Radio feature: classified ads from the post-war period
You should be able to speak English. Now that you’re dealing with the Americans. But all those years Anglo-American was frowned upon (jazz and soul), inaccessible (Hollywood films in the original) or forbidden with severe punishment (so-called hostile stations like the BBC). After the end of the Second World War, the demand for English lessons in the American-occupied sector is correspondingly high, business can be done with the Americans – and soon there will be an offer. Teachers and students just have to find each other. But what are classifieds for? The first editions of Süddeutsche Zeitung in the fall of 1945 usually comprised six pages, at least half a page was reserved for such advertisements: “I’m offering pumps, looking for shoes,” read one. Another was “urgently” looking for a first edition of “Mein Kampf” “for bibliophilic reasons.”
In 2005 Henrike Leonhardt wrote for her radio feature “I offer a violin, I’m looking for a heating plate – classified ads in the first South German newspapers [1945″browsedthroughthesehistoricalissuesNowthebroadcasthasbeenrepeatedandisthereforealsointheARD audio library accessible again. It is a Munich social story from the immediate post-war period, because classified ads reflect people’s everyday lives. Leonhardt not only targets printed advertisements, but also the many notices that were posted around the city, some of which are documented. Even damaged umbrellas that had been left behind were searched for, the need was sometimes so great. People were willing to trade gold jewelry for a pair of winter boots. In general, much more was exchanged than sold for cash in these weeks. Because that too was in short supply.
This even applies to men. Many had died in the war, eight men for every ten women. The latter made corresponding demands in marriage advertisements: letters were sometimes only desired if there was the possibility of marrying into a shop or farm. And because not everyone was in the same precarious life situation, there were soon the first advertisements promoting visits to the theatre, cinema and circus. Stephen Fisher
Children’s film: “The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse”
“What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” the boy asked. “Help,” said the horse. “You don’t give up when you ask for help. You refuse to give up.” A boy and a mole, both feeling lost and abandoned by the world, meet. A fox and a horse join them. Together they set out to find the boy’s home. Along the way, they have many smart conversations about forgiveness, kindness, and cake – only to realize at the end of their journey that home isn’t always a place. Apple+ has released a half-hour film adaptation of Charlie Mackesy’s hit children’s book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. Written witty and heartwarming, and drawn with a beautiful watercolor-like aesthetic, the film is a breathtakingly atmospheric film for children aged 9 to 99. Philip Riessenberger
Actor: Pedro Pascal
In Hollywood, almost no actor is currently on such a run as Pedro Pascal. Born in Chile, he can currently be seen in the HBO production “The Last of Us”. The video game adaptation is the perfect horror series for the post-pandemic era and Pascal is its disillusioned hero who struggles through an America devastated by a fungal epidemic after a great loss. The 47-year-old started small on television and only rose to fame years later with his roles in “Game of Thrones” and “Narcos”. In the meantime he can also often be seen in the cinema, but series remain his main business. In addition to The Last of Us, he stars in Disney+’s Star Wars series The Mandalorian. Two series hits at the same time, in two completely different universes, hardly anyone in Hollywood can do that. David Steinitz
Fiction: “The Rise” by Stefan Hertmans
Germany has twice intervened deeply in the history of Belgium. Only after the illegal attack on the neutral country in August 1914 – four years of war followed, which turned parts of Belgium into a bloody mud desert; then in World War II with an even more brutal occupation regime that killed a large part of Belgium’s Jews. Torture and murder were part of everyday life for the entire civilian population at the time.
Added to this was the fueling of the inner-Belgian nationality conflict between French-speaking and Dutch Belgians, Walloons and Flemings, a legacy that poisoned generations. The Germans embraced the concerns of the “Germanic” Flemish in 1914 and 1940, recruited collaborators and worked to divide the country. The Belgian-Flemish novelist Stefan Hertmans has processed this story in a brilliant narrative (“Der Aufgang”, Diogenes Verlag). At its core is the story of Flemish collaborator and SS man Willem Verhulst (1898-1975) and his family. The eponymous “Ascent” describes the tour of the old house in Ghent, which Verhulst and his family lived in for decades. In 1979 Hertmans bought it without knowing of its history. Only in retrospect does the tour from the basement to the roof become a journey through time into history, which reveals new tragedies room by room.
The wealth of disturbing and contradictory historical experience that is brought up is breathtaking. Verhulst’s wife was a Dutch Protestant, puritanical and anti-Nazi. But his first love and wife had been a German Jewess, with whom he also wanted to be buried. His son became a left-liberal historian – Hertman’s teacher. Verhulst kept the lists of the resistance, whose representatives were denounced, arrested and tortured. In 1945 he fled to Germany with the Wehrmacht, was caught and sentenced to death, but was pardoned and released in 1953. He continued to live and work at the old place, in the Ghent house. A great, shocking book, a story that concerns us Germans: Belgium suffers from these wounds to this day. Gustav Seibt
Cinema from Indonesia: “After the Curfew”
The homecomer is a lonely cinema character of the post-war period, we know her mainly from German films. Iskander also returns home, to Bandung, in the film “Lewat djam malam/After the Curfew”, 1954, by filmmaker Usmar Ismail, he comes from the Indonesian struggle for independence from Dutch colonial rule. The black-and-white images in the film have cutting contours, there is a curfew in the city from ten, and you know from the start that he will not be able to fit into the new society, among its big bourgeoisie and speculators. Of course, the West dictates the dreams, a prostitute cuts the corresponding photos from the magazine Life. “After the Curfew” is available, freshly restored, on the second DVD by Martin Scorsese World Cinema Project (at Trigon), together with “Alyam, Alyam” by Ahmed El Maanouni, Morocco 1978, and “Muna Moto” by Pierre Dikongué-Pipa, Cameroon 1975. Fritz Goettler