The 4 1/2 hour runtime of this German TV movie is a blessing: it gives the predictable, routine screenplay many details and substance to lessen the bad contrivedness that wouldn't be as effective without it lingering. Nothing is wrong with making Nazi's sympathetic-- one should prefer dimension over thinness-- but Generation War's ideas are banal, despite minimalizing its rottenness with layered execution.
Often workmanlike despite its occasional grandeur, and alternately wishful and dutiful with respect to historical detail and psychosocial realism, Generation War is at war with itself throughout its long march from ostensible German innocence to willfully hellish German experience. Arguably too forgiving, but admirable in its stubborn humanism, and intermittently very compelling--as hell has a habit of being.
These characters, shown by this film as being somehow supposingly exemplaric, are totaly unrealistic. Their developent is even more unlikely. A sick wish of the generation from the "mitläufer": Well, they may have been racists and shot everybody, but in the end they were nice buddies... No. Those who did comply with the regimewere terrible people. I feel sorry for you, if they were your mum and dad.
Powerful character development. Those who criticize the film for alleged attempts at whitewashing complicity are too eager to see the world in black-and-white terms. In fact I think many of the characters come to share a sense of guilt. However, this is undoubtedly a work of fiction, and takes liberty with accepted history. Some of the characters feel sort of dull, but I was eager to finish the series once I started.
of course they had jewish friends, listened to swing music and saved little girls from ss villains. typical honourable soldiers of the german army. to think that this bs got public funding makes me sick. if you care about history, read this instead: http://www.verbrechen-der-wehrmacht.de/pdf/vdw_en.pdf