Carson Stenroos, Unit 8 Assignment 1

Shadows of the Summit Pointing West:

!: I didn’t know there were multiple summits of world leaders, especially 15 years after the war had been over.

?: Has NATO had significant roles in foreign policy since after the war?

Hitler Within You:

!: I had never thought about the generation growing up after World War 2 and also having to deal with the consequences of things that happened during the war.

?: Can someone uninvolved with the Third Reich but still supporting it be punished as helping with the Holocaust?

Human Dignity is Violable:

!: I think it is interesting that the text says democracy is the ONLY form of statehood that can ensure human dignity.

?: The profits of war never outweigh the losses, but does that mean it is never the right idea to declare war?


!: I’m surprised that columnists aren’t influenced by the editor when making their part of the paper.

?: How well have Germans been allowed to write what they want and how they want it? Has that been restricted in the past or now?

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum:

!: I didn’t realize the power the officers had to be able to get into and go through someone’s house if they wanted.

?: How did a strict law enforcement effect the privacy of citizens at the time?

Baader-Meinhof Komplex:

!: I could not believe how much crime the RAF got away with before the main leaders were thrown in jail.

?: What would the RAF have looked like if their leaders made it back out of jail and continued on with the movement?

Gardella: Unit 8 Assignment 2

My portfolio is a general investigation of truth, which (as seen in my definitions) is closely related to humanities. Richter’s paintings challenge my ideas of truth, especially the way I view art as a translation. In Professor Tamura’s unit we studied the photograph as a translation of truth and in Professor Bory’s unit, we studied abstract paintings (far from the realism of photo-journalism) as translation of truth. Now, in Unit 8, we are examining paintings based off of photographs.

Why would Richter paint a subject that has already been expressed in a photograph? Which is the better* representation of Meinhof: photograph or painting?

*I interpret “better” as closer to truth.

I think that I can make two different arguments regarding the reality vs. representation of Meinhof:

The first, is that the painting is less accurate of a representation because it is one step away from reality and therefore, creates distance from what actually happened. This argues: truth –> gaze –> photograph –> painting. Because Richter’s paintings blur the images from the photos, the subject is harder to see/understand.

On the other hand, I could argue that the painting is more accurate of a representation because it provides abstraction of the image, which, like Rothko, brings us closer to emotion and the truth. This argues: truth –> gaze –> painting –> photograph. Because Richter’s paintings blur the images from the photos, they break down the clear subject into brushstrokes and colors which can evoke more accurate emotion.

Why would Kurt, as an artist want to paint a photograph?

Why would he want to reproduce an image that has already been captured?

Does Richter believe that mediums like photography/painting create a harmless distance or harmful representation of reality?

Unit 8 Post 2 – Kade McCulloch

Blurred Reality

Both Richter and Kurt choose to paint photographs that reveal some story about their lives. They both make the choice to blur these photographs, thus shrouding the reality of the images. To Richter and Kurt, the photographs have no greater meaning, they are simply. photos from different period in their life that give them comfort. In the film. “Never Look Away,” Kurt learns the phrase “everything that is true is beautiful” from his Aunt Elisabeth. Both of these artists expose the unequivocal truth, but there is no greater meaning that these paintings are supposed to represent. This ambiguity allows the viewer to use their imagination to connect these photos. They are consistent in both their style and in the fact that they are nothing more than a series of photographs to the viewer. When I went to the Holocaust Museum over Thanksgiving break this past fall, I remember a towering room of photographs from a Lithuanian village in which all of its inhabitants were murdered. I remember this being the most powerful thing that struck me at the museum. They represented nothing more than reality; pictures of kids playing in the streets, portraits of doctors, lawyers, bankers, and workers, and the most powerful of which was a baby playing in a swing. These images don’t show photos of the horrors of the Holocaust and if it weren’t for the background information, they are just a seemingly insignificant compilation of family photographs. And in some obscure way, the impact of supposedly meaningless photographs reveals a greater truth, as it allows us as viewers to uncover the truth for ourselves through imagination.

Unit 8 Assignment 2: Luna Jerjees

In attempting to understand the meaning behind paintings and portrayals, it is often difficult to differentiate the artist’s intentions from the perspective of the viewer. Gerhard Richter’s paintings of Ulrike Meinhof, as a series, see the gradual change in the images from the beginning as a clear image based off the photograph to a, in the last image, very blurred, blended creation. In the progression of the paintings, we see Meinhof slowly distancing from reality. The once well-known terrorist slowly fading to nothingness. She, in the last image, takes on a much more human form, in which this idealized figure becomes just like the common man. Gerhard Richter’s youth portrait of Ulrike Meinhof paints a different picture, however. She appears young, a rising, new face in the fight against this new Germany. She appears youthful, untroubled by the years of work that she will face later. In this portrait, she is a person, not a character, she has not been demonized or dehumanized by the media. This is a way to identify with her on a much more physical, intimate level. However, in the “Dead” series of paintings, after many years with the RAF, Meinhof has lost any sense of humanity in these images. The series depicts her dead body the final place she will ever be seen. It’s a gruesome depiction of the fall of an influential person of the time.

Gardella: Wed. April 15th Post

“Shadows of the Summit Pointing West” (1960)

! Immediate impression of Meinhof’s writing is that she is blunt and a bit snarky in tone.

? What does détente mean? Definition: “The easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation, through verbal communication”

“Hitler Within You” (1961)

! Lots of parallels to today in the way that Meinhof discusses generational differences following shameful history

? Who is Herr Stauss? I think this is a made up person but it hints at the Minister of Defense, Franz Josef Strauss, as the footnote says that he ended up suing Meinhof for libel but lost.

“Everybody Talks About the Weather” (1969)

! This column can be summarized by the general idea of “truth” in that “everybody talks about the weather” as an avoidance of discussing the real issues like the façade of the Iranian Shah and journalist Bahman Nirumund, German capitalism, as well as the issues of women and children and other “apolitical” topics.

? What does Meinhof mean when she says that women’s work is “as consumers”?

“Women in the SDS: Acting on Their Own Behalf” (1968)

! Her writing is clever, especially as she explains the importance of the tomatoes as not just a method of protest, but as a way to bring the private to the public and as a way to literally “stain” the clothes of men that women must wash.

? What does SDS stand for? Socialist German Student Union

“From Protest to Resistance” (1968)

! Important themes from this column: Resistance is stronger than protest. Nonviolence compared to violence. Symbolic/verbal violence versus physical violence.

? What is so special about Springer Publications? Gave allegedly biased coverage of student movement.

Baader-Meinhof Komplex

! Meinhof left her children/family and steady life for RAF.

? Did the film romanticism terrorism? Who are the heroes of the film? Are there any?

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

! Balance between malicious yellow journalism and freedom of press. (Well displayed in epilogue at funeral)

? How similar is the film adaptation to the book? Did either have any effect on journalism at the time?

Unit 8 Post 1 – Kade McCulloch

Shadows of the Summit Pointing West (1960)

!: I am used to reading historiographical perspectives regarding Germany during the Cold War period that have a western-centric perspective. Meinhof, as a German, is caught up at the epicenter of international politics and points out how the big western players are pursuing their own self-interests while the Soviet Union is making a progressive effort in their policy of “peaceful coexistence.”

?: Why does Meinhof associate armament with aggression? Is this perception warranted?

A Man With Good Manners: A Day in Court with Karl Wolff (1964)

!: I find it interesting how Meinhof almost play’s devil’s advocate, pointing out that Nazi war criminal’s such as Karl Wolff are “society men” with “principles,” albeit wrong ones. Her portrayal of such criminals in a glorified light seems antithetical to her progressive beliefs.

?: Why does Meinhof believe that it is unjust to label someone as “guilty by association” if they contributed to criminal activity?

Human Dignity is Violable (1962)

!: Meinhof makes a convincing argument that “remilitarization and democracy are irreconcilable” due to the fact that “weapons of mass destruction and terror go hand in hand.” This exposes the violable nature of humans and how remilitarization compromises efforts to establish peace and freedom.

?: Is a system of defense essential for a nation? Does this inherently jeopardize peace?

Hitler Within You (1961)

!: Meinhof exposes the taboo subject of discussing Nazi history in 1961 Germany, exemplifying that the students of the past who were participants, whether active or inactive, in the actions of the Third Reich. She points out the fundamental need for students to confront their parents’ history. “As students we must take up a position and not allow the past to rest, and that we must demand answers from the older generation.” (103) I find this argument to be relevant and applicable in virtually any time period. We must learn from past mistakes through confronting history.

?: Why must we confront history even if it does not fit within modern contexts? Do we really learn from the past?

Women in the SDS: Acting on Their own Behalf

!: Meinhof accentuates that inequality against mothers who worked was ingrained in ideology and casted a net over all women, despite socioeconomic and eeducational backgrounds.

?: How did the voices of working mothers with children fit into the liberation movement?

Unit 8 Assignment 1 – Luna Jerjees

Shadows of the Summit Pointing West

(!) She points out the motive for each country’s leader for their actions and dissects how those actions influence other countries.

(?) Why does she argue that the Soviet Union “is the country least affected or irritated by internal difficulties or disagreements with its allies”? (page 106).

New German Ghetto Show

(!) She points out that they who feel the suspicion and the wrongness of the policies need to come together and act to prevent what happened in the past from happening again.

(?) This new Germany continued to falsify information about its people. Has this new Germany really changed? Have they learned from their mistakes and are acting to prevent what happened in the past again?

Hitler Within You

(!) It is important to note that she advocates for the undoing of old political structures that allowed for the genocide, yet never calls on the wrongs of the government and rather advocates instead for the elimination of political terror towards the opposition.

(?) Does the new, younger generation hold a responsibility to hold the older generation accountable for their actions?

Human Dignity is Violable

(!) She argues that nuclear rearmament and democracy cannot coexist. If the nation is to instill a constitution based on peace and freedom, then nuclear weapons cannot enter the playing field.        

(?) “The politics of peace in the sense of a permanent state of disarmament would never again be subject to party politics or decided by a majority rule” is a bit optimistic isn’t it? It’s a perfectionist word view to expect that the constitution would be completely unbiased.

Vietnam and Germany

(!) Germany censored those opposed to the Vietnam war, yet published media that supported it.

(?) If writing was censored, who had control to do so?

Everybody Talks About the Weather

(!) We cannot forget that political actions have real human consequences.

(?) How can families, or women and children, be protected during the time of revolution or political upheaval?

Women in the SDS

(!) There must be a complete overhaul of the political and societal spheres for women to truly gain their place in society.

(?) Does political action need to have personal influences to be truly meaningful?

From Protest to Resistance

(!) “It had been documented that common decency is a shackle that is easily broken if the shackled person is being beaten up or shot at”. (page 241).

(?) Is there really a need to use violent resistance/protest? Or can violent resistance be a final resort?


(!) All publications have a certain bias, leaning towards the sentiment of the writer.

(?) How then does the reader know if the information they are given is true and authentic? Isn’t the job of a columnist to present the complete truth?

Katharina Blum

(!) The use of sensationalism and exaggeration for the sake of a good story (yellow journalism) in no way serves to clarify that “the duty of the press is to inform the public.” The press is to be an unbiased source of information, not a race to find the biggest story and destroying someone’s life in the process.

(?) Is it fair to say that there is evidence that suggests that some of our own media also uses sensationalism to create interest and “clickbait”?

Baader-Meinhof Complex

(!) As the movie progresses, the mission begins to blur and they seem more focused on devotion to the cause rather than creating progress in society. In their devotion to the cause, they drive themselves absolute mad.

(?) Was deserting her family and driving herself to madness really worth this “revolutionary” cause?

Unit 8 Assignment 1: Aimee Duran

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

!: The way that gender played in the scenes was not shocking to see. There was no space where it was accepted to have friends of the other gender without being suspicious. There were fake news created by the man that had been with her before and the media changed everything that he said.

?: Is Katharina hiding something and not telling the audience?

Baader-Meinhof Komplex


Sam Heie: Unit 8, Assignment 1

Ulrike Meinhof “Shadows of the Summit Pointing West” ?/!

?: Why did proponents for the anti-nuclear movement in the Federal Republic and in Central Europe get labeled as “potential war criminals”? It seems contradictory to accuse advocates of disarmament and non-proliferation of war mongering or being war criminals.

!: England was opposed to unification and integration in Central Europe because it would diminish their own power and influence in the region.

“The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum” ?/!

?: If the journalist that Katharina killed was so incessant upon investigating her, going as far as interviewing her mother in the hospital, why would the journalist scrap all of his investigative work in favor of asking Katharina to have sex? Was he only interested in sparking drama/tarnishing her image?

!: Katharina really didn’t do anything heinous to deserve any of the treatment she received.

“Baader-Meinhof Komplex” ?/!

?: At what point did Meinhof cross the threshold between dissidence and extremism?

!: I’m surprised by the lengths the RAF was willing to go in training their militants, reaching out to Fatah groups in Palestine.

Unit 8: Assignment 1 by Gwenyth Van Doren

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum

!: The unethical practices of journalists

?: Did this film have any impact on the practices of German newspaper Bild-Zeitung (mentioned in the epilogue)?

The Baader-Meinhof Complex

!: The idea of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (a phenomenon where something you recently learned suddenly appears ‘everywhere’). I looked it up while watching and found it extremely interesting and applicable. 

?: Is Meinhof truly invested in the RAF mission?

Unit 8 Post 1 E.Evans

  • “Shadows of the Summit Pointing West” (1960) 
    • ! Entire cities were used as items to “trade,” like pawns for larger powers.
    • ? Why did Meinhof call Khruschev a “peasant storyteller”?
  • “Hitler Within You” (1961)
    • ! People who participated in the Nazi regime who wanted to alleviate suffering considered themselves exonerated.
    • ? How can a society move past its dark history when most adults were complicit in the evils of its past?
  • “Everybody Talks About the Weather” (1969)
    • ! Nations that claim to be “free” are not afraid to ally with repressive regimes if it benefits them
    • ? In modern negotiations, how can you know which nations have the most power? (thinking about Iran threatening to trade w/ Eastern Bloc when Germany might be seen as more “powerful”)
  • “Women in the SDS: Acting on Their Own Behalf” (1968)
    • ! Women’s household work is not seen as valuable because its effects aren’t obvious to society.
    • ? Must an entire system be overturned to change one issue?
  • “Columnism” (1968)
    • ! Using methods of a system to change it are not true efforts towards change. (not sure if I agree with this point)
    • ? Does the columnist write to shre their truth or simply to make a profit? 
  • ! & ? on The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum
    • ! The journalists could so easily twist words
    • ? How many people in real life had the same fate as Katharina Blum in Germany?
  • ! & ? on Baader-Meinhof Komplex
    • ! The accused got out of a day of trial for using profanity against the judge
    • ? How did the RAF justify their goal of a more humane world with inhumane methods of trying to achieve this?

Unit 8 Assignment 1–Natalie Zhu (15th Apr)

The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum

!: Strangely, I felt very “satisfied” when she finally decided to kill the journalist, even though killing is wrong. At first I wondered if she was going to kill the journalist or herself, and I thought if she killed herself that would be pathetic. 

?: How can we balance the between the so-called freedom of speech and censorship? We can definitely see in this movie that freedom of speech is not equal to saying whatever you want.

Baader-Meinhof Komplex

!: I was pretty amazed to see that there were so many people supporting communism in countries and areas that were supposed to be democratic and anti-communist.

?: Is there an effective way other than violence to express one’s political idea clearly to the public?

Unit 7 Assignment 1 – Kade McCulloch

My group came to the unanimous conclusion that translation of Akhmatova’s Requiem done by Anderson was a better overall translation than the one constructed by Thomas. These two translations were strikingly different and oftentimes conveyed different meaning of particular sections of the poem. While Thomas’s translation is more straightforward and to the point, Anderson’s is much more poetic in nature, as it conforms to the conventions of poetry by rhyming and conveying strong emotions through words. These conventions of poetry made Anderson’s translation much more powerful in relaying the meaning of the poem. We inferred that the Thomas translation was more of a direct translation of the original poem. However, as we learned during the translation panel during Robb’s unit on conceptual schemes, we can never truly decipher which translation is more “correct.” One argument against both of these translations is that there are many colloquial phrases and expressions in Russian that do not have an explicit meaning in English. Thus, this illuminates the limitations of the reproduction of a foreign work in conveying the original intended meaning.

!: It is interesting that poets continued to produce work that put them in a dangerous position due to the communist government’s tough crackdown on political dissent.

?: What purpose did writing serve when it could not be published or shared with a larger audience during the time of Stalin’s terror? Did it serve a “revolutionary” means or was it simply a manner for coping with an individual’s struggles?

Unit 7: Assignment 1 by Gwenyth Van Doren

The translation I chose was Anderson. My group liked Anderson’s translation as well because they believed Anderson was able to convey more emotion while still keeping rhythm and cadence. Personally, I chose this translation because I was intrigued by the translation of “To Death”, specifically the line “I want you now—I can’t bear anymore.” This line was interesting to contrast against Thomas’s translation, “Life is very hard: I’m waiting for you.” While both lines reflect the author expecting Death, the choice of language in Anderson’s translation make it seem like the author will soon stop waiting and take their life into their own hands (i.e. suicide). I think these discrepancies are worth examining because I am sure they reflect the different situations of people during the Great Purge—those waiting to die versus those who contemplated killing themselves . 

!: The threat of poets with the power they hold

?: What are the political implications of poetry in Russia today? Does poetry have other implications?

Unit 7 Poetry Translation Post, Carson Stenroos

When discussing the two translations of Akhmatova, my AT group referenced back to unit 2’s translation panel to help decide which text we liked better. The conclusion that I feel we came to was that Anderson’s translation was more emotional and was intended to translate meaning more than acting as a direct translation. We then took Thomas’s translation as the opposite of that and saw it as more of a direct translation to show the actual words that were intended in the original text. In general we like Anderson’s translation more because we felt as though it was worded more smoothly, which made it easier to read, and it also felt more poetic than Thomas’s which was more rigid and novel-like than poetic. Anderson’s of course was also better because it rhymed more.

!: I didn’t realize that poets (or writers in general) were so restricted and not really allowed to write under the rule of Stalin’s terror.

?: Why wasn’t suicide an option taken by more poets/writers if they were being persecuted for what they were doing?