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Inconceivable EffectsEthics through Twentieth-Century German Literature, Thought, and Film$
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Martin Blumenthal-Barby

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801478123

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801478123.001.0001

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The Return of the Human

The Return of the Human

Germany in Autumn

(p.122) 6 The Return of the Human
Inconceivable Effects

Martin Blumenthal-Barby

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the 1978 film Germany in Autumn, an omnibus film that was shot in immediate response to the events of the so-called “German Autumn,” a series of terrorist attacks by the Red Army Faction (RAF). The film is about two funerals: that of the industrialist hostage Hanns-Martin Schleyer, and the joint funeral of RAF leaders Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin, and member Jan-Carl Raspe. The significance of mourning and the public act of grieving evident in Schleyer’s funeral becomes apparent in contrast to the funeral of Baader, Ensslin, and Raspe, which is contested with respect to both its legitimization and its legitimacy. The chapter then examines how the question of humanization or dehumanization is confined to the question of presentation; and it is the task of cinematic presentation that the film pursues.

Keywords:   Germany in Autumn, German Autumn, Red Army Faction, Hanns-Martin Schleyer, Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, Jan-Carl Raspe, humanization, dehumanization

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