Thursday, June 19, 2003

Anthems, Political Correctness and Ignorance

In one very recent Hollywood film (I won't say which one, because I don't want to make a spoiler) protagonist finds himself on neo-Nazi rally. Apart from swastikas and the rest of usual insignia he is also greeted by a song that was supposed to symbolise Nazism. That song is Deutschland Über Alles, current anthem of Federal Republic of Germany.

I don't know what the Germans would think of this scene, but I guess that they would be very offended. For them that would be just another example of Hollywood continuing WW2-era stereotypes and equating all Germans with Nazis.

Of course, if the Hollywood filmmakers used real Nazi anthem – Horst Wessel-Lied – there wouldn't be any problem. But the problem is in last decade or so of political correctness and Hollywood becoming too sensitive towards various pressure groups and politicos who would condemn the use of that song, even in most negative of all contexts. Of course, when it comes to European countries, Hollywood is somewhat less sensitive, especially if those countries happen to be Germany or France.

On a related note, Horst-Wessel-Lied was used as the main motive of Stanley Myers' musical score for The Great Riviera Bank Robbery (1979), British film based on real life events in which Ian McShane played the protagonist – bank robber with neo-Fascist political convictions.


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