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...but Bergman was a nazi supporter. Sorry about being blunt, but sometimes bluntness is the only way. Actually he was quite open about that he had supported the nazi regime up until 1946 and viewed the reports of concentration camps as propaganda from the allies. I think he said in some intervue that he cried when he heard that Hitler had died. Later he regretted his support for the nazis.

This does not - in my view - detract anything from the quality of the movies.

The reason I raise this is partly beacuse it is generally omitted even though Bergman was open about it. And I think this omission is part of the view of the nazis as (unhuman) beasts and the Holocaust as a singularly evil event which can only be perpetrated by beasts. If we fail to see why it happened we learn nothing.

There is nothing surprising really in Bergmans support, he came from a middle class european home and in those days supporting the nazis was a common thing among middle class europeans. Not that everyone did it, but it was common. Another young swedish man who was a nazi supporter at the time and went on to become famous was Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA.

I think part of the reason why it is generally omitted is partly because so many were nazi supporters in those days. But there is also the aspect that Bergman admits it freely, but does make retribution the focus of his life. It was stupid, he did it, he went on with his life. Just as millions did. And that might be the hardest part to square with our myths of what the nazis were.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Aug 14th, 2007 at 11:57:23 AM EST
Yes, I read how he had been a nazi supporter in his youth.  Young people can often make mistakes.  The fact that he spent his adult life refuting those mistakes is so much more important.

Another point worth mentioning.  While most of the world staggered from the effects of the Great Depression, Germany was the first to recover.  This was such an accomplishment that many people were willing to over look the rest of the problems the Nazis had inflicted on their own society and soon on the rest of Europe.  This misplaced admiration was not confined to the middle class kids of Sweden--Time Magazine made Hitler their "Man of the Year" in, I believe, 1938

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Tue Aug 14th, 2007 at 01:25:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Often the picture is not clear, especially when it is stage-managed. I believe there are many in the US who will later find themselves distraught at their former support for the Bush vision of the Homeland.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 14th, 2007 at 01:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I HOPE you are correct.

I am still disappointed by how few people in USA are sorry about what we did to the people of Vietnam, or Afghanistan, or Iran, or Chile, or, or.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Tue Aug 14th, 2007 at 03:54:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I AM prone to overoptimism ;-)

And maybe I talk out of the top of my hat. I've never lived in the US, but been on extended movie production visits quite a few times up to about '86. And I have quite a few ex-pat US friends in Scandinavia.

Perhaps Europe is more of a 'forgive and forget' area, with far more cultural turmoi, and that has lead to the sort of robustness that comes from intellectual diversity. We Europeans have done, and are still doing, terrible things to each other at the SE edges (and elsewhere).

It is looked upon now more as hooliganism - we don't like it, we don't understand it, but since these people come out of the same 'system' as us, then we have some responsibility also. Does this make sense? I am not trying to put any bi-polarity into it - it is a nuance of difference between US and EU. It could also be about pride.

By and large, imo, Europeans are not very proud of Europe as an entitiy. "It's OK, but it could be so much better" There is an acceptance that it is not the greatest thing since sliced bread. It is however, better than what has gone before. We can all agree that we have just had too much fighting.

I have the sense that this feeling is not prevalent in the US - the feeling that the current US is better than what went before. The cosmetic pride that you see everywhere in the US presents a classic Bateson double-bind when contrasted with a perceived failure of progress.

Everyone on this planet is motivated to greater effort by the feeling that things are getting better. This is the sub-text of all Bush speeches. But they also have to actually GET better, otherwise the effort fades.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Aug 14th, 2007 at 04:24:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody in America believe Bush any longer, except his Fundamentalist core.  The poll numbers show that something like three-quarters of the public believes the country is going in the wrong direction.

But it's true that the idea of living peacefully as a value has not even been spoken about in recent years.  

"The end of all intelligent analysis is to clear the way for synthesis." H.G. Wells "It's not dark yet, but it's getting there." Bob Dylan

by Captain Future (captainfuture is at sbcglobal dot net) on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 at 01:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can all agree that we have just had too much fighting.

This is the big difference. People here know people personally who lived through war - meaning those who lost everything while their home cities were pounded into rubble and had to try make a new life with just a suitcase and whatever survival urge they could muster.

In the US, war is a Hollywood invention. The bad guy falls off a burning balcony yelling 'Arrrgh!' Cut to end credits. It's entertainment and mythologised machismo. No one is made homeless and people don't really die, because - look - they're back in a different movie six months later. And have probably been through a very public marriage/divorce/rehab in the meantime.

There are always a few traumatised muttering vets saying war is bad. But for all the flag waving and drum beating, no one has much time for them, because they're a gruesome reminder that the fantasy isn't real. So - ignored.

The US won't change its collective mind about war until most of the population has first hand experience of it - and that really won't be a fun thing to live through.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 at 07:09:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would give you 10 "4s" if I could.  Excellent.

I like to say that in USA, war is treated like a football game.  The same terminology is used down to where an all-out pass rush is called a "blitz."

Not surprisingly, Bush the Dim was once a cheerleader.

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 at 12:44:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sports is the medium in which is cultured 90% of what's wrong with western society...

that good ole 'team spirit', kill, kill, kill...

you're right about the words they use to describe sports in the usa.

the cubs strangled the bears...

the lakers destroyed the whatever....

when the tv turns to sports i feel the air around it start to go 'duuh'!!!

well, sometimes athletic performance has aesthetic value, and good teamwork is a joy to behold, but these are just the icing on a very ugly cake, that of what happens to critical thinking, and of how large crowds wipe it away, in favour of the bellowing herd instinct.

it's an excuse to go barking mad, in public, with strong incentive to remove all forebrain activity and go completely limbic*...

aaah, regression, nothing like it! feels so good and 'normal' to be 'just like everybody else'....

and the morons annihilated the braindead...

*(...or 'postal' as the yankees put it.)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 at 05:14:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US won't change its collective mind about war until most of the population has first hand experience of it - and that really won't be a fun thing to live through.

Being as it is that I don't believe anyone is in the mood or has the firepower to invade the US, it's going to have to be another civil war. And I think that's a very long-term prospect.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Aug 27th, 2007 at 06:16:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would say that the German economic recovery was used more as a counterexample against the booming Soviet economy of the era.

While there might be some issues with whether the actual growth numbers were real, the Soviet economy was doing marketly better than the capitalist west during the Great Depression, something that had wide repercussions on views about the role of the state and on economic control.

by Trond Ove on Tue Aug 14th, 2007 at 05:28:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have read a lot of the USA economic literature of the 30s.  There is barely any mention of what was happening in USSR.  Of course, a LOT had to be happening--how else does one explain Magnetogorsk or those tanks and guns that won the battle of Kursk?

On the other hand, the German economy was studied extensively.  And much of it was on public display--i.e. air shows, auto races, etc.  Therefore, when folks discussed strategies for coping with the Depression, it was usually the German example that was used.

Thanks for your comment.  

"Remember the I35W bridge--who needs terrorists when there are Republicans"

by techno (reply@elegant-technology.com) on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 at 12:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where did US economic literature get into the picture? I thought you were talking about Bergman and his middle class background.
by Trond Ove on Thu Aug 16th, 2007 at 08:31:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My older uncle (who was a teenager during the much of the 1940s) told me that Finnish youngsters idolizing the German airforce pilots and regarding them as heroes wasn't particularly uncommon during WWII. They didn't have a clue as to what went on in the concentration camps, of course.

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 at 05:30:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The link Finland - airforce led me to check up the Finnish swastika:

I knew it was used by the Finnish airforce during ww2:

And this is the story behind it:

The Swedish count Eric von Rosen gave the Finnish White government a Thulin Typ D aircraft.[...]

Von Rosen had painted his personal good luck charm on the Thulin Typ D aircraft, which was a blue swastika. This was to become the insignia of the Finnish Air Force. The white circular background was created when the Finns tried to paint over the Thulin air academy advertisement.[3] The swastika was officially taken into use after an order by Mannerheim on March 18, 1918. The FAF had to change the swastika insignia after 1945, due to an allied control commission decree, where all swastikas had to be abandoned. However, the original swastika can still be found in regimental flags and medals, especially in the air force.

wikipedia of course

So it predated the German one. Swastikas was just one of those things that were popular during that period.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 at 10:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And here is another tidbit from wikipedia

The United Kingdom declared war on Finland on December 6, 1941, but did not participate actively in the Continuation War.

Which is a perfectly good falsification of the thesis that democratic nations don't have wars with each other.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Aug 15th, 2007 at 10:42:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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