A Defeated People

A Defeated People is a historical short documentary which was released in 1946 by the Crown Film Unit, the film depicts the shattered state of Germany after the second World War, both physically and as a society. What makes this film interesting is that the overall tone of it is one of sympathy towards the german people rather than the typical attitude of blame, which was more common for the time.

The opening scenes present us with a vastly devastated urban wasteland occupied by the miseries of those who were displaced during the conflict on home soil. The narration outlines some of the troubles which lie ahead of Germany with regards to rebuilding infrastructure and education systems. The film also inadvertently reveals a somewhat darker side to the British occupation after disclosing the fact that many Germans on living on near-starvation rations (1,000 – 1,200) per day.

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  1. Magnanimity at its finest.

  2. They got off lightly imo

    • Yes, they did. I find it more upsetting that so many people that supported Hitler and his Nazi regime ended up with relatively few consequences. The German people didn’t turn against Hitler, or even question his awful rhetoric and policies, until they started losing. Hundreds of thousands of them gathered to chant “Seig Heil” when Germany was winning. Why did the German public think they had a right to invade and occupy all of Europe? Even if mass murder wasn’t on the agenda, they were still so arrogant and dismissive of others that they celebrated each conquered nation. Not just conquering them, using their citizens as slave labor. Even if the German public didn’t know about the camps, which is basically a flat-out lie anyway, they certainly knew that foreigners were forced to work all over Germany and endure terrible treatment. There is no excuse for their actions, any of them. They should have let more of the camp survivors and slave laborers take up arms and deal out justice- and let the Germans live on the same rations they allowed for the laborers.