Are there any pieces of media where Nazi's (even women and children) are shown sympathetically?

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This is something I've been wracking my brains for. Is there any examples of a work made after 1945 that depicts anyone - man woman or child - who is sympathetic to the Nazi cause in an even slightly positive light? Even when bad things happen to them?

Alright, broadening the context slightly, is there an example of a piece of media of a character in 1945 Germany, who isn't even allied with the Nazi's, but just doesn't care what they do through the entire film, but who is still treated sympathetically? And by through the entire film, I mean, no last second change of heart, they just ignore everything the Nazi's do and just move on.

And I'm referring to stuff thats tolerable and appreciable by a mainstream audience, not stuff made by Neo-Nazi's for Neo-Nazi's.

I don't think so. Nobody want's to make a piece of media like that since they will instantly be branded as Nazis or something stupid. Personally i'd love to see a WWII game where you are part of the German military even if they decide to make you betray the Nazi's at the end it would still be a nice change of pace.

I still don't think the general populace is ready for something like that.

I still think several more decades need to pass before anyone even attempts something like this in a tasteful manner.

I'd say Downfall treats the Goebbels children sympathetically, who presumably would have had Nazi beliefs given their father was the Nazi master of propaganda, though obviously not their fault due to their young age. The part where...

was certainly not a moment to cheer for.

JoJo:
I'd say Downfall treats the Goebbels children sympathetically, who presumably would have had Nazi beliefs given their father was the Nazi master of propaganda, though obviously not their fault due to their young age. The part where...

was certainly not a moment to cheer for.

Huh, I guess. Need to look into this.

I'm asking because my mind drew parallels when watching the movie Grave of the Fireflies. What I know and remember, and everyone else seems to forget, is that the Japanese were every bit the monsters the Nazi's were - ask the people of China's Nanking province, or their prisoners of war. And yet, a mainstream audience is perfectly okay with that movies continued sympathy for those children, positing them as blameless, when the very idea of a Nazi child in the same position is just unthinkable.

Hmmm...well, there's various stuff about people fighting for their country, which just happens to be Nazi Germany. There was a German movie about the battle of Stalingrad, in which the German soldiers start off very idealistic and patriotic, and end up very dead. I don't think Nazism was directly raised, though.

Likewise, Band of Brothers had some parts where the German soldiers were done sympathetically. Again, not Nazis, but they are fighting for the Nazi regime.

I guess if you could call it sympathetic, there is a book and movie called Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Foolproof:

Huh, I guess. Need to look into this.

I'm asking because my mind drew parallels when watching the movie Grave of the Fireflies. What I know and remember, and everyone else seems to forget, is that the Japanese were every bit the monsters the Nazi's were - ask the people of China's Nanking province, or their prisoners of war. And yet, a mainstream audience is perfectly okay with that movies continued sympathy for those children, positing them as blameless, when the very idea of a Nazi child in the same position is just unthinkable.

Have you read the book (or see the movie) "the boy in the striped pyjamas?" That has the young son of a Nazi (concentration camp commandant) as the main character and he's treated sympathetically, though in this case the boy holds no Nazi leanings himself as far as I can recall, he actually makes friends with a Jewish kid in the camp.

Edit: Ninja'd by just 1 minute, rats.

Gentlehands by Kerr M.E. is about a teenager who finds out his grand father is a former Nazi and is trying to leave his past behind him. He is harassed when the public finds out his secret. Not a World War II story but still about showing a Nazi sympathetically.

JoJo:

Foolproof:

Huh, I guess. Need to look into this.

I'm asking because my mind drew parallels when watching the movie Grave of the Fireflies. What I know and remember, and everyone else seems to forget, is that the Japanese were every bit the monsters the Nazi's were - ask the people of China's Nanking province, or their prisoners of war. And yet, a mainstream audience is perfectly okay with that movies continued sympathy for those children, positing them as blameless, when the very idea of a Nazi child in the same position is just unthinkable.

Have you read the book (or see the movie) "the boy in the striped pyjamas?" That has the young son of a Nazi (concentration camp commandant) as the main character and he's treated sympathetically, though in this case the boy holds no Nazi leanings himself as far as I can recall, he actually makes friends with a Jewish kid in the camp.

Yeah, that one looks very interesting, I need to look up that book.

Foolproof:
This is something I've been wracking my brains for. Is there any examples of a work made after 1945 that depicts anyone - man woman or child - who is sympathetic to the Nazi cause in an even slightly positive light? Even when bad things happen to them?

Alright, broadening the context slightly, is there an example of a piece of media of a character in 1945 Germany, who isn't even allied with the Nazi's, but just doesn't care what they do through the entire film, but who is still treated sympathetically? And by through the entire film, I mean, no last second change of heart, they just ignore everything the Nazi's do and just move on.

And I'm referring to stuff thats tolerable and appreciable by a mainstream audience, not stuff made by Neo-Nazi's for Neo-Nazi's.

Try the game "faces of war." There is a German campaign where they have letters by the squad being read. They are surprisingly like the American letters. It shows even if they were on opposing sides, their fears and hopes were pretty much the same.

Beyond that, not sure. Its hard to find media that doesn't do things in a black and white mentality. That's why I say nothing is better than fact.

For instances, I seen quotes from a German soldier that he only stayed because being a soldier was the only thing he was good at. There was a pilot that said he wont leave for the same reason, except he also had a love of the adrenaline of flying.

On the American side, there was footage of an American recruitment office and an unbelievable racist.He went up to the recruitment officer, the the FIRST thing out of his mouth when asked why he wanted to join was "I want to kill chinks." What did the officer do? He gave him the paper and said "you're in."

Goes to show that in the real world, not everything is so simple.

Allo Allo!

Yeah, it doesn't really count seeing as it's a British comedy, and the Nazi's are so much sympathetic as much as every nationality is depicted as ignorant man-children, but it kinda counts.

EDIT: also the videogame Medal of Honor Frontline does it quite sneakily (I know, a videogame being thought provoking *gasp*) It kinda culminates in this scene in the second last level: Just read the subtitles to what message the Nazi radio officer is sending out over his radio...

JoJo:
I'd say Downfall treats the Goebbels children sympathetically, who presumably would have had Nazi beliefs given their father was the Nazi master of propaganda, though obviously not their fault due to their young age. The part where...

was certainly not a moment to cheer for.

Downfall was a great movie because it depicted Hitler and friends as actual human beings, as opposed to other pieces of media where they are shown as some combination of Satan and a pedophile who eats peppered baby testicles (killed the babies himself) for breakfast every morning. Sure, human beings who committed atrocities, but human beings none the less.

Same goes for Das Boot which is straight up one of the best movies EVER. If you disagree you are wrong. Opinions do not matter in this case, its that good. :P

The trouble really just comes into play with emotion.

Emotionally speaking, it's hard to really fathom what the backlash would be to a game that actually had a player play through the German side of the war as anything less than a complete monster, but most folks seem to (probably safely) assume that it would be outlandishly negative.

Because we're talking about a group of individuals who engaged in genocide.

But let's look at this from a less-emotional standpoint.

There are actually MANY accounts of individuals who disagreed with the genocidal actions of Hitler's regime during WWII, even within his own ranks. For many others, it was the choice between having a job and feeding their family, or going hungry looking for work in a time of war.

And to be honest, it's not like the Americans don't have a history of murder and genocide... and our army isn't full of mindless killing machines bent to the whim of our maniacal President. They're just guys doing their duty to defend their homes and their people. Some are crazy killers. And on a personal note, I think that the military is RIGHT where a crazy killer belongs, so long as you make sure you're not standing in front of wherever his gun is pointed.

So realistically speaking, I would personally have NO problem with a story, movie, or game which very closely depicted the lives and times of Nazi soldiers. Because we've dehumanized them. We're STILL just calling them 'Nazis'. And there's so much more that we could learn by HUMANIZING them. By reminding ourselves that these were young men. Some were merely -boys-.

They weren't "Nazis". They were the German Army. They were the German Armored Infantry. They were the German Air Force, and the German Navy. The 'Nazi' Party was a political group with a charismatic leader and his loyal followers, in a time when Germany NEEDED someone who could pull them together. These were soldiers who were loyal to a COUNTRY first. Perhaps some of them really agreed with his hatred for the Jews. Perhaps some of them believed in his call for a 'Master Race'. Perhaps some approved of killing off the weak an emboldening the strong.

It doesn't matter. Because these are individuals' beliefs. And we've completely blanketed over the entire history of the German nation during World War II as them somehow magically becoming 'Monsters and Madmen.' And it's preposterous to believe that EVERYBODY was a monster. That EVERYONE was insane. They were people.

People do what they need to do to survive.

That being said... I think we still aren't ready for it, yet. But I think there will come a time when people are more receptive to the idea of hearing ALL sides of the story. It's a fascinating story, too. Tragic, but fascinating all the same.

There's a film called Conspiracy about the Wansee Conference where, although every character present is a high ranking Nazi official, several of them are portrayed, not sympathetically, but as intelligent men who will stand up for what they believe in.

It's extremely well written and has an amazing cast. Highly recommended.

That flick "The Reader"? no?

I only saw a little bit of it. It's some chick that couldn't read and this teenager is teaching her to read... then later on shes on trial because it turns out she was a guard at a Nazi camp, and there was a fire in one of the buildings where the jews were held and she didn't unlock the door to let them out. Her whole reasoning is her orders were to keep them confined, and if she let them out they would of escaped.

But you spend a lot of time just focused on her and the kid and it's kind of a love story I think?

Foolproof:

JoJo:
I'd say Downfall treats the Goebbels children sympathetically, who presumably would have had Nazi beliefs given their father was the Nazi master of propaganda, though obviously not their fault due to their young age. The part where...

was certainly not a moment to cheer for.

Huh, I guess. Need to look into this.

I'm asking because my mind drew parallels when watching the movie Grave of the Fireflies. What I know and remember, and everyone else seems to forget, is that the Japanese were every bit the monsters the Nazi's were - ask the people of China's Nanking province, or their prisoners of war. And yet, a mainstream audience is perfectly okay with that movies continued sympathy for those children, positing them as blameless, when the very idea of a Nazi child in the same position is just unthinkable.

Though that might be because the movie might aswell be set in any country affected by WW2. It's an anti-war film, only set in japan because the creators are japanese. It's message goes for all countries though.

Daystar Clarion:
I still don't think the general populace is ready for something like that.

I still think several more decades need to pass before anyone even attempts something like this in a tasteful manner.

Schindler's List sort of approached that, though.

But then it was based off of a real occurrence. He ended up saving those Jewish workers, though he was still a member of the Nazi Party.

Oh, and the Book Thief is a book set in Nazi Germany. That's good.

Mitchell and Web sorta does this. Maybe not sympathetically but certainly not evil.

http://youtu.be/OpZ8EkK3eWY

Yeah, Schindler's list is probably the best example.

There are also some vaguely-sympathetic Nazi characters in Downfall (the film that got resubtitled a bajillion times on youtube - actually a pretty good film if you can get past the stupid memeing).

Edit: In general there are a couple of major historical figures that get treated well as they ended up opposing Hitler. General Rommel and Colonel von Stauffenberg are the two that spring to mind.

Foolproof:
This is something I've been wracking my brains for. Is there any examples of a work made after 1945 that depicts anyone - man woman or child - who is sympathetic to the Nazi cause in an even slightly positive light? Even when bad things happen to them?

Alright, broadening the context slightly, is there an example of a piece of media of a character in 1945 Germany, who isn't even allied with the Nazi's, but just doesn't care what they do through the entire film, but who is still treated sympathetically? And by through the entire film, I mean, no last second change of heart, they just ignore everything the Nazi's do and just move on.

And I'm referring to stuff thats tolerable and appreciable by a mainstream audience, not stuff made by Neo-Nazi's for Neo-Nazi's.

There's a "Good Nazi" in The Pianist.

And the movie Das Boot is a really good example of a sympathetic view of Nazis

Both are good movies but I think Das Boot is what you're looking for.

Fatherland, the book and the made for TV movie, takes place in a world where Germany made the atomic bomb first. This forced the Allies to back off and negotiate for peace. It makes the National Socialists out to rather multifaceted, with jerks and nice people all around.

Not really a good story. it involves an investigator looking for a cover up. The macguffin that drives the story is one of those "you got be kidding me?" deals.

The closest I can think of that I've seen is The Wave, a play that was later made into a movie. It's about a high school class that learns about the Nazis one day and one student asks how the Germans could have supported such an atrocious group. So, the teacher decides to do a little experiment he calls the Wave. He gradually introduces positive discipline, slogans, and a code of conduct to the class in order to promote their cohesion and sense of community. The students accept it with curiosity at first, but then come to embrace it because they like how it makes them feel.

When the experiment starts to get out of hand (increased bullying towards non-Wave members, that sort of thing), the teacher makes an announcement to the class that they are actually part of a national movement, and that the leader of that movement will broadcast a speech to school auditoriums across the country. The students love this and decide to show up to the gathering wearing armbands and carrying banners with the Wave's symbol, chanting the slogans. The teacher then presents the "broadcast," which turns out to be a film of one of Hitler's speeches which also shows reactions from the crowd. The students are dumbstruck as they realize that when they see that crowd, they see themselves. One of the students who loved the Wave with deep sincerity because he felt he was insignificant before it begins to cry at the realization that it's fake.

So yeah, while it doesn't directly garner any sympathy for any Nazi characters, it does make it clear that the people who support such groups aren't necessarily monsters. Most are just people who think they're doing the right thing.

Hero in a half shell:
Allo Allo!

Yeah, it doesn't really count seeing as it's a British comedy, and the Nazi's are so much sympathetic as much as every nationality is depicted as ignorant man-children, but it kinda counts.

Allo Allo is one of the best things to come of Britain ever.

I remember reading a book called 'the forgotten soldier' which is the memoirs of a German soldier fighting on the Russian Front. He doesn't come across as much of a nazi, although at the start of the book he recounts how he swore allegiance to hitler and the Nazi's. Quite a sad book really, by the end it gets increasingly erratic and it becomes obvious that he either can't remember what happened or doesn't want to. He gets out alive- manages to escape russia and surrender to the british- but most of his friends die. Dunno if that fits what you want, I think its a true story.

In The Pianist the main character is ultimately saved by a Nazi officer who gives him food, shelter, and even his coat.

I don't think anything that isn't made for Neo-Nazis could actually portray a Nazi sympathetically.

They could portray the children as innocent.
They sympathetically portray the german people forced into the Nazi regime.
They could and have sympathetically portrayed the german soldiers fighting for their country but not actually being Nazis. Just fighting for the regime.

However, how exactly would you manage to portray a true Nazi in such a way that you manage to get your audience to sympathize with him/her?

The answer is, in my opinion, that unless your audience is open to Nazi beliefs, they will be unable to sympathize with someone who is willing to watch black people, jews, disabled people and old people be put to the slaughter.

However I like to believe that most of Germany had the Nazi regime forced upon them. And, thankfully, there is alot of evidence to support that.

The Lieutenant aptly describes my views on nazis-

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

Same goes for Das Boot which is straight up one of the best movies EVER. If you disagree you are wrong. Opinions do not matter in this case, its that good. :P

That's what I was going to suggest too. At first you don't care about them because they're Nazis but that damn movie does make you want to care about them; at least those sailors.
It really is one of the best movies ever if just for the fact that it can make you feel sympathetic towards a group of Nazis.

Weren't they fairly decent in Saving Private Ryan?
Well, except that one asshole, but who gives a shit about him?

I think the film "A Woman in Berlin" showed a number of nazi (or at least nazi-leaning) women in a fairly sympathetic light. Also, Oscar Schindler was officially a member of the nazi party, but I'm not really sure that one counts.

Downfall and The Boy in the Striped Pajama's.

No one really wants to be shown as a Nazi sympathizer, it just doesn't look good.

Foolproof:
This is something I've been wracking my brains for. Is there any examples of a work made after 1945 that depicts anyone - man woman or child - who is sympathetic to the Nazi cause in an even slightly positive light? Even when bad things happen to them?

Alright, broadening the context slightly, is there an example of a piece of media of a character in 1945 Germany, who isn't even allied with the Nazi's, but just doesn't care what they do through the entire film, but who is still treated sympathetically? And by through the entire film, I mean, no last second change of heart, they just ignore everything the Nazi's do and just move on.

And I'm referring to stuff thats tolerable and appreciable by a mainstream audience, not stuff made by Neo-Nazi's for Neo-Nazi's.

Most of these kind of movies don't make it to the US/American public I suppose. European movies about the German perspective/World War II are usually not interesting enough for you guys (Downfall being a notable exception).

You could try the German movie Stalingrad. It's about a bunch of soldiers being dispatched to fight in Stalingrad. Although their level to devotion to the Nazi cause varies - some just fight because they're in the army and all that - it doesn't portray them as the villains per se.
They still try to get out in the end though, seeing as it's Stalingrad and things go very sour very fast.

I didn't get that far into it but what about Metro 2033? I'm not entirely sure but there was some talk of the Nazis being at least the lesser of two evils at some point.

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