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The Count and the Comarade
Der Junker und der Kommunist
dir. Ilona Ziok / Germany 2009 / 72’
subtitles: Polish and English
Documentaries / essays

Film description

An important voice in the discussion about the 'good Germans'. A story about two German anti-fascists is a reflection on the sinusoid-like nature of assessment of modern history and about historical (in)justice. Without black-and-white simplifications, the film reveals the ambiguity of human choices and their consequences, illustrating the dramatic character of the past century.

Carl-Hans Graf von Hardenberg, a German count and high official, co-organiser of the plot against Hitler in 1944 and Fritz Perlitz, a communist activist who had fought against fascism from the very beginning, met in a concentration camp. There, they became friends. Despite conflicting opinions (monarchism versus communism) and differing social status (aristocrat versus worker), they were united by their love for ideas and their antifascist attitude. After the end of WWII Perlitz became a political activist in the German Democratic Republic and helped build a new system. Hardenberg was unable to regain his properties confiscated by the communists. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Fritz Perlitz was forgotten, while Hardenberg's family was rehabilitated and appreciated by public opinion again.

Which one of them fought for a cause indeed? Who deserved glory? And finally - can you measure how heroic heroism is?

Paulina Sieniuć

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