Discussion:
stanley kubrick's Paths of Glory plausible?
(too old to reply)
ville terminale
2004-02-15 20:22:48 UTC
Permalink
i heard the french government banned this movie from being shown.

now, i know that people in power have always abused the machinations
of power to sweep their own mistakes under the rug while sacrificing
underlings as scapegoats. this has been a universal truth throughout
history, in all spheres of life...

however, france during WWI was a republic which operated under the
rule of law, with proper checks and balances. so, could an abuse as
egregious as the one in paths of glory really have taken place in just
that way in france of WWI?

was it based on real cases of injustice? or, does the movie simply
make something that was implausible come across as plausible for those
who don't know much about history?
John A. Stovall
2004-02-15 20:35:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by ville terminale
i heard the french government banned this movie from being shown.
now, i know that people in power have always abused the machinations
of power to sweep their own mistakes under the rug while sacrificing
underlings as scapegoats. this has been a universal truth throughout
history, in all spheres of life...
however, france during WWI was a republic which operated under the
rule of law, with proper checks and balances. so, could an abuse as
egregious as the one in paths of glory really have taken place in just
that way in france of WWI?
was it based on real cases of injustice? or, does the movie simply
make something that was implausible come across as plausible for those
who don't know much about history?
Based on historical fact.

http://www.shotatdawn.org.uk/flanders.offen.htm

Have your read the novel by Humphrey Cobb the film is based on?

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0380015056/103-6590884-5088658?v=glance



********************************************************

"A courier sent through the battlements, bloody and loud
With words of farewell, and the letters he carried were proud
"Grieve not, little darlin', my dyin'
If Texas is sovereign and free
We'll never surrender and ever will liberty be.""

"Remember the Alamo"
by Jane Bowers
spamoff
2004-02-15 20:41:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by ville terminale
i heard the french government banned this movie from being shown.
now, i know that people in power have always abused the machinations
of power to sweep their own mistakes under the rug while sacrificing
underlings as scapegoats. this has been a universal truth throughout
history, in all spheres of life...
however, france during WWI was a republic which operated under the
rule of law, with proper checks and balances. so, could an abuse as
egregious as the one in paths of glory really have taken place in just
that way in france of WWI?
Why not ? After all, the United States is a 'republic which operates under
the rule of law, with proper checks and balances', and yet they kill people
under the guise of 'punishment', they conduct illegal wars of aggression in
violation of international charters and treaties which they themselves have
signed and ratified, they hold prisoners captured in such unlawful wars of
aggression for years with neither trial nor access to legal representation,
they pass laws which suspend certain constitutional protections, they
impose fingerprinting at their borders for tens of millions of innocent
travellers every year, they deny consular assistance to foreign nationals,
only to execute them years later (in blatant violation of the Vienna
Convention), they carry out almost two thirds of the (illegal) executions
of child offenders, and to cap it all, their president isn't even elected.

So yeah ... anything goes, really.
--
Spam_off
Michael Fuhr
2004-02-15 21:24:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by ville terminale
i heard the french government banned this movie from being shown.
now, i know that people in power have always abused the machinations
of power to sweep their own mistakes under the rug while sacrificing
underlings as scapegoats. this has been a universal truth throughout
history, in all spheres of life...
however, france during WWI was a republic which operated under the
rule of law, with proper checks and balances. so, could an abuse as
egregious as the one in paths of glory really have taken place in just
that way in france of WWI?
Let me guess: you've never served in the military. Aside from the
fact that governments can bypass "proper checks and balances"
whenever they want, militaries -- especially in wartime -- operate
under their own sets of rules that have little to do with justice.
Post by ville terminale
was it based on real cases of injustice? or, does the movie simply
make something that was implausible come across as plausible for those
who don't know much about history?
Methinks thou art a troll, but I'll bite. What makes you think the
situation is implausible? Wear a uniform for a few years during a
major conflict and see if you don't loose your naivete.

Some people even think _Catch 22_ is a comedy, the poor fools.
--
Michael Fuhr
http://www.fuhr.org/~mfuhr/
Kingo Gondo
2004-02-15 22:24:46 UTC
Permalink
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat, but I at least gave
you some credit for brains, education, etc.

I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did you'd
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.

None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on their
way to the front?

Oh boy....
Your Pal Brian
2004-02-16 03:09:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat,
Amen!
Post by Kingo Gondo
but I at least gave
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did you'd
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on their
way to the front?
Oh boy....
Truffaut agrees with Gaza, though for slightly different reasons:

"The film's weakness -- what keeps it from being an irrefutable indictment -- is
a certain lack of psychological credibility in the 'villain's' behavior. There
were, certainly, during World War I, a number of similar 'war crimes', barrages
aimed at our own troops out of error and ignorance and confusion rather than
from personal ambition. Cowardice is one thing, cynicism another. This
general, who is both cowardly and cynical, is not very believable. The
screenplay would have been strengthened if one officer, a coward, had panicked
and ordered a barrage on his own troops, and another officer had had the three
survivors shot as an example....

"I would have thought that Stanley Kubrick, who from the start had decided not
to try to distribute his film in France, could have found better examples of
military abuses in more recent wars. They abound: pillaging by French officers;
the Indochina war with all the scandals we know so well; the Algerian war, with
which, after Henri Alleg's experience, the director could have posed his
'question' more effectively.

"In any case, despite its psychological over-simplification and its
theatricality. PoG is an important film that establishes the talent and energy
of a new American director, Stanley Kubrick."

That's from The Films In My Life. He makes the same complaint about the Eddie
Albert character in Attack.

I feel a person could manage cowardly and cynical if they set goals and work
hard.

Brian
Kingo Gondo
2004-02-16 04:20:29 UTC
Permalink
Truffaut knew films, but not the history of warfare, I guess--it is replete
with the worst cynicism, even by the "good" guys (the 59th anniversary of
the firebombing of Dresden was just a few days ago; the "sending a message
to the Russians" factor in the calculus to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the
"rehabilitation" by the US of Japanese butchers...err...scientists from the
infamous Unit 731; and on, and on, and on).

From the First World War alone, we have von Falkenhayn's "plan" for
Verdun--bare cynicism as strategy, resulting in hundreds of thousands of
casualties on both sides. And when it comes to the less savory types, there
is no limit imaginable to such deeds (e.g. Stalin holding the Red Army on
the outskirts of Warsaw). And let's not even touch upon the massive cynicism
evident in some prominent "commanders-in-chief" today....

Eddie Albert's character in Attack is not credible, period, which is one
among many other reasons Attack is not a film I would call comparable to
Paths of Glory.
Post by Your Pal Brian
I feel a person could manage cowardly and cynical if they set goals and work
hard.
Oh, there is no need to suppose--ever hear of a "chickenhawk"?





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JW Moore
2004-02-16 05:22:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Your Pal Brian
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat,
Amen!
Post by Kingo Gondo
but I at least gave
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did you'd
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on their
way to the front?
Oh boy....
"The film's weakness -- what keeps it from being an irrefutable indictment -- is
a certain lack of psychological credibility in the 'villain's' behavior. There
were, certainly, during World War I, a number of similar 'war crimes', barrages
aimed at our own troops out of error and ignorance and confusion rather than
from personal ambition. Cowardice is one thing, cynicism another. This
general, who is both cowardly and cynical, is not very believable. The
screenplay would have been strengthened if one officer, a coward, had panicked
and ordered a barrage on his own troops, and another officer had had the three
survivors shot as an example....
"I would have thought that Stanley Kubrick, who from the start had decided not
to try to distribute his film in France, could have found better examples of
military abuses in more recent wars. They abound: pillaging by French officers;
the Indochina war with all the scandals we know so well; the Algerian war, with
which, after Henri Alleg's experience, the director could have posed his
'question' more effectively.
"In any case, despite its psychological over-simplification and its
theatricality. PoG is an important film that establishes the talent and energy
of a new American director, Stanley Kubrick."
That's from The Films In My Life. He makes the same complaint about the Eddie
Albert character in Attack.
I feel a person could manage cowardly and cynical if they set goals and work
hard.
Such obtuse quibbling -- imagine "theatricality" in a motion picture! This wasn't a
freaking documentary.

~~Jack
Sdicht
2004-02-16 13:35:02 UTC
Permalink
Stephen E. Tabachnick, in the Afterword of my edition of the novel
Paths of Glory (by Humphrey Cobb), discusses this. He notes that many
reviewers found Cobb's book unplausible - but Cobb "anticipated it"
and added a note giving historical sources for the story. Many
articles are cited, but one in particular, from The New York Times in
July 2, 1934, seems to have inspired the book. Cobb could have written
the book solely from this newspaper clipping. The headline: FRENCH
ACQUIT 5 SHOT FOR MUTINY IN 1915; WIDOWS OF 2 WIN AWARDS OF 7 CENTS
EACH. The story is similar to what happened in PoG. Five soldiers,
chosen by lot were shot for mutiny of their company in 1915. I'll
reproduce most of it:

"On April 19, 1915, the Sixty-third Infantry returned to the trenches
a fter a bloody expedition into the German lines in the St. Mihiel
sector. The Fifth Company (...) was almost cut to pieces. But the
Fifth had the best fighting record in the regiment, and the superior
command needed the men. The ranks were filled with raw recruits, who
were expected to be counter-balanced by seasoned veterans. The Fifth
returned immediately to the front lines while other companies rested.
'At the moment when the fifth returned to the front,' says the
official record, 'the German machine gunners set up a terrific,
endless fire. The trenches were a living hell. The dead from the
preceding attack were piled one upon the other, and there was not a
foot of ground on which there was not a corpse.' The officers of the
Fifth gave order to go over the top, but the men did not move. The
commanding officers met shortly afterward and decided that
representatives of the whole company should be taken before the
Council of War. Five men were chosen by lot, one from each squad. The
men appeared before the council, and were ordered to be killed by a
firing squad. When the present review court opened, one of the
justices remarked that the War Council never would have sentenced the
men if it had known how they were chosen."
Sawfish
2004-02-16 17:19:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Your Pal Brian
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat,
Amen!
Post by Kingo Gondo
but I at least gave
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did you'd
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on their
way to the front?
Oh boy....
"The film's weakness -- what keeps it from being an irrefutable indictment -- is
a certain lack of psychological credibility in the 'villain's' behavior. There
were, certainly, during World War I, a number of similar 'war crimes', barrages
aimed at our own troops out of error and ignorance and confusion rather than
from personal ambition. Cowardice is one thing, cynicism another. This
general, who is both cowardly and cynical, is not very believable. The
screenplay would have been strengthened if one officer, a coward, had panicked
and ordered a barrage on his own troops, and another officer had had the three
survivors shot as an example....
This comment leads me to believe that in the film, the barrage is actually
staged. In the book, the barrage is ordered, but the captain of artillery
refuses the order. There is no barrage. In anger and frustration, the
general orders the summarty judgement on the regiment, and after a series
of reductions, it is gotten down to three men. One is drugged because he
has broken his leg, another is permitted to become drunk, and only the
protagonist is executed saober and comprehending.

If it's true that the film permitted the barrage, then I'd say that it was
a dramatic miscue, and that Kubrick is responsible.

<SNIP>
Post by Your Pal Brian
I feel a person could manage cowardly and cynical if they set goals and work
hard.
I'm living proof.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shit <------------------------------------------------------------> Shinola
"Which is which?" --Sawfish
catch of the day
2004-02-16 07:42:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat, but I at least gave
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did you'd
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on their
way to the front?
Oh boy....
then why did the french try to ban this movie up to the 70s? why were
they adamant that it slanderously misrepresented the french military?

why didn't the douglas character call on the free press?
D. Patterson
2004-02-16 11:38:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat, but I at least gave
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did you'd
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on their
way to the front?
Oh boy....
then why did the french try to ban this movie up to the 70s? why were
they adamant that it slanderously misrepresented the french military?
why didn't the douglas character call on the free press?
Free press! What free press??? It was the Great War, and newspapers were
censored...by the same government.
Boaz
2004-02-16 17:12:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by D. Patterson
Post by catch of the day
then why did the french try to ban this movie up to the 70s? why were
they adamant that it slanderously misrepresented the french military?
The film was also banned on American military bases as well.

As for the French, by the 1970s, most of those old enough to have
remembered WWI were dead. The younger generation of French who were
part of the New Wave movement probably helped in getting POG shown in
their country. Also by that time, Kubrick was hailed as a world class
filmmaker, and to leave out even one of his works would have been
wrong, especially to a country that loves cinema. But, anyway, once
enough water passed under the proverbial bridge the film was
recognized as a masterpiece in France.
Post by D. Patterson
Post by catch of the day
why didn't the douglas character call on the free press?
Free press! What free press??? It was the Great War, and newspapers were
censored...by the same government.
Actually, Douglas did at one point threaten to contact the newspapers
about the courtmartial. This is the scene near the end when Douglas is
speaking to Menjou at the ball. Menjou gets angry with Douglas for
threatening him with this exposure, to which Douglas explains how so
many things went wrong regarding the courtmartial that someone had to
pay and that the public should be known about it, presenting copies of
the deopsitions of the battery commander and others who saw McCready
order the artillery to fire on his own men for not leaving the
trenches. Then Menjou regains his composure and takes the depositions,
placating Douglas by saying he would look into the matter, and then
returns to his party. The next day, however, the execution is carried
out, and it is at the breakfast later on that Menjou brings up the
subject to McCready about the artillery incident, adding that an
inquiry will be necessary. Realizing it's his ass, McCready walks out,
presumably to resign his commission (and perhaps to fall on his sword,
in a manner of speaking). Manjou offers Douglas McCready's job and
Douglas tells Menjou what he can do with the offer. This angers Menjou
again, then he explains to Douglas that he feels he and his fellow
superior officers are doing a good job running the war (at probably
the same time Prime Minister Clemenceau was saying that war was too
important to be left to the generals, a quote echoed later on in DS).
Douglas has turned down the offer, but now it is too late to bother
the press on the matter, so many other battles will be fought and the
stalemate along the front will continue another year or two. Kubrick's
view is that the deaths of three soldiers unjustly accused of
cowardice is overshadowed by the slaughter of millions -- whether it
is by firing squad or by being ordered to charge into a hail of
machine gun fire, it is all the same, carrying out orders by superiors
who are old men still thinking of war in nineteenth century terms.

It is quite likely that the French papers would have not printed such
a story, due to the stalemate and the need to avoid any "why are we
here?" editorials to find their way to the public and the soldiers,
but that is all irrelevant to the much larger view Kubrick was trying
to present in the film. Douglas' character was a lawyer in civilian
life, and he was merely trying every device he could think of to bring
what he felt was proper justice to this whole mess. But, considering
the overwhelming circumstances of the war itself, little would have
been accomplished by exposing the scandal at that time.

Boaz
Bill Reid
2004-02-16 20:48:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boaz
Post by D. Patterson
Post by catch of the day
why didn't the douglas character call on the free press?
Free press! What free press??? It was the Great War, and newspapers were
censored...by the same government.
Actually, Douglas did at one point threaten to contact the newspapers
about the courtmartial. This is the scene near the end when Douglas is
speaking to Menjou at the ball. Menjou gets angry with Douglas for
threatening him with this exposure, to which Douglas explains how so
many things went wrong regarding the courtmartial that someone had to
pay and that the public should be known about it, presenting copies of
the deopsitions of the battery commander and others who saw McCready
order the artillery to fire on his own men for not leaving the
trenches.
Yes, and note that there was a photographer at the execution, and
the condemned men were told that they should act like men and
not embarass their families. How would their families know what
happened if it wasn't covered in the press?

The Menjou character knew that the story would be covered
in the "free press" and deliberately set up the scar-faced general to
take the fall for it, skillfully and overtly diverting attention from
his own incompetence.

I mean, that was the actual plot if you actually watched the movie.
As far as historical accuracy is concerned, I've always heard this was
based on a true event, and the movie was praised by Winton Churchill
for historical accuracy.

---
William Ernest Reid
D. Patterson
2004-02-17 13:08:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Reid
Post by Boaz
Post by D. Patterson
Post by catch of the day
why didn't the douglas character call on the free press?
Free press! What free press??? It was the Great War, and newspapers were
censored...by the same government.
Actually, Douglas did at one point threaten to contact the newspapers
about the courtmartial. This is the scene near the end when Douglas is
speaking to Menjou at the ball. Menjou gets angry with Douglas for
threatening him with this exposure, to which Douglas explains how so
many things went wrong regarding the courtmartial that someone had to
pay and that the public should be known about it, presenting copies of
the deopsitions of the battery commander and others who saw McCready
order the artillery to fire on his own men for not leaving the
trenches.
Yes, and note that there was a photographer at the execution, and
the condemned men were told that they should act like men and
not embarass their families. How would their families know what
happened if it wasn't covered in the press?
No one said the execution would not appear in the press. The whole purpose
of the execution was to publicize it for its effect at intimidation and
diverting responsibility away rom the General Staff. It was Col. Dax's
exposé of the General Staff and the court martial's irregularities which the
military censors would never allow to be published.
Post by Bill Reid
The Menjou character knew that the story would be covered
in the "free press" and deliberately set up the scar-faced general to
take the fall for it, skillfully and overtly diverting attention from
his own incompetence.
Also diverting attention away from the incompetence of the rest of the
French General Staff.
Post by Bill Reid
I mean, that was the actual plot if you actually watched the movie.
As far as historical accuracy is concerned, I've always heard this was
based on a true event, and the movie was praised by Winton Churchill
for historical accuracy.
---
William Ernest Reid
I bought the DVD when it was released as a must for the collection. It has
held up very very well over the years.

Yes, it is a very accurate portrayal of the attitudes of the period. A great
uncle was a U/S. Army Surgeon with the AEF and French Army. He commented on
the authenticity of the film's depiction of the way people behaved in the
period.

The historical perfidy of the French General Staff was demonstrated in real
life. General Pershing refused to allow the French to continue the dispersal
of American divisions under French and British commands and postpone the
deployment of the U.S. First Army on the front. Pershing offered the French
an American offensive, which the French command regarded as an impossible
objective to achieve. When the time came for this first offensive by the
U.S. First Army, however, the French General Staff spared no effort to make
sure it was the first and last. To ensure failure, the French General Staff
had the details of the American offensive leaked to the newspapers in
Switzerland, where they were published, complete with the hour and minute of
the planned attacks, orders of battle, and objectives. A French Corps was
positioned at the point of the German salient, with one U.S. Corps on each
flank in the offensive, so a failure of the offensive would have resulted in
thousands of French casualties. Fortunately for everyone concerned, the
American offensive was an outstanding victory, despite the nearly perfect
intelligence of the American offensive which the French supplied to the
Germans.
Randall Coleman
2004-02-17 03:55:38 UTC
Permalink
I was in Paris when Paths of Glory was released. My recollection is that it
opened in a couple of art houses and had a quiet run. This truly was
ancient history by the 70s.

Dudley du Pont
Post by Boaz
As for the French, by the 1970s, most of those old enough to have
remembered WWI were dead. The younger generation of French who were
part of the New Wave movement probably helped in getting POG shown in
their country. Also by that time, Kubrick was hailed as a world class
filmmaker, and to leave out even one of his works would have been
wrong, especially to a country that loves cinema. But, anyway, once
enough water passed under the proverbial bridge the film was
recognized as a masterpiece in France.
catch of the day
2004-02-16 19:14:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by D. Patterson
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat, but I at least
gave
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did
you'd
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on
their
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
way to the front?
Oh boy....
then why did the french try to ban this movie up to the 70s? why were
they adamant that it slanderously misrepresented the french military?
why didn't the douglas character call on the free press?
Free press! What free press??? It was the Great War, and newspapers were
censored...by the same government.
relatively speaking. it wasn't like stalinist russia or nazi germany.

and, were there specific cases of individual soldiers being
scapegoated at the firing line in the manner as presented in paths of
glory?

i agree with the movie's position that the powerful manipulate those
with less or no power. i also believe that superiors oftentimes
scapegoat inferiors. general mccarthur took credit for whatever
successes on the battlefield regardless of his involvement in strategy
and shoved blame onto underlings(and sometimes even
superiors--truman)when things went bad despite the disaster largely
being the result of his miscalculation.

but was any french soldier condemned to be shot for exactly the reason
as given and after exactly that kind of farcical trial in paths of
glory?
Kingo Gondo
2004-02-16 17:17:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat, but I at least gave
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did you'd
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on their
way to the front?
Oh boy....
then why did the french try to ban this movie up to the 70s? why were
they adamant that it slanderously misrepresented the french military?
Uh, I guess you never heard of a guy named "DeGaulle", either, or have any
idea what he meant.

Gaza, you're pissing away any intellectual credibility you ever had (putting
aside your root insanity).

Read a book about something other than films once in a while, you dolt.
Post by catch of the day
why didn't the douglas character call on the free press?
Oh, yeah--that free press back in 1917 wartime France.

Clown.

If you were not a nut, I'd suggest you get a life; seems pointless in this
case, however....
catch of the day
2004-02-17 08:57:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat, but I at least
gave
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did
you'd
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on
their
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
way to the front?
Oh boy....
then why did the french try to ban this movie up to the 70s? why were
they adamant that it slanderously misrepresented the french military?
Uh, I guess you never heard of a guy named "DeGaulle", either, or have any
idea what he meant.
degaulle was a liberal conservative, not a dictator. he restrained the
extreme military officers from carrying out a putsch over algeria.
also, under degaulle extreme leftwing intellectuals--just about every
french thinker--said, wrote, and protested as they wished. was any
book or article by sartre censored by degallue? degaulle's minister
of culture was former communist malraux.

also, there were checks and balances within french democracy, which is
why i find it strange that a movie could have been banned. we all know
what nixon stood for but movies like 'in the year of the pig' and
'hearts and minds' got made and screened in america. american
government knew full well that movies like 'battle of algiers' and
'burn' were being used as training tools by black panthers and other
radicals but those films were still available.

also, french politics, far more than american politics, had a strong
leftist component. the communists plus the socialists in post war
france were major players. so explain how the conservative french
government, when its intellectuals and its leftwing political parties
were far more extreme and powerful than their counterparts in america,
had been able to ban certain films when it could do nothing about far
more dangerous activities of guys like sartre. was there certain
amount of collusion between the right and left to keep certain matters
swept under the carpet? for example, it appears both sides wanted to
maintain the myth of the nationwide french resistance during Nazi
occupation... that is until marcel ophuls dismantled the myth with
'sorrow and the pity'. does this mean that both the french right and
left didn't care so much about free expression as ideological
priorities? regarding paths of glory,
perhaps it wasn't just degaulle but french culture as a whole. maybe
the left also didn't care for outside--mostly american--interference
or critique of french issues, especially since the movie's dialogue
was in that damned english. still, it's something of a puzzle that a
democratic country with such vocal culture of dissent would have
allowed films like paths of glory and le petit soldat to be censored
when french intellectuals were free to spout off endlessly about the
evils of french intervention in vietnam, algeria, against capitalism,
for maoism, stalinism, castroism, etc.

also, were there specific cases during WWI when french soldiers were
arbitrarily selected and shot for not advancing against the enemy?
perhaps, wartime policy called for execution of deserters and
mutineers, but those soldiers in paths of glory were neither. they
didn't charge because no one else did. was any french soldier executed
as scapegoat by the french military because his entire platoon didn't
charge into the battlefield?

or was paths of glory an exaggeration in order to dramatize and drive
home the point of how power CAN be abused.
for example, Clear and Present Danger does present a possible scenario
of presidential abuse; it's still not based on reality nor all that
plausible. the idea of american soldiers being abandoned like that
sounds to me too hollywoodish. but, it exaggerates the theme of abuse
of power to grab our attention, to render it more compelling for the
mass audience. did paths of glory similarly toy with the details or
were french soldiers ever executed for such arbitrary reasons during
WWI?
and, why shouldn't one raise such questions? i admire paths of glory;
also, bridge on the river kwai, saving private ryan, and grand
illusion. however, i have problems with all of them though i'd be
offended by banning of those films. river kwai doesn't show the true
nature of japanese atrocities in prison camps; i don't buy that
american soldiers would have let a nazi soldier walk away blindfolded;
and the german military prison in grand illusion struck me as no worse
than a boyscout camp.

at any rate, france should not have banned the movie, but there must
have been something thing the constitution that allowed that kind of
exercise of power. i think british government also has the power to
ban books or movies for reasons for national security but in the case
of paths of glory, it was more a matter of national honor which wasn't
a good enough reason.
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, you're pissing away any intellectual credibility you ever had (putting
aside your root insanity).
Read a book about something other than films once in a while, you dolt.
Post by catch of the day
why didn't the douglas character call on the free press?
Oh, yeah--that free press back in 1917 wartime France.
Clown.
If you were not a nut, I'd suggest you get a life; seems pointless in this
case, however....
take a breather. i'm not worth getting all worked up over.
Sawfish
2004-02-17 14:20:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Gaza, we all know you are crazier than a shithouse rat, but I at least
gave
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
you some credit for brains, education, etc.
I take you have no basic knowledge of WWI at all, because if you did
you'd
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
be familiar with the mass mutinies of French troops in 1917, and the
response of the French high command to such.
None of this sounds familiar to you? The troops derisively bleating like
sheep (as in "being led to the slaughter") when passing by officers on
their
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
way to the front?
Oh boy....
then why did the french try to ban this movie up to the 70s? why were
they adamant that it slanderously misrepresented the french military?
Uh, I guess you never heard of a guy named "DeGaulle", either, or have any
idea what he meant.
degaulle was a liberal conservative, not a dictator. he restrained the
extreme military officers from carrying out a putsch over algeria.
also, under degaulle extreme leftwing intellectuals--just about every
french thinker--said, wrote, and protested as they wished. was any
book or article by sartre censored by degallue? degaulle's minister
of culture was former communist malraux.
also, there were checks and balances within french democracy, which is
why i find it strange that a movie could have been banned. we all know
what nixon stood for but movies like 'in the year of the pig' and
'hearts and minds' got made and screened in america. american
government knew full well that movies like 'battle of algiers' and
'burn' were being used as training tools by black panthers and other
radicals but those films were still available.
also, french politics, far more than american politics, had a strong
leftist component. the communists plus the socialists in post war
france were major players. so explain how the conservative french
government, when its intellectuals and its leftwing political parties
were far more extreme and powerful than their counterparts in america,
had been able to ban certain films when it could do nothing about far
more dangerous activities of guys like sartre. was there certain
amount of collusion between the right and left to keep certain matters
swept under the carpet? for example, it appears both sides wanted to
maintain the myth of the nationwide french resistance during Nazi
occupation... that is until marcel ophuls dismantled the myth with
'sorrow and the pity'. does this mean that both the french right and
left didn't care so much about free expression as ideological
priorities? regarding paths of glory,
perhaps it wasn't just degaulle but french culture as a whole. maybe
the left also didn't care for outside--mostly american--interference
or critique of french issues, especially since the movie's dialogue
was in that damned english. still, it's something of a puzzle that a
democratic country with such vocal culture of dissent would have
allowed films like paths of glory and le petit soldat to be censored
when french intellectuals were free to spout off endlessly about the
evils of french intervention in vietnam, algeria, against capitalism,
for maoism, stalinism, castroism, etc.
Maybe that's the key: dissent is tolerated freely about certain topics,
but is off-limits about others.

Contrast the post-war French national self-image with that of the Germans:
there is little self-damaging introspection going on that I can see. Why,
they seem downright chauvinistic!!!

From the POV of an outsider--but one who enjoys observing, and to a degree
categorizing--national cultures, French culture seems incredibly easy on
itself. Little guilt, remorse, recognition seem to trouble the Gallic
mind. And this is OK by me, but one must always bear in mind that when
evaluating a cultural point-of-view, such nuances as to what degree the
culture popularly takes responsibility for its actions must be considered,
or one is apt to get a distorted view.
Post by catch of the day
also, were there specific cases during WWI when french soldiers were
arbitrarily selected and shot for not advancing against the enemy?
perhaps, wartime policy called for execution of deserters and
mutineers, but those soldiers in paths of glory were neither. they
didn't charge because no one else did. was any french soldier executed
as scapegoat by the french military because his entire platoon didn't
charge into the battlefield?
But they were charged with a misdeed that would permit an example to be
made of them, and this because the commanding officer had his reputation
on the line. There is no charge of "refusing to charge individually or en
masse" that I'm aware of, not that it would matter, since the commanding
officer would select the charge he wanted to emphasize.
Post by catch of the day
or was paths of glory an exaggeration in order to dramatize and drive
home the point of how power CAN be abused.
for example, Clear and Present Danger does present a possible scenario
of presidential abuse; it's still not based on reality nor all that
plausible. the idea of american soldiers being abandoned like that
sounds to me too hollywoodish. but, it exaggerates the theme of abuse
of power to grab our attention, to render it more compelling for the
mass audience. did paths of glory similarly toy with the details or
were french soldiers ever executed for such arbitrary reasons during
WWI?
and, why shouldn't one raise such questions? i admire paths of glory;
also, bridge on the river kwai, saving private ryan, and grand
illusion. however, i have problems with all of them though i'd be
offended by banning of those films. river kwai doesn't show the true
nature of japanese atrocities in prison camps; i don't buy that
american soldiers would have let a nazi soldier walk away blindfolded;
and the german military prison in grand illusion struck me as no worse
than a boyscout camp.
at any rate, france should not have banned the movie, but there must
have been something thing the constitution that allowed that kind of
exercise of power. i think british government also has the power to
ban books or movies for reasons for national security but in the case
of paths of glory, it was more a matter of national honor which wasn't
a good enough reason.
I don't know how the French constitution is written, nor to what degree it
is enforced as a constructionist document, or whether it is reinterpretted
in light of current situations, like the 1st and 2nd ammendements of the
US BoR.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish
Kingo Gondo
2004-02-17 17:32:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by catch of the day
take a breather. i'm not worth getting all worked up over.
A moment of clarity after untold bytes of logorrhea.
catch of the day
2004-02-18 06:40:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by catch of the day
take a breather. i'm not worth getting all worked up over.
A moment of clarity after untold bytes of logorrhea.
what's that? diarrhea after swallowing a log?
Spiv
2004-02-15 22:47:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by ville terminale
i heard the french government banned this movie from being shown.
now, i know that people in power have always abused the machinations
of power to sweep their own mistakes under the rug while sacrificing
underlings as scapegoats. this has been a universal truth throughout
history, in all spheres of life...
however, france during WWI was a republic which operated under the
rule of law, with proper checks and balances. so, could an abuse as
egregious as the one in paths of glory really have taken place in just
that way in france of WWI?
was it based on real cases of injustice? or, does the movie simply
make something that was implausible come across as plausible for those
who don't know much about history?
The girl who played the German girl who was forced to sing to the French
soldiers ..Kubrick married her and they lived happily ever after near
Harpenden, and subsequently Hollywood had to go to Stanley, as all his films
after were made in England. He hated leaving England, despite being an
American. .....er.. well the story was based on a true one.
Sawfish
2004-02-16 02:44:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by ville terminale
i heard the french government banned this movie from being shown.
now, i know that people in power have always abused the machinations
of power to sweep their own mistakes under the rug while sacrificing
underlings as scapegoats. this has been a universal truth throughout
history, in all spheres of life...
however, france during WWI was a republic which operated under the
rule of law, with proper checks and balances. so, could an abuse as
egregious as the one in paths of glory really have taken place in just
that way in france of WWI?
was it based on real cases of injustice? or, does the movie simply
make something that was implausible come across as plausible for those
who don't know much about history?
I think that the circumstances detailed in PoG (the book--I've not seen
the film) would be possible in many, many armies of the early 20th C.
--
--Sawfish
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"If there's one thing I can't stand, it's intolerance."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Stanley L Lock
2004-02-16 13:48:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by ville terminale
i heard the french government banned this movie from being shown.
dear terminale,

Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" is an grouping of incidents that
happpened to the french army in 1917.
The French government, while nominally a republic, has never hesitated
to ban or act in the governments own good favor to the destruction of
the french peoples public good over the governments own interest.
The French Republic is infamous for protecting public or military
officiers reputations over what is the truth.
You have only to look at the Dreyfues affair to get a grasp of the
French Army and its officier Corps in action.
Very little had changed in the French Officier corps from Dreyfues
affair(1870's to 1920's is only a fifty year period) to the great
mutiny.
Post by ville terminale
however, france during WWI was a republic which operated under the
rule of law, with proper checks and balances. so, could an abuse as
egregious as the one in paths of glory really have taken place in just
that way in france of WWI?
egregoius the abuse of power may have been, but those incidents
actually happened to the French Army in 1917. It really happened and
it was true to general history of "the great mutiny"
Post by ville terminale
was it based on real cases of injustice? or, does the movie simply
make something that was implausible come across as plausible for those
who don't know much about history?
yours truly,

Stanleverlock
gmoreau
2004-02-16 17:23:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stanley L Lock
Very little had changed in the French Officier corps from Dreyfues
affair(1870's to 1920's is only a fifty year period) to the great
mutiny.
The Dreyfus affair 1894 - 1906, not in the 1870's...
Post by Stanley L Lock
egregoius the abuse of power may have been, but those incidents
actually happened to the French Army in 1917. It really happened and
it was true to general history of "the great mutiny"
Damn, these french cowards never change!
Kingo Gondo
2004-02-16 23:51:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by gmoreau
Post by Stanley L Lock
Very little had changed in the French Officier corps from Dreyfues
affair(1870's to 1920's is only a fifty year period) to the great
mutiny.
The Dreyfus affair 1894 - 1906, not in the 1870's...
Post by Stanley L Lock
egregoius the abuse of power may have been, but those incidents
actually happened to the French Army in 1917. It really happened and
it was true to general history of "the great mutiny"
Damn, these french cowards never change!
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and suffered
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
Sawfish
2004-02-17 03:17:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by gmoreau
Post by Stanley L Lock
Very little had changed in the French Officier corps from Dreyfues
affair(1870's to 1920's is only a fifty year period) to the great
mutiny.
The Dreyfus affair 1894 - 1906, not in the 1870's...
Post by Stanley L Lock
egregoius the abuse of power may have been, but those incidents
actually happened to the French Army in 1917. It really happened and
it was true to general history of "the great mutiny"
Damn, these french cowards never change!
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and suffered
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
...and therein lies another contrast in cultural norms.

The WWII Japanese rank-and-file were hideously expended in a predictably
futile effort to keep their top "leadership" from having to admit that it
was wrong. Hence, they died by the 100's of thousands.

But no mass mutinies. Nossir.
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shit <------------------------------------------------------------> Shinola
"Which is which?" --Sawfish
D. Patterson
2004-02-17 13:16:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sawfish
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by gmoreau
Post by Stanley L Lock
Very little had changed in the French Officier corps from Dreyfues
affair(1870's to 1920's is only a fifty year period) to the great
mutiny.
The Dreyfus affair 1894 - 1906, not in the 1870's...
Post by Stanley L Lock
egregoius the abuse of power may have been, but those incidents
actually happened to the French Army in 1917. It really happened and
it was true to general history of "the great mutiny"
Damn, these french cowards never change!
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and suffered
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
...and therein lies another contrast in cultural norms.
The WWII Japanese rank-and-file were hideously expended in a predictably
futile effort to keep their top "leadership" from having to admit that it
was wrong. Hence, they died by the 100's of thousands.
But no mass mutinies. Nossir.
Oh, there were mutinies, but they were led by the militarist officers who
started and and sustained the war. They murdered senior officers, diplomats,
and politicians who opposed them. When Emperor Hirohito commanded the
unconditional surrender of Japan, these same militarist officers mutinied
and attempted to hold the emperor and his surrender recording hostage, until
the surrender was revoked and disavowed. Lacking sufficient support, their
final mutinies failed.
Post by Sawfish
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Post by Sawfish
Shit <------------------------------------------------------------> Shinola
"Which is which?" --Sawfish
Sawfish
2004-02-17 18:09:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by D. Patterson
Post by Sawfish
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by gmoreau
Post by Stanley L Lock
Very little had changed in the French Officier corps from Dreyfues
affair(1870's to 1920's is only a fifty year period) to the great
mutiny.
The Dreyfus affair 1894 - 1906, not in the 1870's...
Post by Stanley L Lock
egregoius the abuse of power may have been, but those incidents
actually happened to the French Army in 1917. It really happened and
it was true to general history of "the great mutiny"
Damn, these french cowards never change!
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and suffered
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
...and therein lies another contrast in cultural norms.
The WWII Japanese rank-and-file were hideously expended in a predictably
futile effort to keep their top "leadership" from having to admit that it
was wrong. Hence, they died by the 100's of thousands.
But no mass mutinies. Nossir.
Oh, there were mutinies, but they were led by the militarist officers who
started and and sustained the war. They murdered senior officers, diplomats,
and politicians who opposed them. When Emperor Hirohito commanded the
unconditional surrender of Japan, these same militarist officers mutinied
and attempted to hold the emperor and his surrender recording hostage, until
the surrender was revoked and disavowed. Lacking sufficient support, their
final mutinies failed.
PLease note that I am talking about rank-and-file mutinies ("mass
mutinies" like in British India, c. 1850), not near coups
d'etat, which is what the pre-war militarist coterie was up to.

I'm talking about failure for the rank-and-file to follow the orders of
their command chain. You're talking about squabbles within the command
chain over who gets to command.

Are you aware of any popular mutinies by the Japanese army/navy during
WWII?
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish
D. Patterson
2004-02-18 01:30:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sawfish
Post by D. Patterson
Post by Sawfish
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by gmoreau
Post by Stanley L Lock
Very little had changed in the French Officier corps from Dreyfues
affair(1870's to 1920's is only a fifty year period) to the great
mutiny.
The Dreyfus affair 1894 - 1906, not in the 1870's...
Post by Stanley L Lock
egregoius the abuse of power may have been, but those incidents
actually happened to the French Army in 1917. It really happened and
it was true to general history of "the great mutiny"
Damn, these french cowards never change!
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and suffered
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
...and therein lies another contrast in cultural norms.
The WWII Japanese rank-and-file were hideously expended in a predictably
futile effort to keep their top "leadership" from having to admit that it
was wrong. Hence, they died by the 100's of thousands.
But no mass mutinies. Nossir.
Oh, there were mutinies, but they were led by the militarist officers who
started and and sustained the war. They murdered senior officers, diplomats,
and politicians who opposed them. When Emperor Hirohito commanded the
unconditional surrender of Japan, these same militarist officers mutinied
and attempted to hold the emperor and his surrender recording hostage, until
the surrender was revoked and disavowed. Lacking sufficient support, their
final mutinies failed.
PLease note that I am talking about rank-and-file mutinies ("mass
mutinies" like in British India, c. 1850), not near coups
d'etat, which is what the pre-war militarist coterie was up to.
I'm talking about failure for the rank-and-file to follow the orders of
their command chain. You're talking about squabbles within the command
chain over who gets to command.
Are you aware of any popular mutinies by the Japanese army/navy during
WWII?
Very small scale mutinies, yes, Large scale popular mutinies, no.

I recall reading a postwar story about some Japanese of a bypassed island
garrison who killed their officers rather than comply with a command to
engage in cananbilism.
Post by Sawfish
--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Post by Sawfish
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. But give a man a boat,
a case of beer, and a few sticks of dynamite..." -- Sawfish
catch of the day
2004-02-17 09:47:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by gmoreau
Post by Stanley L Lock
Very little had changed in the French Officier corps from Dreyfues
affair(1870's to 1920's is only a fifty year period) to the great
mutiny.
The Dreyfus affair 1894 - 1906, not in the 1870's...
Post by Stanley L Lock
egregoius the abuse of power may have been, but those incidents
actually happened to the French Army in 1917. It really happened and
it was true to general history of "the great mutiny"
Damn, these french cowards never change!
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and suffered
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
well, there wasn't much of that bravery left by the time WWII came around.
William Black
2004-02-17 17:06:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and suffered
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
well, there wasn't much of that bravery left by the time WWII came around.
Are you saying ordinary French soldiers didn't fight bravely and die in
WWII?
--
William Black
------------------
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
is no basis for a system of government
catch of the day
2004-02-18 06:41:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and
suffered
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
well, there wasn't much of that bravery left by the time WWII came around.
Are you saying ordinary French soldiers didn't fight bravely and die in
WWII?
yes.
William Black
2004-02-18 18:42:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and
suffered
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their inept
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
well, there wasn't much of that bravery left by the time WWII came around.
Are you saying ordinary French soldiers didn't fight bravely and die in
WWII?
yes.
Liar.
--
William Black
------------------
Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
is no basis for a system of government
Kingo Gondo
2004-02-19 00:43:21 UTC
Permalink
Liar.
Close--Gaza.
catch of the day
2004-02-19 08:52:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kingo Gondo
Post by William Black
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
Actually, the French soldiers served with incredible bravery and
suffered
Post by William Black
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
outrageously in WWI. What led to the mutinies was the way their
inept
Post by William Black
Post by catch of the day
Post by Kingo Gondo
leadership squandered their lives so carelessly.
well, there wasn't much of that bravery left by the time WWII came
around.
Post by William Black
Are you saying ordinary French soldiers didn't fight bravely and die in
WWII?
yes.
Liar.
not only did the french not put up much of a fight, the majority
enthusiastically collaborated with the Nazi occupiers.

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