I had a piece on Huffington Post over the weekend about Quentin Tarantino’s WWII revenge-fantasy Inglourious Basterds, a film in which a band of Jewish soldiers brutally terrorize Nazis on their way to take part in a plot to kill Hitler and other high ranking Third Reich officials.
Like other recent WWII movies—Valkyrie and Defiance—Basterds reinforces the myth that only violent resistance could have worked against the Nazis. To counter this myth, I present several prominent case studies of successful nonviolent resistance against the Nazis—any one of which would make for a great film.
Ultimately, my point is to say that it’s time to move on from the stale and misleading storyline that violence is what saved us from the Nazis, when there are so many positive stories of ordinary people triumphing over what we often consider the greatest evil to ever walk the earth.
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Bryan: A brilliant piece! Thanks so much for reminding people that there are a variety of successful ways to deal with violence and oppression that do not have to replicate the initial harm or injustice.
Fairly nice piece, yet I think it missed the mark.Hollywood is a Talmudic dominated undustry and its constant rewriting of ‘history’ is legion.
‘We’ don’t go to movies to be informed about history, ‘we’ go to be entertained; and cultured down audiences love to see gore,extreme violence, dark vengence and fiction. Tarrantino knows the formula and the moguls who run Hollywood are only to happy to please his ugly machinations!
Just read your Huff blog, Bryan, and I enjoyed it very much. I’m not convinced from the examples you provided that the Nazis could have been stopped without violence, and I don’t believe at all that they wouldn’t have pursued the extermination of the Jews had they not been met with violence. That said, your examples of nonviolent resistance are compelling and inspirational, and it would be wonderful to see them made into feature films.
Thanks Ladd. I suppose on the other side of things, I don’t see how you could be convinced that violence was the answer either. Like I said in my article, violence only emboldened the Nazis. The Final Solution was pursued with more ferocity as the German people suffered greater defeats and horrors of their own (e.g. the fire bombing of Dresden). Ultimately, we will never know if nonviolence could have defeated the Nazis. And that was not my aim in writing this article. I’m not interested in supposing what could have happened. I’m interested in reminding people what did happen, which is that nonviolence was used many times against the Nazis and that it almost always worked to great effect. As evidenced by Eric’s latest post on Obama’s Nobel Prize speech, we need to stop this myth that ONLY violence could have worked against the Nazis because it is the argument every politician uses when he wants to justify a war.