Unreconcilable Memories (Unversohnliche Erinnerungen)
One of the most recent documentaries from the “Witnesses of Our Times” series sponsored by Das Kleine Fernsehspiel, this fascinating double-portrait of two Germans living in West Germany was aired by ZDF on September 13, 1979. It is so recent that it was not possible to prepare a subtitled print for our series. However, Unreconcilable Memories is such a remarkable document that we have included it in a special afternoon slot in the hopes that German-speaking members of our public will attend.
Forty years ago Germans confronted each other in the Spanish Civil War on both sides of the barricades. One side fought in the International Brigades, the others in the Condor Legion. One side fought in order to defend the Republic against the fascist military coup, the others were sent by Hitler to support Franco. This conflict is the starting point for the film. A mason who fought in the International Brigade, and a retired General of the Bundeswehr who flew with the Condor Legion, offer their recollections of the Weimar Republic, the War in Spain, the end of the Third Reich, and the founding years of the Federal Republic in Germany. The contrast between the mason and the retired General - their memories, their viewpoints, their different destinies within the Federal Republic - suggests a bitterly ironic conclusion as to the moral and political climate in present-day West Germany.