I finally saw "Downfall" last night and came away hugely impressed, but also puzzled by all the film crit claims that the movie “humanizes” Hitler. How anyone can think that is a mystery to me. Is it simply because we prefer to believe such crimes can only be committed by monsters?

PS. I completely forgot that Norm had already linked to a couple of hostile articles. The reference to Trudl Junge’s Nazi background seems reasonable enough. But the SS as heroic figures? I don’t think so. Just now, browsing through Albert Speer’s diaries - definitely my desert island book - I came across another entry worth bearing in mind. Speer could be self-serving at times, but he’s a reliable witness, by and large:

… I get the impression that people are increasingly representing Hitler as a dictator given to raving uncontrollably and biting the rug even on slight pretexts. This seems to me a false and dangerous course. If the human features are going to be missing from the portrait of Hitler, if his persuasiveness, his engaging characteristics, and even the Austrian charm he could trot out are left out of the reckoning, no faithful picture of him will be achieved.

Feb 10, 1947

|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/04/last-days-i-finally-saw-downfall-last.html|||4/17/2005 12:16:00 pm|||||||||