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Revisiting the crimes of the past: The image of the perpetrator in recent German Holocaust film

Ward, Elizabeth M.

Authors



Abstract

More than seven decades after the liberation of concentration camps
across Europe, we are witnessing the jostle between communicative and cultural memory to determine how the Holocaust is inscribed in a post-victim and post-perpetrator world. This article will explore how German filmmakers are responding to the shift from memory to remembrance through three films: Im Labyrinth des Schweigens (Labyrinth of Lies, 2014), Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer (The People vs. Fritz Bauer, 2015), and Die Akte General (The General’s File, 2016). Underpinning each of these films is the call for individuals to interrogate the foundations of societal narratives of the past. In doing so, the films not only raise important questions about the changing nature of Holocaust remembrance but they also offer a critical re-examination of the ways in which the Federal Republic of Germany did—and did not—grapple with its recent past in the 1950s.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Aug 8, 2019
Journal Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History
Print ISSN 1750-4902
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation Ward, E. M. (2019). Revisiting the crimes of the past: The image of the perpetrator in recent German Holocaust film. Holocaust Studies, https://doi.org/10.1080/17504902.2019.1637503
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/17504902.2019.1637503
Keywords Holocaust; Film; Perpetrator; Im Labyrinth des Schweigens; Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer; Die Akte General
Publisher URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17504902.2019.1637503