Friday, 18 March 2011

Anyone dies alone

The mug shots of Otto and Elise Hampel

Otto and Elise Hampel were the kind of people everyone could call "normal", if this thing named "normality" exists. Under the Hitler's Reich they were treated as just illiterate workers, Otto as factory worker and Elise as housekeeper, and both lived a life in accordance with the nazis' rules: while he had fought in the World War, she was an active member of the "Women's League", even ending up leading a group of this nazi organization. But as sometimes the changes just need a flame, the Elise's brother's death in the war meant for the couple the beginning of a clandestine struggle against the nazi's propaganda through handwritten leaflets they were spreading all over Berlin. It's touching and moving to read the postcards, they were mispelled and with a rough writing, but with powerful mottos such as "Hitler's war is the worker's death" or "Free Press".

"Hitler's regime will bring us no peace"

Yes, as you could imagine by the upper pictures after more than 2 years of activity they were detained, jailed and finally murdered on April 8, 1943. Until that point they had tried hard to discourage people from collaborating with Hitler's terror regime and, without knowing, they became the history that Hans Fallada wanted to recreate on his "Alone in Berlin", the history of how a poor and uneducated couple could defy the Gestapo itself.

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