Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

The Good Captain and the Bad Captain: Joseph Vilsmaier's "Die Gustloff" and the Erosion of Complexity

Bill Niven
German Politics & Society
Vol. 26, No. 4 (89), SPECIAL ISSUE: Dynamics of Memory in 21st Century Germany (Winter 2008), pp. 82-98
Published by: Berghahn Books
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23742878
Page Count: 17
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($23.95)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Good Captain and the Bad Captain: Joseph Vilsmaier's "Die Gustloff" and the Erosion of Complexity
Preview not available

Abstract

This article provides an interpretation of Josef Vilsmaier's two-part television feature film, Die Gustloff (2008), which depicts the sinking of that ship in January 1945. It argues that Vilsmaier, at the expense of historical fact, pins blame for the fateful decisions that led to the ship being vulnerable to attack on the Navy, while simultaneously seeking to exculpate and even glorify the Merchant Navy representatives on board. Die Gustloff seeks to distinguish between a "bad" captain and a "good" one, between hard-hearted military indifference and uncorrupted civilian decency in the face of the plight of German refugees. Generally, in its portrayal of the civilian as a realm untainted by Nazism, it seeks to resist trends in contemporary historiography that show such distinctions to be untenable. It is thus deeply revisionist in character, and, in many ways, represents the nadir of the "Germans as victims" trend in contemporary German culture.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
82
    82
  • Thumbnail: Page 
83
    83
  • Thumbnail: Page 
84
    84
  • Thumbnail: Page 
85
    85
  • Thumbnail: Page 
86
    86
  • Thumbnail: Page 
87
    87
  • Thumbnail: Page 
88
    88
  • Thumbnail: Page 
89
    89
  • Thumbnail: Page 
90
    90
  • Thumbnail: Page 
91
    91
  • Thumbnail: Page 
92
    92
  • Thumbnail: Page 
93
    93
  • Thumbnail: Page 
94
    94
  • Thumbnail: Page 
95
    95
  • Thumbnail: Page 
96
    96
  • Thumbnail: Page 
97
    97
  • Thumbnail: Page 
98
    98