Defying Hitler is an unfinished memoir by a German journalist/historian Sebastian Haffner, who left Germany in the late Thirties. He was not forced to leave, being apolitical and "Aryan", but was increasingly disgusted with the Nazi regime. The book was an attempt to explain what life was like, and the small ways in which people tried to resist. It was abandoned in favour of a less personal book when war broke out, and eventually published posthumously.
Quite an interesting account, though the setting is fairly familiar from books like "Diary of a Man in Despair" and "Every Man Dies Alone." Some parts of it seemed depressingly relevant.
Apart from the terror, the unsettling and depressing aspect of this first murderous declaration of intent was that it triggered off a flood of argument and discussions all over Germany, not about anti-Semitism but about the 'Jewish question'. This is a trick the Nazis have since successfully repeated many times on other 'questions' and in international affairs. By publicly threatening a person, an ethnic group, a nation, or a region, with death and destruction, they provoke a general discussion not about their own existence, but about the right of their victims to exist. In this way that right is put into question.The book also has good accounts of the frenzied hyperinflation of the Twenties. He also has some interesting observations on how some responded to the Nazis with escapism, such as in literature.
Suddenly everyone felt justified, and indeed required, to have an opinion about the Jews, and to state it publicly. Distinctions were made between 'decent' Jews and the others.
Literary idylls suddenly sprang up and flourished everywhere. In the outside world, even in literary circles, it has gone unnoticed that, as never before, so many recollections of childhood, family novels, books on the countryside, nature poems, so many delicate and tender little baubles were written in Germany in the years 1934-38Overall, a pretty interesting and relevant book, but on a topic that's fairly familiar, due to the UK obsession with the Nazis.
...A whole literature of cow bells and daisies, full of children's summer holiday happiness, first love and fairy tales, baked apples and Christmas trees, a literature of obtrusive intimacy and timelessness, manufactured as if by arrangement in the midst of marching, concentration camps, armaments factories...
Saw the last performance of the Globe Mysteries. The original Mystery Plays were traditional amateur religious plays, that fell out of favour with the rise of Puritanism and Protestantism, but were a strong influence on the Elizabethan playwrights. These are a modern interpretation, in Northern-accented verse with some dialect, by poet-playwright Tony Harrison.
The sequence starts with the Creation, moves on through various incidents like Cain and Abel and the Flood, moves through the New Testament with a traditionally gruesome King Herod, and ends with a Judgement Day where the audience are literally divided into the Damned and the Saved (I was Damned).
Works very well, with some earthy humour and a great relish to the performances. Liked it a lot.
Good film. Has a stentorian narrative voiceover issuing dire warnings to future generations of the dangers of prohibition and stock market bubbles, that we've sadly completely ignored.
Tells the story of the rise and fall of three potential gangsters who first meet in World War One. Jimmy Cagney starts out as a nice guy and turns bad. Humphrey Bogart is an unpleasant psychopath. Jeffrey Lynn is a goodie two-shoes.
It's a little bit preachy as most of its equivalents were, but maybe less so than the first Scarface. Has a colourful background of speakeasies and moonshine plants. Especially liked the character "Panama Smith" based on Texas Guinan.
Well worth a look if you can handle films of that period.
Sci/Tech. How To Fool A Lie Detector Brain Scan (Old).
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