Social Question

Jude's avatar

I'm watching The Pianist with my girlfriend, and I can't help but have hate for the Germans. How do you all feel when you watch movies like this?

Asked by Jude (32098points) March 5th, 2011

Pure emotion here.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

40 Answers

JmacOroni's avatar

I usually cry through movies like that. I cry a lot.

Earthgirl's avatar

Jude You should read the book. As powerful as the movie is, the book is even more so. You really can see it through his eyes. And the movie cannot give as much detail. It’s really hard to understand how people could be so inhumane to each other.

filmfann's avatar

I had terrible hate issues when watching Three Kings. I had to turn it off.

Jude's avatar

@filmfann What’s that about?

lloydbird's avatar

I try not to label a whole group of people as being alike and apportioning collective blame on them for the actions of their predecessors.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Jude, Three Kings is about 3 US soldiers (Ice cube, Clooney, Marky Mark minus his funky bunch) who steal gold in Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.

Jude's avatar

@lloydbird At the time, when you’re watching it, how do you feel? That’s how I felt.

lloydbird's avatar

@Jude Good Germans would also have “hate” for oppressive Germans.

snowberry's avatar

We all, every one of us is capable of blindly following any leader, even an insane one. Look at this article regarding Milgram’s Electric Shock Experiments.

It’s already happened on a smaller scale to many other ethic and religious groups, and I suspect we are not all that far from it happening again on a larger scale.

And what’s crazy is that I’ve seen the same sort of hate mentality with some of the members right here on fluther. I’m just glad it’s all anonymous.

Jude's avatar

Like I said, it was my gut feeling/pure emotion.

Ladymia69's avatar

Whenever I see an injustice onscreen/in real life in someone else or some group of people, I find that there is usually a seed of that trait inside me…and inside everyone else. To be human is to be capable of horrendously devastating actions on ourselves or our fellow humans. The difference is whether we act on it or not.

The only trait that I see that this does not apply to for me is animal cruelty. I cannot fathom hurting a completely innocent, sentient being for any reason. Seeing this sort of behavior makes me almost psychotically livid. It’s hard to know how to handle that feeling.

ETpro's avatar

I don’t let myself hate a whole nationality or race. I despise and fight against the ideology of Fascism, racism, and any political or religious ideology that insists on lockstep agreement with itself and is willing to use brute force to ensure compliance.

tranquilsea's avatar

I take movies like The Pianist as stark reminders of how easily led we can be. It is sickening but there before the grace of god go I

Coloma's avatar

Everyone and everything is of its own conditioning.
All the worlds pain and suffering is perpetrated through conditioning for the most part.

While tragic and sad, once one puts the state of all affairs into this perspective there is no longer a punch. It’s impossible to judge conditioning.

Hate the behavior not the person, race, society.

gailcalled's avatar

The movie depicts the ghettoization of the Warsaw Jews by both the Nazis and many of the local Polish citizens. There is also a less-well-known story of the many Poles who helped, at great risk to themselves, some Jews escape.

Read The Zookeeper’s Wife for part of this story. The zookeeper and his wife had Jews living in the animal cages while their escape route was planned. They saved 300 Jews.

”...Soon after they captured Warsaw, the Nazis turned their attention to its Jews, first rounding them up into the ghetto, then shipping them to extermination camps. While the Nazis depopulated the ghetto, the Zabinskis repopulated the zoo — this time with humans.

The Nazis had allowed Jan to turn the zoo into a pig farm. So Jan and his staff had reason to enter the ghetto to pick up unused scraps to feed the animals. They brought in tref — nonkosher food — and smuggled out people. More contacts ensued; more pretexts to go into the ghetto; more Jews safeguarded. The Zabinskis hid Jews in sheds, enclosures and even the lion house. Those who had papers or Gentile looks were passed via the underground to other parts of Poland. The rest stayed.”

And then watch A Film Unfinished, which the Nazis commissioned in 1942 to show the life in the Warsaw Ghetto. The footage was discovered by accident in 1998.

The Nazi filmmakers hired Polish actors to play Jews who were living the high life in the Ghetto…a more devious atrocity.

The actual footage is more heart-rending than any fictional version.

Adagio's avatar

Along the lines of the Milgram experiment is another interesting experiment which relates to this topic, the Phillip Zimbardo Stanford Prison Experiment of 1971… details here

cazzie's avatar

We have to remember that what happened in Germany could have happened/could happen other places. The Nazis didn’t do what they did because they were German. They did it because they were human.

one example..

sliceswiththings's avatar

What makes these movies that much more emotional is the music. I think we wouldn’t cry if we watched such movies on mute.

Cruiser's avatar

How about the part with the German officer in the movie who appreciated Szpilmans piano playing, helped him hide and gave him bread? That compassionate part of the movie for me transcended the inherent evil associated with the death and destruction of German occupation.

tranquilsea's avatar

@Cruiser so true. Think about how difficult it must have been for the Germans who were sickened by what their leadership was doing and decided to covertly do some small thing about it. I have to think that that happened a lot.

bolwerk's avatar

You shouldn’t turn nazis into archetypes to take your anger out on. Plenty of people all over the world today engage in nazi-like behavior, some with the blessing of western governments. And most of ‘em these days ain’t German either.

tinyfaery's avatar

Funny. I usually end up hating humanity when I watch those movies. All people commit such atrocities. Even when watching a movie about Nazis (for example), I see the horror of humanity not the horror of a certain ethnicity or nationality.

filmfann's avatar

@bolwerk You shouldn’t turn nazis into archetypes to take your anger out on
That is true. For example, an ex-Nazi like the Pope
Nazi’s are just fun to hate. Try to imagine Raiders of the Lost Ark without them.

stardust's avatar

When watching emotive movies like these, I too tend to think of the destruction we, as humans are capable of. Any strong reaction or emotion evoked in me is undoubtedly linked to the fact that I too(being human) am capable of terrible things. There’s some really great points here. I can’t say I’ve ever felt hatred/anger towards a group of people based on a movie or any real life event.

bolwerk's avatar

@filmfann: I’m no fan of the Pope, but I don’t think equating his effectively forced enlistment to the Hitler Youth with people like Himmler and Mengele is fair either.

Ladymia69's avatar

@bolwerk Maybe not, but do you think it makes him credible in places of power and religion??

bolwerk's avatar

@ladymia69: no, but I don’t think it makes him non-credible either. I’m not of the opinion that someone’s views on a subject can’t change in 65+ years,and near as I can tell his have. I’m more concerned with retrograde contemporary views he holds, like defending church pedophiles and stuff.

Ladymia69's avatar

@bolwerk I am in agreement with you on that part. His whole package just seems broken to me.

mattbrowne's avatar

Posts like this is what makes German teenagers cry or even hate their own country. Hide the flag. No matter how hard they try to create a better future, at some point in their lives they are confronted with people who can’t help it and who have a hate for “the Germans”.

bolwerk's avatar

I’m not sure lack of patriotism and nationalism is an entirely bad thing. It has turned Germany into one of the more humane and moderate countries in the world.

mattbrowne's avatar

Almost all 21st century Germans don’t hate anyone. I think 21st century Americans should do the same. Above all, to me it’s very unethical to express hate toward any large heterogenous group of people. Hating “the Germans” is no better than hating “the Jews” or “the Arabs” or “the Mexicans”. I’m really shocked about the fact that posts like this one still exist. It makes me want to cry. Like I cried when I was a teenager. Or when my daughter cried, when she was able to fully grasp what happened in our country more than 65 years ago. I told her that she can be proud of what Germany accomplished after 1945, and that she can become part of creating an even better future fostering international understanding and saying no to hate, while still fighting against perverse ideologies like Nazism. Which still exists in the form of neo-Nazism. In almost every country. Including the United States.

bolwerk's avatar

I wonder if watching Fox News makes the OP hate Amerikans!

cazzie's avatar

@mattbrowne – Those old enough to have had parents involved in the war perhaps have a different perspective and realise it’s not as simple as sentiments expressed in a 90 minute movie. I thought this post was pretty simple, reactionary and sad. I hope you read my earlier post. —
’ We have to remember that what happened in Germany could have happened/could happen other places. The Nazis didn’t do what they did because they were German. They did it because they were human. one example..'

mattbrowne's avatar

@bolwerk – No, of course not. Fox is very bad, but no reason to hate anyone. Sarah Palin and her movement is extremely dangerous, but I don’t hate her. I don’t hate ultra conservative people. I strongly disagree with them

mattbrowne's avatar

@cazzie – Few people had the guts to oppose Hitler once it became clear what he was really up to. Opposing him usually meant getting yourself killed. I watched ‘The Pianist’ too of course (and all the other major high quality movies about the Third Reich). It actually shows that there was one German who had the guts and take the risk to save the pianist. An exception. Like Schindler. Or Sophie Scholl. Or Stauffenberg.

There was a vicious circle of hatred. A minority voted for the NSDAP in 1933 and most of them actually didn’t support the whole ideology. We can blame them for not taking the time to read ‘Der Kampf’. It was all in there. But later when the allied bombings began more and more Germans developed hatred when children were being killed, like the British developed the hatred when their cities were hit. Vicious circles are hard to break. But exactly this happened after 1949 and I think it’s remarkable. The French and Germans had been enemies for more than a century. Now they are friends. Like the Germans and the Americans.

We should differentiate between Nazism and German culture.

cazzie's avatar

@mattbrowne I’m so with you here. I sure wish people and governments could actually learn from history rather than repeat it. Like I said…. it’s not Germany… it’s people and the world needs to be more aware, stop pointing fingers thinking in terms of black and white and saying, ‘It could never happen here.’

Haven’t they revealed now that there were several attempts by Germans themselves to assignation Hitler?

mattbrowne's avatar

@cazzie – Yes, there were several. And the most elaborate one was headed by Stauffenberg, see

A more detailed description about German resistance including the prewar period can be found here:

My personal heroine is – she was a student in Munich, distributing leaflets with content like:

“Isn’t it true that every honest German is ashamed of his government these days? Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes—crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure—reach the light of day?”

“Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanized state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right – or rather, your moral duty – to eliminate this system?”

“Since the conquest of Poland three hundred thousand Jews have been murdered in this country in the most bestial way … The German people slumber on in their dull, stupid sleep and encourage these fascist criminals … Each man wants to be exonerated of a guilt of this kind, each one continues on his way with the most placid, the calmest conscience. But he cannot be exonerated; he is guilty, guilty, guilty!”

cazzie's avatar

@mattbrowne Those words are starting to sound very clear and appropriate for situations in today’s world too. If the Republicans get the White House back, I’m afraid the tyranny of the Cheney/Bush days will be reignited. What a mess they made. In four years, The Obama administration has been powerless to clean up, but I’m not ready to give up on them. The alternative gives me the chills just thinking about it.

The Republicans are already taking away more rights now that they’ve gained power in the midterm elections. They call for ‘smaller government’ but what they’re really saying is ‘less representation’.

ETpro's avatar

@cazzie What @mattbrowne shared certainly rings true as words to live by today. Republicans today are turning toward fascism, which is the merger of corporate and state power for the enrichment and control of a elite band of oligarchs.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther