When kath is blogging

The Reader, The German… and The Chinese

Posted in TV + Movie, Uncategorized by Katharine on March 26, 2009

So I watched The Reader today. It was a good movie, I wish I haven’t read anything about it before. Anyway, I’m not writing about what happened in the movie, but it makes me think about the Nazi. Something puzzled me a little.

Everyone knows what the Nazi did during the WW2. Tons of people got persecuted, sent to the camps, literally the hell on earth. Then the war ended, Nazi lost their power, (supposedly) Hitler committed suicide. Camps closed. Then the country traced those prominent members of the Nazi group, and a series of trials were held.

Nowadays no one on earth shows any positive attitude towards the Nazi, at least I’ve never met one. This is exactly the part that puzzled me. It was such an influential power during the war, it got to be supported by the majority of their people. Once the war ended, where did those “majority population” go? They onces supported the Nazi, once the country lost the war, the people just turn their back to the Nazi. Not that I like the Nazi, but it simply doesn’t make any sense to me.

Some of the Nazi member came on to their job to perform (terrible thing) for the political group that the entire country was in favor. In another words, is it fair to say that they were prosecuting the other ethnic group for their country? So they did what the law, the country told the was right to do. Then why once the war ended, the country accused them for what they have done? Keep in mind, the country supported their action before.

Compare to China. In my opinion the Chinese government (then or now), have done some very questionable things. The Chinese knows about it, but the government still get support from most of their people nowadays. Maybe this is irrelevant, but after the Cultural Revolution, Mao is still loved by most of the Chinese. His face is still on the bank notes. So what happened in Germany?

Just sit back and think or a second. If 5 years later, there is a major revolution in China, and they say what they did to the Tibetan was so wrong. Would they persecute those who are in charge today? What could happen?

By the way, Kate Winslet was great, although I wasn’t really convinced that she was German in the movie. In a way, it reminds me having 3 Chinese women to be the Geishas. Not that they don’t look like Japanese or German, just that their attitude isn’t convincing. But I still love Kate Winslet.

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6 Responses

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  1. materix01 said, on March 29, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    There is one difference between Mao and Hitler which is why some people still love Mao while most people hate Hitler. Mao succeeded where Hitler didn’t. Also Western influences may of been part of the reason too. I doubt many people around me even know what Mao had done but everyone knows about Hitler… If you look at Russia, people like Stalin are horrible but he is loved and is still loved by more people than those that hate him. There is no guilt of a nation because they got away with it whereas Hitler did not. I mean Hitler did many great things for Nazi Germany but after the loss of WWII, it was the Victor’s justice. You have the guilt of a nation, who want to forget the past because it was declared by the allies that everyone who was not evil were used…

    The thing with Tibet is that like most Chinese, we believe that China have been misrepresented by the Western Media and all those protesters and that Tibet has always been part of China. Even if there was overwhelming evidence of wrongdoings, I would not feel guilty as keeping Tibet is beneficial to China. I mean how many Americans protested at the Iraq Invasion initially? And no one is doing anything to prevent all the crude oil being taken. Australia is doing exactly the same thing, stealing billions of natural gas(LGP which is just methane gas CH4). No one in Australia cares even if they know what is happening because it is in the best interests of Australia.

  2. Katharine said, on March 30, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I guess, you’re right, the only difference is being the winner vs being the loser. But I just get that sad feeling that people switched faces after their leader lost, even if that’s something they supported before …

    well, personally I don’t really think China have been misrepresented by the Western Media. In fact I feel like because of the western media, we get to know what is going on in China. With all those censorship from the Chinese government, do you think we can know anything about what’s happening? I never felt like Tibet is part of China. They have distinctive different culture, tradition, religion and language. To me those are some basic characteristic that defines a country, in most cases. I just don’t get what Chinese is trying so hard to keep what’s not Chines, Chinese. Tibet weren’t even part of China in the first place, it existed as an independent country first. funny thing is no one ever told me about Tibet’s status, but since I was little, I see Tibet as an independent country. So I was pretty shocked when I first heard that the tibetan wanted to be independent…Anyway, the only thing that stop them from being independent is that they don’t have a strong military power to back them up…

    About Iraq. I don’t know much about that, but as far as I concern, when I was living in the states, most of the public wants the troops withdraw out of Iraq. Maybe the American don’t demostrate extreme protest as the tibetan, but there are a lot of protest against the Iraq war.

    “No one in Australia cares even if they know what is happening because it is in the best interests of Australia.” I’ve never been in Australia, so you could be right, but I’d say this line might get you some trouble.

  3. materix01 said, on March 30, 2009 at 6:45 am

    WWII was just a simple example of the true evil humans are capable of. Many of the “war criminals” sentenced in the later trials of Auschwitz and Nuremberg involved individuals who held very ordinary jobs before the war. Some of the most ruthless people were clerks, blacksmiths and even teachers before the war. I wad reading testimonies about the “victor’s justice” from many of the defense lawyers involved and many allied troops. I mean, a “victor’s justice” is understandable, they need someone to pin the blame on all this. Many of the pilots of WWII for the allies were very afraid of losing the war because they knew that many of their actions such as the “shoot anything that moves” when raiding the countryside of Germany are clear war crimes. The allies couldn’t possibly say that the German people were all evil and sentence them all(else they’ll have a mini massacre on their hands) so they just pick a few people to blame and say the rest of the nation were ignorant or mislead.

    The scapegoat concept kind of reminds me of Saddam, I mean sure he may of been as bad as America made him out to be but I think they only made him a scapegoat because they couldn’t find Osama. I mean if America really wanted to end some dictatorships, why doesn’t he invade many of the African or Asian dictators?

    I am obviously going to be bias about Tibet because I am Chinese. I do admit, I always thought Tibet was a separate nation until I was made aware by all the protectors during the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. I saw the violent demonstrations and the first thing I believed before any bias had actually set in was that violent demonstrations were not the way. The way the Chinese handled these demonstrators are also wrong but it reminds me alot about Israel and Palestine. I get hit with a few rockets and I go overboard with force…

    The reason why China doesn’t want to lose Tibet is because they think Tibet is theirs, so they see no reason to just give it away. Or even if they knew it was not theirs, they don’t want to give it away. Same thing happened with Russia with Georgia recently. Obviously Tibet is far more complicated that a simple black and white answer,(I was my school representative for the Mini UN in Sydney and debated this for almost a whole day) so I suggest you do some research of your own and come to your own conclusions. China has invested heavily into Tibet too(has improved Tibetan economy by so much, especially in the agriculture industry) and no country would want a region they invested so heavily in to become independent. Some northern parts of China are frequent to terrorism because some northern regions want independence too. The thing is China itself is made up of 50+ distinctive regions with greatly varying culture, tradition, religion and language.

    With Iraq, I meant before they first invaded. I don’t remember protest rallies when America first declared the Invasion of Iraq. It was only after we became more aware of what was happening and the casualty figures… I mean if you ever have some free time, read and watch how devastating the American military were upon the Iraq Military during the Gulf and Iraq War. Some of their campaigns were very questionable, especially the destruction of fleeing enemy troops… Americans are finally figuring out what they’ve done but no politician wants to admit that America was just oil hungry and they can only admit mistakes were made. They can’t just withdraw from Iraq because they screwed it over in the first place and they need to try to tidy up the place as much as possible.

    Yeah I think I may have been abit strong but what I do know is that no one in the media wants to report about Australia’s mini invasion of PNG I think. We were justified in that we got the Americans to threaten Indonesia to withdraw military forces as we were sick of watching them screw around and then invaded the country. The people obviously are treated better now than before under the rule of the Indonesians. But once we got there, we maintain peace with our police force and military which is good and all but we also managed to siphon off billions worth of LPG. People would care but I don’t think we want to do much about it. I mean, when you are on the winning side, I’m probably not going to admit I was wrong. More Australians seem to prefer ignorance. The PNG Prime Minister half lives in Australia (my teacher calls him an Australian puppet).

  4. Katharine said, on March 30, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    First of all, you do love to write, plus you read a lot, which makes what you write interesting to read. Interesting thing is that I talked to a German few days ago. Although his English wasn’t that good in expressing himself, he did say that the majority of German didn’t like the Nazi during the war. You’re dead if you don’t support the Nazi, simple is that. Not sure how true this is, but interesting to hear.

    I don’t think America can just invade another country in the interest of ending dictatorships. Let’s face it, how much financial debt does the United States has? The American still have tons of problems to deal with themselves, they are not really in a position to take care of another country’s business. I think Iraq is an example of only causing more burden to American, when trying to “take care of the others”, when they don’t haven’t solves their own problem first.

    actuall there protest against the Iraq wars started in 2002 before the American invaded Iraq. Just it wasn’t in a huge scale compare to those going on after the american troops were really sent there. It was mostly done by those peace organization though. Probably at that time no one really care about what would happen if they do invade Iraq. But after they realize how much of their tax payment ends up in sending those bombs in Iraq, how much American were dead there and they are not winning the war still… They finally feel like they want the troops out of Iraq after realizing all that. If none of those happened, I don’t think they’d really care if they’re invading another country or not. It all comes down to money they pay out of their own pocket, and they’re suffering huge from the economy anyway. And yea, after all they’ve paid, money and lives, the government simply can’t just withdraw. They are already losing, and to do that would mean a bigger lost. At least, G.W.Bush can’t let himself to do that.

    China… well I’m Chinese too, born and spend most of my life living in Hong Kong. But I guess the political and media situation makes me look at Tibet Issue differently then other Chinese in mainland China. Sure China doesn’t want to lose Tibet. I guess it’s a humiliation as if your child who you paid so much in raising, tells you one day that he doesn’t see you as his parent. If they let Tibet go, they are going to have a tougher time with Taiwan. I think that’s one of the bigger concerns. The only reason I’d pro Tibet stay and remains as part of China would be the financial aid they’ve been getting from China. They do take all those money from China as a “Chinese states”. So in a way, they are accepting their status (being part of china) while receiving the money.

    some people argue that China is multicultural nation, and Tibet’s distinctive culture is just one among numerous amount of other Chinese culture. But come on, Tibetan has their own New Year, instead of celebrating the Chinese New Year. “An occupied country” I think this is the best description of Tibet I’ve ever heard.

    I honestly never heard about the Australian and the Papua New Guinea. But right, same thing with the other issue mentioned…when you’re wining, you are not going to mention what you’ve done wrong.

  5. materix01 said, on March 30, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Sorry if I do write alot but I love discussions like these. Modern History is my favourite subject at and I’ve spent 2 years studying WWI and WWII. It is probably true that they censored anti war demonstrations. There were many rebellion groups within Germany during WWII and many of their members were arrested and executed. Some of the most famous ones had teenage leaders that were tortured before sentencing. But the majority of Germans had supported the War. The Jews were made the scapegoats, with them being blamed for almost everything, primarily the loss of WWI and all the things that followed because of that. Hitler was able to bring a united Germany and overcome many of the boundaries imposed upon a disgruntled Germany.

    No country really has a right to meddle in the affairs of other countries. I mean it is none of their business. It does however leave the question where should we either intervene at all. For me personally, I don’t believe that you can intervene with another countries’s affairs without screwing things up. I agree with what you say about how America should be more concerned about their own circumstances but I don’t think there is any simple answer. I mean you can sort of apply the same example to World Vision(a charity). They encourage you to sponsor children in Africa but I know that even with a great social welfare system in Australia, many people within Australia are struggling and need support. I am really divided because whilst I really don’t think we can really help the poor children of Africa with people in our own country in need, I don’t think that abandoning Africa is really a viable path too… I’m not sure if you understand what I mean, it’s really hard to explain >.<”

    The majority of Americans only care because of the loss of American life and all the taxpayer dollars being used. I mean, I don’t really care when I see bombings around those regions. But I would start paying attention when they are Australian lives. The Iraq Palestine conflict doesn’t seem to fit though because everyone cares about it (even me). Maybe because of the large loss of life. Australians would definitely be far more aware of other issues if Australian troops started dying in those conflicts… The only reason no one is really doing anything about PNG is because Australia is getting away with it.

    I’m looking at the Tibetian issue the same way I look at Communism. Sure, there are many things that arn’t right. But nothing can really be done and everyone has their own story. Tibet has prospered under China and no real good will come out of their independence. WHo will finance Tibet if they ever become independant? India? The US? The Dalai Lama? The Tibetan nobility I think they were worse to the Tibetan population than the Chinese ever were. Ironically, Tibetans experience more freedom in many aspects of life under Chinese rule…
    Tibet is reliant on the Chinese economy. I mean there is no point replacing one governing body for another. At least with the Chinese, they can financially support you. The whole Russian Revolution of October 1917 saw an end to Tsarist Rule. They thought it would be equality for all. They soon realised that they just replaced one ruling class with another. I mean if we got rid of the Communists in China, who can manage China?

    One could say the same thing about the Northern Parts of China. The regions that want independence are actually mostly Muslim. They have a different religion. They celebrate different events (many Muslim). They eat different foods, have their own unique dialect, they even look different. So should they become independent? Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I actually don’t think who is right or wrong is really the thing we should be considering here. It’s more how practical it is. I mean, if we really wanted to be right, Australians should pack their bags and leave the country because technically the Aborigines (the indigenous people of Australia) should claim independence and govern their own country. The history of Australia is amazingly boring but cruel. Hundreds of thousands of Aborigines were killed by the British and more died from diseases brought by the British. In the last 100 years, Aboriginal communities are slowing challenging land rights. Ok, maybe I got abit sidetracked so I’ll leave it there but I don’t see how Tibet becoming independent will do them any good.

    You do make a very good point in that losing Tibet would be very bad for China’s stance on Taiwan. Would you say Taiwan is part of China or should it remain independent? Personally, I think that Taiwan should remain independent, they seem to be doing fine on their own (with American backing), and most Taiwanese don’t seem to like the idea of joining with China, although the Taiwanese political system is crazy… I rather have Communism lord over me than Taiwanese politicians. They are total animals… I’ve seen more civilised fighting in bars…

  6. Katharine said, on March 30, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Don’t be sorry. It’s very flattering that someone would spend times responding to my posts. I’m just trying to write something everyday, and don’t really expect to have anyone reading them. It is very nice to hear other people’s opinion.

    I visited Netherland 3 months ago, and there is this Anne Frank House (a museum now) in Amsterdam. A jewish girl who hid in this house with her family during the war, and her diary was published after she passed away when the war was over. I wish I knew more about the war when was there. It was like an unreal experience, to step into a space where the jewish were hiding (for 3 years I think), living under the fear of getting caught by the Germen. This was the closest I ever get to WW2.

    I get what you’re trying to say about Africa. It does feel like as if something’s wrong when you’re donating to African kids, while there are also people starving in China. Why do we help another nation when we still have these problem in our hand? well I don’t think I’ll ever get to know why. But maybe when you get to spare $3, you can donate $2 towards your country, and $1 to Afirca. The $1 can probably means a lot for an African kid. I think that if you have the financial ability, should really try to help other people out.

    I guess the American would pay more attention to the war at the beginning if they see more report. When I was living in New York, I don’t really remmember seeing much about the war on TV news. There might be some, but very brief, and just talking about numbers… If you really want to, you probably can live in the city without knowing about the war.

    I’m not sure how much freedom Tibentan get under the Chiense rule though, based on what i’ve been reading from the western media, and Hong Kong news on TV. Somewhere I read that Dalai Lama doesn’t want a full independence for Tibet, he wants “only wants greater autonomy for Tibet within China”. Here we’ve been told that Chinese government is making life in Tibet a “hell on earth”. At this point, after living with financial aid from China, and the Tibetan learnt to live with the help, it will be difficult for them to live without it again. What will Tibet get if they got independence? Dignity is the only thing they’ll ever win in this war. But you know, some people do choose dignity over bread…

    well for a nation to be independent it definitely need be in an economic situation that support that… Mongolia (if you are talking about them) I really don’t think they can really support themselves… not to mention the mongol invaded and ruled china in the history. I see them more “Chinese” then the Tibetan…

    Australian and aboriginal. yea… same as what the American did to the native American. Some American I know do get pretty pissed about what they’ve done in history in order to get this “great land of opportunity”

    I think Taiwan should be independent, even it makes more sense to have Taiwan as part of China, then the Tibetan… China is called “the People’s Republic of China”, while Taiwan is called “Republic of China”. To me they are all just saying they’re “Chinese”, and they are both part of “China”, just that they have different political view. It’s understandable for the Taiwanese to dislike the idea of joining with China… After having the capitalism for all those years, and now you are telling them a different system and different way of working? Even Hong Kong people scared about reunited with China before 1997…


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