2009-08-27 11:13 am (UTC)
Not really relevant, but the place where I have just moved to is about 8 km from Oberammergau :)
Is the town still largely populated- as it was in the 30s- by people called Lang?
2009-08-27 03:07 pm (UTC)
oh yes. they are everywhere..in the chorus for the passion plays, in the civic counsel, in the church administration :D....
I read Vikram Seth's "Two Lives" about his uncle who migrated to Germany and lived there till about the mid to late Thirties I think. For a non-white (and therefore by their "logic" non-Aryan) person, he lived a reasonably ok life, compared to his Jewish fiancee.
When I say "reasonably ok" I mean "reasonably ok for Nazi Germany", if you know what I mean...
I get the impression that, if your face fitted, Nazi Germany- or, at least, Munich under the Nazis- was a wonderful- and wonderfully cultured- place to live. My diarist is continually going out to concerts, plays and movies.
You know, at about the same time Dion Fortune was writing about how teenagers are absolutely the best target for stuff about racial pride and ethnic purity because...well, I can't remember the details very clearly and that book is still packed, but she laid out a description of how British teens of that era were susceptible to Nazi ideology. It sounds as though your diarist is a case in point. What an interesting (and rather horrifying) read that must be.
Interesting. Have to go look that one up.
IIRC the long discussion is in The Problem of Purity, and she also makes passing references to it in another place too; probably one of her polarity essays or one of the polarity-themed pieces of fiction.
The Nazis were superficially very glamorous. Interestingly, this young woman came from a socialist family. I get the impression that she's trying very hard to understand and be sympathetic to the views of her German friends. Of course, there's the fact that it would have been indiscreet and even dangerous to commit any criticisms of Hitler to paper.
True, although contemporary diarists in some parts of Germany did just that in their private jottings.
Radicals do generally seem to have given Hitler more of a fair shake than he merited --- them and the hyper-conservatives. I'm afraid that we'll get politicians here and in your country who can also pull off that junction of opinion between far left and far right. There's a bit of that in the wind these days.
It's hard to know exactly what my diarist thinks. She talks about having political conversations with German friends, but only ever records their side of the argument.
But she's certainly impressed by Hitler- and by Goebbels because he's "witty". Showmanship is always seductive.
2009-08-27 03:41 pm (UTC)
Have you read 'our hidden lives'? It's a selection of Mass Observation diaries from just after the war and it's really frightening how many people were anti semitic and beleived in a Jewish plot even after the holocaust. One of the authors even went so far as to say it was a good idea!
Who wrote this? I'd be interested to read it.
The writer was the mother of a friend of mine. I don't suppose the diaries are ever likely to see print- more's the pity.
I haven't read the Mass Observation material. I must search it out.
2009-08-28 12:21 am (UTC)
Edited by Simon Garfield. There are 2 other volumes dealing with the war.
Thanks. Perhaps they'll have them at the library.
One of the books I've been reading this week is the unpublished diary of an 18 year old girl who was studying German in Munich in 1938.
Did she then come home from Munich in 1938, or did she spend the war in Germany?
She came home in September '38 (when war seemed imminent) but went back to Germany a few days later. The diary then comes to a ragged end, with her enjoying a jaunt across the border into Italy. I gather she stayed on into 1939.
I don't know much about her later life, except that she married an Englishman and had a daughter (who lent me her diaries) and was fairly well known (though not well enough to show up in a Google search) as a painter of military subjects.
2009-08-28 12:22 am (UTC)
Did she meet Unity Mitford?
The 20s and 30s were an age of strong ideology. You had three choices- Communism, Fascism or Roman Catholicism.