them wade through the Berlin underworld in pursuit of criminals, in the shadow of darkening politics. In the background are right-wing conspirators, combative communists and the Jewish bourgeoisie. It is both a thrilling whodunnit and a shocking portrait of Weimar Germany. We reviewed the series in 2017 and took a broader look at Weimer as a point of cultural reference with an article in 2018.

Never Look Away. Available on Amazon and iTunes

This film, a three-hour work, follows the life of a fictional artist, Kurt Barnert, from his Dresden childhood in the 1930s to his success in western Germany in the 1960s. The film is based loosely on the biography of Gerhard Richter, a painter and photographer. German critics found the film kitschy and its representation of women reactionary; they also questioned its depiction, on grounds of taste, of the suffering of Germans under Allied bombing. But international critics loved how it showed the budding artist’s increasing awareness that appearances are ambiguous. He is told to “never look away”. He keeps watching even when his beloved artistic aunt is carted off to a psychiatric hospital by the Nazis. We interviewed the director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, in 2019.

Visitation. By Jenny Erpenbeck. New Directions; 192 pages; $15.95. Granta Books; £8.99

Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. Her novel is written with the house of her grandparents in mind: theirs was a home on the banks of a lake in Brandenburg, near Berlin. The story spans much of Germany’s recent history, from the 19th century through the Weimar Republic, Nazi and communist regimes and, finally, reunification, it recounts the lives of 12 people who occupy the house for varying periods. They come and go. Only the house, and its taciturn gardener, remain constant. In 2017 we reviewed a different book by the same author.

The Collini Case. By Ferdinand von Schirach. Penguin; 208 pages; $17 and £8.99

Baldur von Schirach was the head of the Hitler Youth. His grandson, Ferdinand von Schirach, wrote this bestselling novel in 2011, which was subsequently made into a successful film. The book is a striking combination of Germany’s dark history and a courtroom drama that recounts the story of Fabrizio Collini, a retiree who murders a prominent industrialist in a hotel in Berlin. Caspar Leinen, a rookie lawyer who works on the case, is taken aback when Collini admits to the killing but refuses to speak about horrors of the past that could explain his motive. ■

Our correspondent has written various articles about Germany’s tycoons and their difficult relationships with the past.

在Reichsparteitig的第四天,纳粹党人行进到齐柏林飞艇草地上,希特勒在那里向军官和党的官员发表了宣言。(图片来源:© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

这篇文章是我们夏季读物系列的一部分。请访问我们的收藏,以发现 "经济学人读物 "指南、特邀文章和更多季节性的分心。

随着东欧战争的再次肆虐,德国人想起了世界大战的蹂躏以及统治他们国家的纳粹和共产主义政权的恐怖。总理奥拉夫-肖尔茨(Olaf Scholz)说,战后秩序--欧洲中心地带有史以来最长的不间断和平时期--正受到威胁。民意调查显示,许多德国人担心欧洲可能处于一场更广泛的战争的边缘。这部精选的小说和电影都有英文版本,有助于解释德国人如何看待动荡的20世纪。这些小说作品跨越了塑造德国的两次世界大战和两个独裁政权。


"Tucho",即库尔特-图霍尔斯基,是一位在德国因其机智和闪光的写作而备受喜爱的作家,但他在国外却鲜有读者知晓。"长篇小说《莱茵堡》是这位记者在1912年取得的突破性成功。它讲述了一对未婚夫妇从柏林到莱茵堡的旅程,莱茵堡是勃兰登堡的一座宫殿,曾经是腓特烈大帝的家。这个轻松的故事似乎没有什么意义,因为这对夫妇在散步、聊天和做爱。然而,它捕捉到了似乎是一个纯洁的时期的精神,比不久之后的几十年的悲剧还要早。简单的情节在很大程度上借鉴了图霍尔斯基自己与他的女友Else Weil的类似出游经历。"图霍尔斯基在1919年写道:"一个讽刺作家,是一个被冒犯的理想主义者"。在他写作的时候,作者仍然是一个理想主义者,尽管他远远不是一个安定的灵魂,并且正在放弃他的犹太信仰,成为一个新教的基督徒。1935年,在流亡瑞典时,他自杀了。

梅菲斯托 作者:克劳斯-曼恩。译者:罗宾-斯迈思(Robin Smyth)。企鹅公司;272页;16美元和9.99英镑

这部小说由托马斯-曼的六个孩子之一于1936年出版,取材于克劳斯-曼的姐夫古斯塔夫-格伦根斯的真实传记。在书中,Gründgens变成了Hendrik Höfgen,一个在纳粹政权下放弃自己的原则并选择促进自己的事业的演员,类似于歌德作品中的Mephisto向魔鬼出卖自己的灵魂。纳粹党禁止了它。1981年,由伊斯特凡-萨博(Istvan Szabo)拍摄的获奖影片上映,克劳斯-玛丽亚-布兰道尔(Klaus Maria Brandauer)扮演霍夫根。克劳斯-曼否认 "梅菲斯特 "是针对某个人的,但格伦琴斯的家人在1981年之前一直阻止它在西德出版。

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本片是一部三小时的作品,讲述了一位虚构的艺术家库尔特-巴纳特的生活,从他30年代的德累斯顿童年到60年代他在德国西部的成功。该片松散地基于画家和摄影师Gerhard Richter的传记。德国评论家认为这部电影很俗气,对妇女的表现也很反动;他们还以品味为由质疑其对德国人在盟军轰炸下的痛苦的描述。但是,国际评论家们喜欢这部电影,因为它展示了新晋艺术家对表象是模糊的认识。他被告知要 "永远不要移开目光"。即使在他心爱的艺术姑姑被纳粹赶到精神病院时,他也一直在看。我们在2019年采访了导演Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck。

探访。作者:Jenny Erpenbeck。新方向;192页;15.95美元。格兰塔书店;8.99英镑



鲍杜尔-冯-席拉赫是希特勒青年团的团长。他的孙子费迪南德-冯-席拉赫在2011年写了这部畅销小说,随后被拍成一部成功的电影。该书是德国黑暗历史和法庭戏剧的惊人结合,讲述了法布里奇奥-科里尼的故事,他是一名退休人员,在柏林的一家酒店里谋杀了一名著名的工业家。负责此案的新秀律师卡斯帕-莱宁(Caspar Leinen)在科里尼承认杀人但拒绝谈及可解释其动机的过去的恐怖事件时大吃一惊。■

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