The Reader
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The Reader Movie Review & Film Summary (2008) | Roger Ebert

The Reader Movie Review & Film Summary (2008) | Roger Ebert | The Reader | Scoop.it
The crucial decision in "The Reader" is made by a 24-year-old youth, who has information that might help a woman about to be sentenced to life in prison, but withholds it. He is ashamed to reveal his affair with this woman. By making this decision, he shifts the film's focus from the subject of German guilt about the Holocaust and turns it on the human race in general. The film intends his decision as the key to its meaning, but most viewers may conclude that "The Reader" is only about the Nazis' crimes and the response to them by post-war German generations.
Lauren's insight:

This is a movie review by Roger Ebert. Mr. Ebert is a very respected film critic and is very informative in this article. His article offers a summary and in-depth look at symbolic and cultural differences. 

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Occupation Areas of Germany after 1945 Map - Germany • mappery

Occupation Areas of Germany after 1945 Map - Germany • mappery | The Reader | Scoop.it
This was an actual poster to be shown in the occupied Germany after the WWII.
Lauren's insight:

This is a map of Germany during World War 2. This is the layout of Nazi Germany. Hanna began in Belgium and worked her way down to Berlin and got a job as a SS Guard. This map shows how Hanna worked for the SS and her base while in the Nazi party.

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The SS - Death's Head - YouTube

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The SS- Death’s Head tells of what the SS was like in performing assignments, punishments, and accounts of guards and survivors. The film begins with the telling of one of the younger SS guard brothers account, saying how young he was and tried to keep up with older workers trying to show that he isn’t the ignorant child he was being called. Survivors recount the type of punishments that they received and how they viewed the SS men. Mrs. Bulina recounts how she saw German men on horsebacks that left trials of blood from their victims on the trial as they came home. Mrs. Bulina also tells of how men had to dig their own graves. This documentary reveals the inhumane actions that were committed by guards during WWII.

 

            This documentary connects to the book because Hanna was a SS Guard, and trialed later on in court. Micheal watches as he learns more about the woman that he loved as a young man and the secret that she never told him. The trial takes place about ten years later after Micheal’s and Hanna’s affair ended, and Micheal is studying law. Hanna is accused of going against orders and killing a large group of woman in a church, and lighting it on fire. The trials cause controversy because the woman also accused gang up on Hanna, causing her to take complete responsibility of the mass killing, shortening their time in jail. Later on, Hanna is sentenced to life in prison for the rest of her days where she would later hang herself. This documentary brought the fate in which Hanna sentenced herself to from the past that she accepted and the actions that she committed.  

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The Reader

Summary of The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Lauren's insight:

In The Reader, the setting is post war Germany and the main character is Micheal, who informs the reader that he is sick with hepatitis and still recovering. As he is walking home he falls ill, throws up in the alley, collapses, and starts crying. He refuses to believe he is sick and just wallows in his pity. While Micheal is crying, an older woman in her mid-thirties comes up to him, helps him up, and brings him back to her home where she cares for him that night. In the spring after he’s made a full recovery he goes back to thank her, and while there feels a romantic spark. They begin an affair despite the age difference all throughout the summer which consists of romantic meet ups, Micheal reading to Hanna, and them keeping everything a secret. One day Micheal is heading to Hanna’s when all of a sudden, he realizes that Hanna is no longer living there and no one knows where she’s gone. As Micheal is studying law, he expectantly see’s Hanna after so many years during a SS trail that could ultimately determine if she will spend her life in prison. While on trial, Micheal finds out that Hanna is actually illiterate, and takes the blame for the other women who are on trial with her. During her time in prison, Micheal sends her gifts and books teaching her how to read, and after serving 18 years in prison, she is told she will be released. On her last day of prison, Micheal visits her to comfort her in knowing that he will help her adjust into the new world and leaves feeling contempt. The next morning, Micheal is informed that Hanna had committed suicide the day of her release and Micheal is left to deal with his own feelings and remorse of the information.

 

  The three scopes that I will focus is the relationship between the two, the trial, and the loss of Hanna. The relationship begins as a whirlwind affair that will cause immense emotions and heartbreak for Micheal, just like the war to the world. Micheal said, “The next night I fell in love with her.” (Schlink 27) This captures the naivety of young Micheal and how fast he falls for this woman and the sacrifices he makes to pleasure and conform to her will. Moving on through heartbreak, Micheal moves on with his life, but during the trial that Hanna is a part of, he is reminded of all the memories that the relationship brought and how he felt for Hanna. Micheal goes every day to the court to see the trial and Hanna. Micheal says, “During the weeks of the trial, I felt nothing: my feelings were numb.” (Schlink 100) This shows how effected Micheal was from the break up and how desperate he is to know the past of the woman who didn’t share anything but a bed during their relationship. After Hanna’s sentencing and confinement in prison, Micheal and Hanna form a friendship unrelated to their past relationship. Micheal sees her having a possible future after prison and is stricken with guilt after Hanna commits suicide. “In the first few years after Hanna’s death, I was tormented by the old questions of whether I had denied and betrayed her, whether I owed her something, whether I was guilty for having loved her.” (Schlink 216) The reader see’s just how Micheal didn’t know how to understand or accept Hanna’s passing and how hard it is to get over someone that they have loved and talked to through most of their lives. 

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Nuremberg War Crimes Trials

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Lauren's insight:

Douzinas details the beginning stages of the war till the Nuremberg trials that took place in November 20, 1945. Eventually twenty-two Nazis were prosecuted. Six were major leaders, such as Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, and Joachim von Ribbentrop, while others were chosen to represent different parts of the Nazi state. The trials were concluded on 30 September 1946. Twelve defendants, including Goering and Ribbentropp, were sentenced to death. Hess was sentenced to life imprisonment, six defendants to various prison terms, and three were acquitted. Those sentenced to death were hanged on 16 October 1946. Some of the accused committed suicide before their punishment could be carried out. The Nuremberg Trials are so significant because not only was it a turning point for law but a turning point for the world. World War 2 was so traumatic and so many lives were lost on both Allied and Axis forces that these trials brought a lot of relief to the families that were effected during the war.

 

            Douzinas and Schlink both capture the intensity of the courtroom. Douzinas talked of how many lawyers and leaders were there and listening and attending every day, waiting to hear how many Nazi leaders were going to be sentenced. Schlink describes his view of the courtroom by intensifying Micheal’s attention and need to see how Hanna’s sentencing goes. Schlink described how the audience was listening to every word and waiting for Hanna’s verdict. Schlink wrote, “They felt that Hanna was ridiculing the trial, the verdict, and themselves, they who had come to hear the verdict read out.” (Schlink 162) All of the audience had this thirst to hear how Hanna was going to be sentenced for her actions and how she was going to react, but all throughout the trial, she had the calm demeanor she always had. The trials would bring relief to the other women involved in the trial, aggravation for Micheal because he knew Hanna’s secret, and Hanna’s acceptance of her past. 

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The Reader Movie Official Trailer (2008) - YouTube

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as ...
Lauren's insight:

This is the movie adaption of the Reader. This film was released in 2008 and would go on to be nominated for Oscars and would win. The Reader is a very acknowledged movie among movie goers and interprets the book very closely.

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There was never a good war, or a bad peace

There was never a good war, or a bad peace | The Reader | Scoop.it
demons:
“ An SS guard photographed while beating a concentration camp prisoner.
Lauren's insight:

This picture is provocative because it shows the harsh treatment enforced by SS guards in holocaust camps during World War 2. This is significant because Hanna was a SS Guard and went to trial for it later in the book.  This picture shows possible punishment Hanna could have enforced on a prisoner. 

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The National WWII Museum | New Orleans

The National WWII Museum | New Orleans | The Reader | Scoop.it
Lauren's insight:

The National WWII Museum’s exhibits cover the epic and global scale of the war that changed the world, in a voice that is intimate and personal. Exhibits not only highlight the role of world leaders, but also the everyday men and women who found the strength and courage to accomplish the extraordinary. This museum brings the history of WWII to life when visitors come by housing three buildings that tell the stories of missions, war meetings, veteran’s stories, and reenactments. The museum opened in 2000 and has collected veteran artifacts and stories that are highlighted throughout the museum. The museum preserves all artifacts, stories, and respects all veterans as a way to remember our fight for freedom. The museum accepts donations from anyone and allows the public to purchase bricks in honor of family or relatives to show your support towards the museums work.

 

            The Reader takes place in post-World War Two, and is a theme all throughout the book. The book talks about how the world was adjusting due to the aftermath of the war, the consequences of action taken during the war, and the acceptance of the world changing. The trials in which Hanna goes through could be similar to the Nuremberg trials which are demonstrated at the National WWII Museum. The National WWII Museum demonstrates the prequel and details the war in which inspired the rising action.

 
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Dating and the age gap: When is older too old?

Dating and the age gap: When is older too old? | The Reader | Scoop.it
When dating, determining the maximum age gap is like trying to find out how tall a tree happens to be.
Lauren's insight:

 “Dating and the age gap: When is older too old?” is an article that is viewed in present day and the input as to how old is too old. Golub talks of how his personal experience as someone in his mid- 40’s was talking and courting a woman in her early to mid-20. Golub talks about how it might seem creepy or desperate to talk to this woman, but if you hear a about someone in their early 70’s and someone in their 50’s, it’s ok. Golub talks of celebrities, male and female, who have ventured in their relationships to new ages, literally. Golub talks about how the guide line to dating someone is to cut the age in half, and add 7. It’s an unspoken guideline to help people determine a standard to branching out and finding possible mates.             

 

            Schlink starts off the first third of the book by introducing the love interest between Micheal and Hanna. Hanna is 36, and Micheal is 15. Schlink makes it seem that it’s just a hopeless romantic feel, like puppy love, but leads into a complicated relationship between the two. Hanna keeps a distance between the two, but Micheal who has never had a true relationship before falls for Hanna unlike anyway he ever has before. Schlink writes, “When she had fallen asleep lying on me, and the saw in the yard was quiet, and a blackbird was singing as the colors of things in the kitchen dimmed until nothing remained of them but lighter and darker shades of gray, I was completely happy.” (Schlink 43) This shows that everything about the world when Micheal is with Hanna makes everything bright, happier, and overall nicer when she’s around. I feel everyone connects to this part in Micheal’s life because everyone has gone through their first love, heartbreak, and the remembrance of yearning to be with that person every day, every hour, every second because everything was just better. Even though the two were past the general standard of cut your age in half and add seven, the two did create a bond that was estranged and controversial.  

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Death March

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Lauren's insight:

 In the article, "Death March", Castellino summarizes what a death 
     march looked like in World War 1 as well as World War 2. Castellino 
     described a death march as, " It signifies the process by which a 
     regime, usually a government or an occupying power, begins to summon 
     members of a particular nation, group, or subgroup—on the basis of their 
     ethnicity, religion, language, or culture—with a view to their 
     elimination." Castellino references how the Death March was originally 
     seen during the Ottoman Empire in 1915, with the attempt to exterminate 
     Armenians by making them march towards the Syrian desert. Castellino 
     would then reference how the Nazi regime would take all the Auschwitz 
     inmates in January of 1945, and force them to walk for miles in the weather 
     and not help them. This march was sought to disguise their agenda of 
     destruction and to make it look as though the mass killings were fallout of 
     the attacks on Germany by the Allied forces.  
      
     In the book Hanna is on trial from her days as a SS guard, where she is 
     being charged of being the sole leader of a group of SS women working 
     during the Death March. She is being tried as taking charge and telling the 
     other SS guards to take all the Jewish women that were in the group, force 
     them into a near by church, lock them in, and set the church on fire 
     causing mass deaths. The "Death March" written by Castellino, gave the 
     historical account of death marches in history and can give the reader an 
     idea of what the Jewish prisoners were already going through. The book 
     references a piece of evidence during the trial which was a memoir of a 
     Jewish girl and her mothers tale of surviving. The little girl wrote, "The 
     misery began when the camp was closed and the prisoners set off towards the 
     west." (Schlink 120) The little girl wrote of the tattered clothes that 
     barely made it through the concentration camps, along with how they were 
     given no proper shoes, food, or water through out the journey. This account 
     in the book connects the article written by Castellino because it ties the 
     actual history that took place in Germany in 1940's, and what the book 
     wrote about to tie his character of Hanna together.  

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