It might just be me. But it seems to me as though there’s a growth in the number of artistic works that deal with the plight of “everyday” Germans during World War II.
This week, BBC 2 showed ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, one of the most affecting pieces of “childhood” drama I’ve watched in a long time. Roughly ten days earlier, the Beeb showed a new one-off (‘The Man who Irritated Hitler’- apols if title wrong; I’ll amend later!). This showed the real-life drama of a Jewish barrister who called Hitler as a witness in a stormtrooper trial in the early ’30s. Meanwhile, London’s brilliant (and under-funded) Tricycle Theatre has just housed the pre-West End run of Arthur Miller’s 1994 play, ‘Broken Glass’ starring Anthony Sher, about an American Jew struggling with both his wife’s reaction to Kristallnacht and his WASP boss’s ill-hid and growing antisemitism.
As I say, it might just be me.
But even so, there’s value in questioning. Why now? What can we, in Britain today, take from 1930s Germany? I don’t have answers enough to commit yet, but I raise the flag and encourage comments…