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Crafting a Socialist Remembrance of the Holocaust. Konrad Wolf’s Zvezdi / Sterne from a Bulgarian Perspective

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Abstract

This paper addresses the Bulgarian-East German coproduction, Zvezdi / Sterne (1959), shot by East German filmmaker Konrad Wolf in collaboration with the Bulgarian scriptwriter Angel Wagenstein. Quite surprisingly from today’s perspective, the film depicts the deportation of more than 11,000 Jews from the territories in Yugoslavia and Greece occupied by Bulgaria during World War II, whose extradition to the Germans by the Bulgarian authorities contradicts the popular story of Bulgaria having “saved” its Jews. While the film has so far mostly been interpreted from an aesthetic angle as well as from an East German perspective, the present contribution concentrates on the peculiarities of both countries’ motivations connected to the movie by means of a discussion of the production protocols that have been preserved. Whereas the DEFA aimed to prove the existence of “another Germany” that was innocent of Nazi crimes, the Bulgarian side expected an anti-Fascist film with which its armed resistance against the German “occupier” could be underlined.
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hal-03632894 , version 1 (06-04-2022)

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Nadège Ragaru. Crafting a Socialist Remembrance of the Holocaust. Konrad Wolf’s Zvezdi / Sterne from a Bulgarian Perspective. Jan Gerber, Philipp Graf, Anna Pollmann (dir.). Geschichtsoptimismus und Katastrophenbewusstsein. Europa nach dem Holocaust, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlage, pp.151-178, 2022, 978-3-525-31736-5. ⟨10.13109/9783666317361.151⟩. ⟨hal-03632894⟩
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