Paul Eisen

Paul Eisen

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Weihnachten 1942

"This video brings tears to my eyes," wrote the reader who sent me this clip.

He's an American of German parentage who, over recent years, has acquainted himself with his heritage, including the post-war narrative of defeat with the deportations, rapes and massacres that befell his parents and millions of other Germans.

We know how many Jews there are in solidarity with Palestinians and, whatever your view is about their commitment, motive and effectiveness, the one thing you can't miss are their repeated calls for reconciliation - what in my more cynical days I called "you-feel-my-pain-and-I'll-feel yours".

Well, I'll take these Jews a little more seriously when they also call for  reconcilation with the German people. Then, they can really feel some pain!

I don't speak any German but I know that this is a propaganda film to stiffen public morale during some pretty difficult times. But I think there's more to it than that. At a time when the German people were fighting for their very survival it offers a view of the finest aspects of German life - something not often publicised - and allows us the privilege of sharing it.