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« Abolish the FCC | Main | Gays Are the New Jews »

March 27, 2006


Alas, this could never happen today (aside from the fact that we don't use trenches quite as much). There'd be too much fear that the tree would explode (aside from the fact that I'm mixing religious symbols).

Danny, I'm not even sure what I want to say...very moving and powerful post...I guess I'll just leave it at that.

I had read about this true incident and thought that this film must be pretty powerful. I havn't seen it but your post makes me want to see it, immediately! Is it out on DVD? I'll look on Netflix. Wonderful Post Danny, as always.

I heard a review of this movie on the radio and all they focused on was the schmaltz factor. You effectively place the film in another context, leading me to believe that Larry Mantle should hire you for balance.

I agree with you on the revenge issue. Kids just seem to "get" it in a way we don't. I once told my daughter that adults learn to stay angry in a way that kids do not and I often look at her to see when and if that is happening.

Thanks for your words, Danny.

I have a collection of audio cd's from the storytelling festival in Jonesboro, Tennessee, and there's a telling of a story similar to this one. Perhaps they're one and the same.

I just heard of this movie last week, and I ordered the film and the soundtrack. I'm looking forward to watching it.

Great post!

Wonderful post, Danny. Far beyond a "mere" review. I'm left a bit teary-eyed - thinking of all the wars happening now as I post here in the comfort of my suburban home, wishing for a "Christmas" all over.

With World War 2 overshadowing "The Great War" for a number of reasons -- including film footage that enables it to be kept alive forever -- I think it's going to be hard for the next generation to remember fully the horrors of the trench warfare of the first world war.

Sounds like a great movie.

You must have seen "The Young Lions," in which Marlon Brando played an idealistic and dutiful young German soldier who was devastated when he found out about the concentration camps.

Romanticized and not very realistic -- was it really possible not to know? Or did you have to be doing some very assiduous denial?

However, the Wehrmacht, the regular German army, was made up of conscripts, many of them very young, and officers, some of whom were aristocratic, principled, and eventually shook off their German duty-hypnosis and turned against Hitler (the officers' plot). Some of those kids in the regular army -- NOT the Waffen SS -- were probably pretty innocent.

But isn’t the first step to any lasting peace recognizing that people on both sides are fellow human beings and not vermin crawling the earth?

Yes. But if you did that unilaterally, wouldn't you just be asking to be killed? Showing the white flag isn't going to elicit any humane reflex from people who are willing to blow up children in a restaurant or market.

It's interesting to think about hostage situations in this regard, given that Jill Carroll has just been released and is being savagely criticized for having anything good to say about the way her captors treated her. A (late) Romanian friend of ours was a French TV sound engineer and one of four journalists who were taken hostage in Beirut in the '80s. He was captive for ten months, chained to a radiator except when he was walked to the bathroom by his captors. The "Stockholm Syndrome" cuts both ways: he gave his hood guards nicknames and told them stories -- he was a great raconteur -- and they admired his wristwatch and talked about their children. When the decision was made by higher-ups to release him, some of his guards cried. They told him if he ever came back to Lebanon, they would personally escort him, under protective guard, to meet their families in the countryside.

But that was then.

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