Oliver Hirschbiegel’s docudrama about the Third Reich’s closing days, “The Downfall,” is not about Hitler, human or otherwise, not about Nazism and evil.
It is about letting Germany off the hook.
“The Downfall” is concerned with exoneration, not penance, and realizes it through manipulation and deceit. Clearly, “The Downfall” is distinguishing between bad Germans (a small band of Nazis) and good (everyone else), wanting to demonstrate how the German people, too, were victimized by Nazism, absolving them of any moral culpability for perpetrating World War II and destroying European Jewry.
Twentysomething Germans have made it the most popular film in their country’s history. And understandably so, for they emerge from the theater convinced that their grandparents were valorous, victimized, and naive, and that Germany can unreservedly take its place in a post-nationalist, post-psychotic Europe.
While some cultures evolve, Germany’s and the touted “Arabian nation”, fail to do so.