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Today's quote:

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Die Brücke


It was the viewing of this anti-war movie that gave me the courage to be a coward and leave Germany before they had a chance to conscript me into the "Bundeswehr". I was in such a hurry to leave that I didn't even read the autobiographical account by Manfred Gregor on which the movie was based.

That was in the early 'sixties, and only now, almost sixty years later and safe in far-off Australia, have I found the time to read about this group of German boys who were ordered to protect a small bridge in their home village during the waning months of the Second World War.



It was May 1945 somewhere in Germany. Only a few days before the capitulation. Seven Hitler-youth, who’ve been stuck into Wehrmacht uniforms, are deployed to defend a bridge of no strategic significance, equipped with nothing more than a few carbines and bazookas.

Abandoned by their senior officer, helplessly torn between a thirst for adventure and a confused belief that they must save the Fatherland, they take up the futile struggle just as the American tanks roll in.



"The Bridge", which achieved worldwide success as a book initially, followed in 1959 by the equally successful film version directed by Bernhard Wicki (and a 2008 television remake), is a memorial to a duped generation that was sent to the slaughter in the final days of World War Two.

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