Blind spots, in the present. The national socialist past in recent austrian films

Tobias Ebbrecht-Hartmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Many recent Austrian films engaging with the country's National Socialist past do not reconstruct wartime events. They rather focus on the present or on significant postwar events in order to indicate the aftereffects, continuing traces and persisting memories of the Holocaust. In doing so, documentary films such as Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz) or dramatizations such as Murer -Anatomie eines Prozesses (Murer - Anatomy of a Trial) review the history of postwar ignorance and silence and utilize it as an allegory for critically analyzing contemporary political conditions, especially concerning the rise of populist right-wing politicians and parties. Autobiographical films such as You Only Die Twice (Der Mann, der zweimal starb) indicate a change in perspective, integrating Jewish-Israeli experiences into Austrian memory as well. The article analyzes these films in the context of recent shifts in Austria's culture of commemoration and in relation to certain tendencies in Austrian cinema's engagement with the National Socialist past.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)535-555
Number of pages21
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • Austrian Cinema
  • Holocaust Films


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