In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich ...
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In 1942, Friedrich Weimer's boxing skills get him an appointment to a National Political Academy (NaPolA) - high schools that produce Nazi elite. Over his father's objections, Friedrich enrolls, seeing this as his ticket out of factory life to university and a good salary. During his year in seventh column (fifth form), this innocence is altered as Friedrich encounters hazing, cruelty, death, and the Nazi code. His friendship with Albrecht, the ascetic son of the area's governor, is central to this education; a night in the forest hunting for escaped Russian POWs brings things to a head.Written by
Despite its English title "Before the Fall",this German anti-war film actually has the acronyme "NaPolA" for the original title.Outside the English-speaking countries it was distributed and broadcasted under the original German title,namely,"NaPolA". See more »
During Friedrich's glider flight, his helmet is securely strapped at the start but is shown unstrapped a few seconds later. He kept both hands on the glider's yoke. See more »
[reading from his essay]
"As childish as it sounds, the winter time and the sight of freshly fallen snow always fill us with inexplicable joy. Perhaps because as children, we associated it with Christmas. I always imagine myself the hero who killed dragons, rescued virgins, and freed the world from evil. As we went out yesterday to find the prisoners, I felt like that little boy who wanted to save the world."
But as we returned, I understood that I am part of the evil that I ...
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I have seen the German version of the movie, which has just been released in Germany on DVD. It has brought back very vivid memories especially the scene where the parents bring their boys to the school at the beginning of of the term. It was my mother who brought me there when I was about 11 years old, my father was a soldier in Russia. It was a sad moment when my mother left. but it was soon forgotten with all the regimented activity that we were submitted to. I was in that school till about 3 months before the war ended, when my mother asked for my release as my father was missing in Russia, she was concerned about my safety, all the bombing, and the Russian advances. I could have been called a Nazi, as much as you can call a 13 year old a fanatic of any political persuasion but serious doubts came to mind towards the end and the demise of National Socialism was no big loss to me. The final proof of the brutality of the regime was when a list of people to be arrested and sent to a Concentration Camp, was found in the Ortsgruppenleiters (Party Mayor) office with my mothers name on it. Reason "my removal from the Napola". I am now 74 years old and have been living in Australia for 52 years.
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