NOV / DEC 2017: BY CHARITY BISHOP
Amazon’s series The Man in the High Castle is many things… a sci-fi adventure with an alternate timeline, a mind-bending glimpse into a different history, a philosophical exploration of abstract concepts and themes, and… a heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and struggle within different households. The series’ inability to choose sides, its devotion to creating villains and heroes in every faction, and its emotional moments make it unique. Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2016: BY LILA DONOVAN
What makes people become traitors? It’s understandable when people defect a country that’s fallen under a corrupt government and want to seek a better life away from tyranny and chaos. When Europe fell under the control of Hitler and the Nazis during World War II, those that could leave Nazi occupied countries did leave.
However, it’s difficult to understand why citizens would betray a first world country like the United States. America is wealthy, with a high quality of life and endless opportunities; many people try to immigrate here. Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2016: BY VERONICA LEIGH
A devout Catholic nobleman and German patriot would be the least likely candidate to assassinate the world’s most evil dictator.
Born Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg in the eastern part of Swabia, his noble roots extended back many generations. Well educated, Claus adored literature, especially poetry. Poetry involving religious themes would later inspire him to act on his conscience. He followed his family’s tradition and entered the military. He married a loving woman named Nina, and they had five children. The future seemed bright for the young Stauffenberg family. Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2014: BY RACHEL KOVACINY
I’ve had the same favorite show since I was fourteen: Combat!, a little-known drama from the ‘60s set in France during WWII. For twenty years, I have joyously slogged around muddy Normandy with a squad of grungy American GIs, fighting Nazis and coming to grips with hard truths about the way the world works.
A gritty WWII drama might not be the kind of show you’d expect a fourteen-year-old girl to love, I suppose. Ahh, but I was learning to appreciate good writing and good acting, and Combat! has an ample supply of both of those. By the end of my first episode, I’d fallen in love with the show and one of the main characters, a sergeant named Saunders. Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2014: BY TRYNTSJE CUPERUS
What is it about movies and TV series taking place in WWII that touches us so much? I’ve often found myself intensely moved or even crying at one of these films and I know I’m not the only one. I’ve asked myself this question more than once, but it was watching The Sinking of the Laconia that gave me some answers. Continue reading
MARCH / APRIL 2014: BY CAITLIN HORTON
Once, long ago, I remember hearing about Schindler’s List for the first time. I was compelled to research the German Nazi-party industrialist, Oskar Schindler, and found that he had saved 1,200 Jewish people from the Holocaust. I tucked him away in my mind next to Irena Sendler, the Polish nurse and social worker who smuggled some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto. Here were some of the finest of humanity, working to stem the tide of atrocities and ethnic cleansing washing over Europe. But was no one trying to save more than a few at a time, when millions of lives were at stake? My research broadened and although it took years, I finally stumbled across one name: Raoul Wallenberg. Continue reading
MAY / JUNE 2013: BY LYDIA JACOBS
The Holocaust is probably one of the most difficult historical events to explain to children today. They know it was a horrible thing that happened a long time ago, but have no idea how it relates to them. Because it’s such a difficult subject to talk about, many children’s books have been written about it over the years that allow children to see what the Holocaust was like from a child’s perspective. Two of my favorites written on the subject are The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne and The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen. Continue reading
HALLOWEEN 2012: BY GINA DALFONZO
When you think of Alfred Hitchcock, “romance” may not be the first word that comes to mind. But whenever he tried his hand at directing a romantic film, the master director proved he had what it took. Bringing both his trademark darkness and his sense of mischief to the task, Hitchcock made romantic dramas that packed a powerful emotional punch.
Arguably the greatest Hitchcock romance (with the possible exception of Vertigo) is 1946’s Notorious. This WWII spy film stars Ingrid Bergman in the complex role of Alicia Huberman, the “notorious” woman of the title. Continue reading
SEPT / OCT 2012: BY VERONICA LEIGH
In 2005, a movie titled Sophie Scholl: Die letzten Tage (Sophie Scholl: The Final Days) directed by Marc Rothemund debuted in theaters, detailing the last six days of Sophie Scholl’s life. Starring is Julia Jentsch as Sophie, Fabian Hinrichs as Hans Scholl, and Alexander Held as Robert Mohr. Continue reading
JULY / AUG 2011: BY SHANNON H.
Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, takes the history of World War II and stands it on its head. In it, a group of Jewish-American soldiers led by Lt. Aldo Raine are “in the business of killing Nazis.” They scalp, beat, and kill any German soldiers with the misfortune of being captured by them (they also carve swastikas into their foreheads). Also, a Jewish woman and her lover plan to kill the Nazi high command in their movie theater while showing Nation’s Pride, a German propaganda film. Continue reading