Cover Osteuropa 11-12/2014

In Osteuropa 11-12/2014

A Missed Debate
“Generation War” in Germany and Poland

Magdalena Saryusz-Wolska, Carolin Piorun

Deutsche Fassung


The television movie “Generation War” was lavishly staged as a major media event. It told the story of a group of young Germans in the Second World War and claimed to break taboos and launch a discussion about the past. The deliberate blurring of documents and fiction, both in the film and in the accompanying documentaries, suggested authenticity and realism. But in terms of content, this film largely perpetuated the German myth of victimization that post-war cinema had cultivated. Anti-Semitism was portrayed as above all a problem of the Polish Home Army. Criticism in Poland was accordingly fierce. Both in Germany and in Poland, the reception was self-centred, a dialogue did not materialize.

(Osteuropa 11-12/2014, pp. 115–132)