08 February, 2009

A very emotional view on "Operation Valkyrie"

Originally I had decided that I will not talk about politics, history, giving non-geo advise or provocant issues here but after having seen this movie tonight I believe everyone should see the new Tom Cruise movie called Operation Valkyrie.

If you are not familiar with that part of German history it is a movie about the failed assassination attempt on Hitler and subsequent attempted coup d'etat by a group of German army officers and civilians. The most prominent and known figure of this group is Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg. First a loyal Nazi he realises the senselessness and inhuman acts will lead everyone into desaster. He is recruted by General Treskow to join the resistance movement within the German army and soon becomes the leading figure and is chosen to plant the bomb to kill Hitler. The attempt fails due to several circumstances but dispite that they try to gain power in Berlin and Germany. They fail. Everybody is executed or sent to prison. A better description can probably be read here.

There has been a lot of debate about this movie even before it was published. I think it was vain. It is a good movie. As accurate as you can expect from a movie but close enough to the truth and reality, real history to genuinly let you learn something. The history is probably taught in every school in Germany but definitly it is undervaluated. I doubt anyone unless specifially trained in German history knows anything about this event at all.

It feels so scary and game me the shivers in my experience to feel the tension and fear of those brave men who literally risked everything they had only to prove that there were a few good men left.

It is also very striking how this movie reminded me of a quote I once read and forget it's source: "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing". From history class I know there were a lot of men, all too scared, all doing nothing. They left a few good men to sacrifice their lifes rather than to awake from their self-imposed numbness. I knew what I was getting myself into when entering the cinema and I got to admit I found the movie to be so emotional that I cried for the first time in a movie. Perhaps because I know Berlin and I recognised every scene, every location. Large parts of the movie were shot on real historical locations right in Berlin. That so gave me the shivers - streets and places I know that I see almost every day full with soldiers, flags and tanks. For me it is not a movie - it is history that affects me until today when I walk through the streets and see traces of the wall and bullet holes left as tiny monuments on historical buildings. Thousands of them. Scary.

They should make everbody see it and if it's just to let everyone really appreciate the value of freedom and liberty. The price we paid for it was astronomically high.

I had to share this.


Lockwood said...

And I appreciate it. I think your assessment is the first I've seen from a person who has actually watched the movie- most of the criticism here in the states revolves around Tom Cruise, who is widely perceived as a nutcase. It's also interesting to hear a German perspective on this part of their history. There are many here who are afraid that we are perilously close to repeating, in effect, what your country went through in the '30's and '40's.

Lost Geologist said...

There has also been a lot of debate about Tom Cruise in Germany. Especially because of his involvment with Scientology. Whatever one may think about him as a person, the movie is recommendable in my opinion. And as far as I can judge from the news about the US you are still a long, long way away from what we went though in the 30's and 40's.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments. I echo them. I have studied the resistance for years because many of their actions were based on unfasionable concepts of honour that are too rare in today's world. I think its contemptible that the US and Britain actively supressed the story of the German resistance after the war to all collective guilt to be imposed.