17 August 2007 | goedbier
Worth Viewing, But Missed the Mark
This film deals with the plight of Germany's former eastern population at the end of World War II. Most Americans are unaware of the brutal and criminal expulsion of some 14 million Germans from their homes in what is now Poland. Millions of innocent men, women and children were murdered by the advancing Red Army. The Germans tried to flee, but their treks were rolled over by Soviet tanks and they were mowed down by a hail of machine gun fire. We will not discuss how the Russians treated German women. Those Germans who did not flee were forced to either become Polish or leave their homeland. Most of them decided to leave since they were already being treated like second-class citizens (examples: German language forbidden, economic sanctions, etc).
Many people have been waiting for a film like this to break the silence. For years no one dared mention the expulsion of the Germans. German war crimes got plenty of air time, but the evil that was brought down on innocent German civilians never seemed to be of much importance.
The film is about a woman who, at the start, is living in West Germany. She has a daughter, and after hearing that her father is sick, she moves back to East Prussia to help him. As the story moves forward, the Russians are getting closer and closer to Eastern Germany. The family decides to build a wagon and flee, which is against the law. The Nazis did not want the people to show any signs of defeatism, so they forbade the population any type of retreat.
The film could have shown more Soviet atrocities to show what hell it really was for these poor people. The film shows some of the horror, but a couple of times it focuses back on German crimes, which we hear about every time we turn on the History Channel.
That should suffice for a general idea of what the film is about. No spoilers are needed here. Spoilers really do ruin a film.
Watch the movie and learn something about German history.