Alban's Blog

Operation Valkyrie

I just got back home after my very first movie premier, and I must admit I was more touched by it than I thought I would. It was the European Premier of the Operation Valkyrie, the Stauffenberg movie which is just coming out, controversial here in Germany because Tom Cruise isn’t much loved because of his scientology membership or however you want to call this. We received our tickets from friends of whom we had acquired our new apartment, an actor’s couple. He, Christian Berkel, is acting in that film, and since we are hoping to doing some projects together (reading-playing) it was a great chance for me to see his work for the very first time.

We arrived there fairly early because we took over their son so that his parents could enjoy the red carpet without having to worry about their little boy being bored. It was my first red-carpet experience – no, obviously nobody cared about the four of us (my son Janos, his mother and Moritz, the boy of Christian), but I found it highly entertaining to watch the German prominent people producing themselves in front of the hysterically shouting crowd of photographers, screaming orders of how they should position themselves, and these little B- or C-stars while trying to be funny complying to anything thrown at them. What an experience to see some of the brilliant actors of the movie pass by (Eddie Izzard whom I had mistaken for Kenneth Branagh passed very near us) next to these completely talent-free German tabloid creations 🙂

I had a blast, but the movie brought me back to reality – well, a reality which is actually history, but it feels so alive and recent, that I actually suffered watching this last (?) assassination attempt against Hitler. It’s funny, but whenever I watch a film I become totally involved and don’t manage to understand that it is not really happening at the same time. Until the very end I hoped Stauffenberg and his people would succeed, even though I knew better. But I had actually no idea that after the assassination Stauffenberg had flown to Berlin and taken over power for a couple of hours, spreading the news that Hitler had died – imagine this 60 years later: impossible, because news travel faster than light. While writing this I am watching the inauguration parade of Obama live on the internet; gives me the chills, I am soooo happy.

Back to the movie: I had some very strange thoughts, please correct me if you think I am wrong: Obviously I hoped Stauffenberg would have succeeded (especially since the great uncle of my webpage designer Alexej Steinhardt was von Haeften, the assistant of Stauffenberg), but at the same time I was weighing the options; what would have happened if he had succeeded? He would have stopped the war – Germany would have been defeated, but just militarily, not really in their minds. What if this complete break-down and capitulation was actually necessary for the Germans to wake up from their phantasies and become the (more or less) peace-loving nation they are now? It is a horrible thing to say, but I almost feel as if we (the Germans) needed the disaster of WW II (second world war) with Holocaust and destruction of most cities to be humiliated enough to shed these fascist roots. And as sad as it is: maybe we wouldn’t have had these 60 years of piece in Western Europe if Stauffenberg would have succeeded and stopped all the craziness of the Nazis. How can one say or even think something like that? Well, maybe I just try to console myself about the fact how incredibly unlucky Stauffenberg was and how close they came to succeeding – Berlin wouldn’t have been half as destroyed, not talking about Dresden, probably the life of a couple of Millions Jews would have been spared, even more soldiers would have lived – but maybe the Germans would have tried to continue something like it a couple of decades later, because they still hadn’t learned from their mistakes…

Italy has never done that and look what’s going on there: Mafia and Berlusconi, how much more fascist does it get? Don’t get me wrong, I love Italy, but politically I prefer Germany, and I love the fact that if anybody denies the holocaust happened, he goes to jail! Freedom of speech? Yes, sure, but not if it insults the victims of an entire people, a genocide of an extent unkown to mankind before or after. Gosh, my favorite subject, I’d better go to bed, thanks for reading – Good night!


  • Tinger Do

    Dear Alban

    have a heart and dont get carried away so easily – in a blog – as so many people do…. Start reading if you are not already doing so: Hannah Arendt, Roland Barthes, Schalamov, even Kafka – there is a lot of stuff that can soothe your “Geist” – maybe you dont get enough of that kind of “fodder” : ))…. Very kind regards…… Tinger

  • Alban

    Dear Tinger,

    I am probably too stupid, but I don’t really understand what you mean by suggesting me to read even more than I am already reading (OK, haven’t read Schalamov yet, but I still don’t get why I should be reading instead of writing what I felt…). Please, enlighten me!
    Best wishes,


  • Tinger Do

    Dear, Dear Alban

    I did not want to insult you – by no means… : )))) You can write whatever you feel – we dont have to read it n`est-ce pas ????



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