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My Private War (1990)
"Mein Krieg" (original title)

 |  Documentary, War  |  21 May 1993 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 153 users  
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Late in the 1980s, two documentary film makers found six German men, all in their 60s and 70s, who had been soldiers in the German invasion of the USSR in 1942. Each carried an 8mm camera ... See full summary »

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Erich von Manstein ...
Himself (in Kiev) (archive footage)
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Late in the 1980s, two documentary film makers found six German men, all in their 60s and 70s, who had been soldiers in the German invasion of the USSR in 1942. Each carried an 8mm camera into battle and they still had their film. "Mein Kreig" alternates between interviews with these older men, now apologetic, philosophical, or defiant about their participation, and the footage they shot. It's chronological: basic training, the train trip East, roof-top vistas of war-torn Warsaw, peasants in Belarus, the downing with carbine volleys of a Russian plane, winter, a holiday at the Black Sea, mud, impassable roads, death, destruction and retreat. "Home, that was the front," one says. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Documentary | War

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21 May 1993 (USA)  »

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My Private War  »

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The photographs being developed in one scene show the famous Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan. See more »

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Shocking Evidence of Occupation and German Attitudes
6 August 2007 | by (St. Paul, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I agree with most of what Zardoz12 has to write, except that those were not "Polish death camps;" those were German Nazi death camps located in Poland, which makes all the difference in the world. As the Poles had the same Slavic "untermenschen" status as the Russsians, Ukrainians, and Belarussians, they were treated and suffered comparatively. And one should understand (as not many non-Slavs do these days) that all these peoples were going to be exterminated by the Nazi regime sooner or later. Most were slated to be slowly worked and starved to death doing slave labor for the Reich and its settlers. Remember the "Drang Osten" and "Lebensraum?" That's what it was all about.

There were two things that horrified me the most. First of all, the way the Germans seemed to have coaxed civilian women into burying other civilians and Soviet soldiers by crudely dumping their compatriots into mass graves. They seem to be doing so rather dutifully and stoically, which makes one wonder whether they were actually collaborators, or just doing so out of concerns for sanitation. There were in fact collaborators, but one must remember that after the horrors that Stalin perpetrated on the population in the 1930's, many people were desperate to escape him. Furthermore, it is well known that the very hungry peasants often did what they thought they had to do to survive. Add to that the fact that undoubtedly many people there — and especially the poorly educated and impoverished rural majority — did not really understand what the Nazis had in store for them, and it's not so simple as it may seem to us now.

The second thing is when you see that long line of captured and injured people and one of the German soldiers — obviously extremely nervous about this — says that, unfortunately, the manual doesn't say what to do when you have (I think it was approximately) 90,000 captives on hand. Hmmm…now, what do you think happened to them?


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