In the prologue to I will bear witness: A diary of the Nazi years (1998), Malcolm Chalmers notes that for readers in Germany, Victor Klemperer’s wartime diary “has become one of the key works through which the Third Reich and the murder of the Jews is understood.”
A unique feature of the diaries, Chalmers adds, is that they “were not written with publication in mind and were never reworked to iron out contradictions and repetitions.” I learned of Klemperer’s work when I read The Third Reich at war, 1939-1945 by Richard J. Evans, which I had, in turn, learned about in The New York Times.
On p. 375 of the 1998 edition of the 1933-1941 diary, one can read the following paragraph from Sunday, February 20, 1941:
- Fragments of conversation picked up while eating at the Monopol: A girl who had been working for a year in some kind of administration office in Poland, on leave here, to her girlfriends, shootings were going on constantly, it was rarely in the papers. There was no blackout because of the many attacks. Another girl about a third: She has been frozen out, “because too friendly with the Jews.”
An April 6, 2015 New Yorker article is entitled: “The System: Two new histories show how the Nazi concentration camps worked.”
A May 7, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: ” ‘Forbidden Films’ Exhumes Nazi Poison From the Movie Vaults.”
The opening paragraphs read:
“The Third Reich was not only a totalitarian state but also a total multimedia regime. Seven decades after its fiery collapse, the embers remain — including some 1,200 feature films produced under Joseph Goebbels’s ministry of propaganda. Are they historical evidence, incitements to murder, fascist pornography, evergreen entertainments, toxic waste or passé kitsch? All of the above?
“Those questions are raised by ‘Forbidden Films: The Hidden Legacy of Nazi Film,’ a documentary essay by the German filmmaker Felix Moeller, opening May 13 at Film Forum for a weeklong, free-admission run.
“Mr. Moeller, born 20 years after Germany’s defeat, is concerned about what he sees as youthful disinterest in the Nazi period and the concurrent rise of right-wing nationalism in Europe. He arrived at “Forbidden Films,” he said by telephone from Berlin, after making ‘Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss,’ a documentary about the family legacy of Nazi Germany’s most celebrated director, Veit Harlan. Harlan’s most notorious film, “Jew Süss” (1940) — a period melodrama in which a Jewish moneylender connives to take control of the duchy of Württemberg — is as incontrovertibly anti-Semitic as it was enormously popular.”
[End of excerpt]
A Feb. 7, 2016 Guardian article is entitled: “‘My family resisted the Nazis’: why director had to film Alone in Berlin.”
An Aug. 15, 2016 Guardian article is entitled: “Joseph Goebbels’ 105-year-old secretary: ‘No one believes me now, but I knew nothing’: Brunhilde Pomsel worked at the heart of the Nazis’ propaganda machine. As a film about her life is released, she discusses her lack of remorse and the private side of her monstrous boss.”