Five friends gather in a bar in Berlin. It’s 1941. The German Wehrmacht readies its Russian campaign.This is now being set up for a bing watching.
Two of the five friends—brothers Wilhelm and Friedhelm—are on their way to fight on the Eastern Front. Charly has just finished training as a field nurse. She’ll follow behind the two, caring for the wounded. Greta wants to be a star like Marlene Dietrich. Viktor Goldstein is a Jewish tailor in love with Greta.
These five grew up together. It’s the last night before the war separates them. They dance, smoke, eat and listen to swing music. Wilhelm—the older brother—is confident the war will be over by Christmas.
Friedhelm—the younger brother—says that the war will only bring out the worst in them. He’s right.
This is the opening scene of Generation War—a three part mini-series that ran on German television under the title Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter.
It’s a tragedy in three acts and it’s fantastic. Rarely do Americans ever consider this side of World War II or see it rendered with such thought and care.
You can get it over at Amazon to keep if you wish, or chase it down on Netflix.
Heck ... you can see a lot of the scenes on YouTube: