Exploring Berlin During World War II – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Exploring Berlin During World War II

This spring, the Office of Intercultural Affairs will host a monthly, three-part German Film Series. 

In conjunction with Assistant Professor of German Mihaela Petrescu’s course “Sin City,” which focuses on Berlin during World War II, the film series has given Petrescu the opportunity to extend her student’s knowledge of Berlin outside of class work. 

“I selected the films for their effectiveness in addressing German sociopolitical issues and to illuminate lesser known aspects of German culture,” Petrescu says.

The first film, “Rosenstrasse” (2003), will be screened Wednesday, Feb. 24.  Directed by Margarethe von Trotta, “Rosentrasse” addresses mixed marriages in Nazi Germany, focusing on the Rosenstrasse Protest, where gentile women picketed outside Nazi jails waiting the release of their Jewish husbands.  Petrescu hopes that the film will prompt questions and discussion about an alternative history, one in which active protesting during World War II was more widespread.

“Nowhere in Africa” will be shown on Wednesday, March 31.  Selected by Petrescu for its critique of German colonialism, the 2001 film, directed by Caroline Link, tells the story of a German Jewish family who fled to Africa during World War II. 

The final film in the series, shown on Wednesday, April 21, is “Kebab Connection” directed by Anno Saul in 2004. “Kebab Connection” is a light-hearted romantic comedy about the Turkish minority in Germany.  The film follows a Turkish youth and his non-Turkish girlfriend and their struggle to gain the acceptance of their families.  The film has many subplots including one exploring German Kung-Fu. 

The film series is open to all students.  Each film is in German with English subtitles and will be screened at 6 p.m. at the Office of Intercultural Affairs (288 Pulteney Street).