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At the Front: common traitors in West German war films of the 1950s

Wölfel, U. (2015) At the Front: common traitors in West German war films of the 1950s. Modern Language Review, 110 (3). pp. 739-758. ISSN 0026-7937

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5699/modelangrevi.110.3.0739

Abstract/Summary

The article looks at the figure of the traitor in 1950s’ West German films about World War II. It focuses on the representation of Wehrmacht soldiers who entertain relations with the Soviet enemy and are therefore seen to betray their nation. The discussion of three well-known films – 08/15, Der Arzt von Stalingrad, and Unruhige Nacht – shows these ‘traitors’ to have a highly ambivalent function: their narrative punishment is part of German post-war exculpation, yet they are also reminders of German guilt and ethical responsibility towards the ‘other’.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Modern Languages and European Studies > German
ID Code:40673
Publisher:Modern Humanities Research Association

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