In: KulturPoetik 2008, Heft 2


Matthias N. Lorenz


Lügen, Märchen, Wunder. Normalisierung des Ausnahmezustands: Zur intertextuellen Verflechtung des Inkommensurablen im Holocaust- und Propagandafilm (La vita è bella, Italien 1997, und Die große Liebe, Deutschland 1942)




In 1942 both the Italian writer and former fascist Curzio Malaparte as well as the Nazi-Director Rolf Hansen used – independent of each other – a narrative schema that enabled them to portray and present the horror of allied bombings by a comical reinterpretation of reality in order to make it bearable. By this narrative means they anticipate one of the most successful Holocaust movies in history: Robert Bengini’s La vita è bella. The article compares the narrative strategies of Bengini’s work with Hansen’s Nazi propaganda movie Die große Liebe. It questions the preconditions and consequences of such »intertexutal discoveries« for the concept of a narrative normalization of an extreme and life-threatening situation by lies, fairy tales, and miracles.