Hitler, a great big Tunisian queen?

Some curious intercultural business in Der Untergang.

Some curious intercultural business in Der Untergang, seen last night up on Verdi with Spanish subtitles:

  • The subtitlers, among other oddities, don’t seem to have figured out cases, telling us that the “The Russians have arrived at the station of Lehrter.” Der Lehrter Bahnhof–currently undergoing massive renovation–was so-called in German because it served Lehrte.
  • The ground bass that introduces and shadows the bunker-tomb section is quite similar to the opening chorus from Bach’s cantata BWV no 78, Jesu, der du meine Seele, but the harmonisation and some of the voice-leading indicates that the film’s composer has just plagiarised and watered down the accompaniment to the wonderful aria “When I am laid in earth” from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. I guess that German audiences don’t know much Purcell, but I have problems with the notion that Dido’s great, doomed love is in any way worthy of comparison to whatever drove Hitler. Fortunately the producers of the Dido episode of Star Trek showed more class.
  • Did the Russians really put on spontaneous folk-dance spectacles as they entered central Berlin?

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