Unit 7 Post by Harrison Sparks

I prefer the requiem which includes the Header “Instead of a foreword”

I like how the text is spaced out to create pauses, I feel like this contributes to the dark mood of the poems and the imagery. It makes it more as if it is being said through breaths in the cold air it describes rather than the other version that seems to rhyme more clearly and has a bit more of a flow to it. This more prominent rhyming, and also less strategic spacing gives the poems more levity than they should have in my opinion. While I can agree that the rhyme schemes in this version help it flow more, and even make it sound more natural and probably more like the original in Russian, the spaced out and grim words which most often do not rhyme in the version I chose create the mood and meaning much better towards what they are portraying.

!: Reign of Terror poets really seemed to represent the mindset of the general populace

?: What works were lost as a result of persecution?

Unit 8 Post 2 – Jake Matthews

Reality is a difficult thing to grasp, because the details of any particular moment or event only exist in the records and memory that persists in archives or in the minds of those present. There is a disconnect between reality and any recollection of that reality, as the nature of recollection entails that details are altered and affected by how those details are shared; memories change depending on emotional states, wording of a story drastically changes interpretation of facts. Art is a prime example of this phenomena, as it is said that every painting is somewhat of a self-portrait of the painter, as on some level, no matter how minutely or unconsciously it was done, the painter has influenced their depiction with their own thoughts and feelings. A photograph is a rare example of a medium which perfectly captures the details of an event; an unedited and unaltered photograph is a flawless memory of something’s truth. It is a captured and contained still image of reality at a given moment. There is a consistency in the photograph, in that it captures a perfect replica of its subject. Even though people can still view photographs and see different things from it (focusing on different aspects of it or applying themselves to it somehow), there is a more consistent baseline in several people’s interpretations of a (for example) photograph of a flower than there would be in several people’s memory of said flower. Painting a photograph is an artist’s recreation of how they perceive that photograph, though it is altered by the painter, it is more consistent with the reality of the subject depicted than a painting of the subject itself would be. This consistency is as important to the painter as to the viewer, as a stronger sense of consistency in a work forms a stronger connection between which ideas are shared.

The paintings of Meinhof capture one person’s interpretation of those pictures, particularly in how they accentuate certain features of the photographs, such as the smoothness and softness in Youth Portrait, or the varying degrees of gritty reality in the various versions of Dead. The record of one person’s interpretation of that pain is a powerful tool, as it is more emotional than the picture might be on its own.

Unit 8 Assignment 2 by Skylar McVicar

Both Kurt and Richter use painting as a medium to contemplate and investigate certain life happenings. These two artists could be representing reality using fantasy ideas in their work. In Never Look Away, Kurt paints as a type of therapy intentionally aimed to communicate the truth. However, Kurt never promotes his paintings in a way where they would effectively translate his overwhelming fear. Merely by creating this art, Kurt is pursuing the act of “making yourselves free” and “liberating the world.” His work is potentially dangerous because it is truthful. Kurt is willing to take this risk because “everything that’s true is beautiful.” Richter also uses his art to represent certain truths and situations that have occurred so the audience does not forget. For example, in Richter’s “October 18, 1977” collection, he shows the progression of a scenario by increasingly blurring the images in the series showing the frustration he has with the audience’s ignorance and lack of attention. Richter claims these paintings “can give us new insights” on the horrors of the past. Like Sontag, Richter emphasizes “we can’t simply discard or forget” the atrocities of the past and “we must try to find a way of dealing with it.”

Unit 8 Post 2 — Louis Onoratini

Much like in the movie “Never Look Away”, Richter painted pictures and drew blurry lines through them. This adds mystic and power to the pictures because it makes them less realistic and more imaginary. Simply translating a picture on canvas can be pretty but it holds no true power. However, like Kurt, Richter added power and meaning to his paintings by adding a surreal element to them. Both artists made them less grounded, more spiritual. This makes the audience connect to their art even if they do not know who is depicted. When human form is deformed, people tend to look at it with more intrigue and a wish to put back into form in their mind.

Isabel Nowak Monday 4/20 Post

In the film, Kurt talks about how photos are unique in that they elicit a specific response from the viewer, different than that of a painting. He is trying to replicate this emotion with his paintings. Like all of Richter’s paintings, Ulrike Meinhof’s portraits are copied from photographs but blurred. In the film Never Look Away, Kurt often puts his hand in front of his face to blur his focus. I think he’s doing it in order to not look away. Maybe blurring difficult images retain their reality, but make them easier for audiences to look at. Therefore, these realities are presentable to a wider audience. The reality of Meinhof’s portraits remain consistent, but makes so that we don’t have to look away. Maybe the blur allows for our minds to fill in the gaps.

Unit 8 Assignment 2

I don’t think Richter’s paintings represent Ulrike Meinhof’s life and experience. The entire October series depicts Meinhof in death, save for the Youth Portrait of her. Through Richter’s paintings, it appears that her contribution to the revolution was merely through her death. Reality, then, is severely skewed in the series, because the reality is that she contributed much more than just her death. But maybe Richter meant to evoke this disorientation; through the blurry nature of his paintings, Richter evokes a sense of confusion and despair, frustration towards the sensationalization, perhaps, of Meinhof as a martyr or a victim. With the photographic aspect, Richter in each of his paintings presents a consistent reminder of what it is exactly we must remember, and by blurring the paintings he challenges the face reality of the painting for the viewer.

Tomás Quintero: Unit 8 Assignment 2

One of the main topics of discussion that we have come by in this class is the notion of reality concerning representation. Susan Sontag writes in Regarding the Pain of Others how photographs have the power in which they encapsulate a reality of the real world, arguing that every photograph has a message behind it. But does capturing a reality truly capture the world in its realness? Richter would have argued that a photograph is a representation of what happened, it captures a perspective of the moment as it happens, but that photograph is not capturing the moment in its complete form. However, with consistencies in reproductions of a moment, one can create a more complete understanding of what the reality was, this reminded me of the scene showing Richter’s press release, as well as the whole series on October 18, 1977. 


While I watched Never Look Away, I was talking to a friend, discussing reality in terms of proofs in science. In science the concept of reality is very complicated. It is possible to have an amount of consistent empirically-based evidence that can allow someone to support a claim, say gravity, with a degree of confidence, but it is impossible to scientifically prove that gravity exists since it would argue that a claim is absolutely true in all possible cases. As humans, it is impossible to measure or calculate every variable that occurs, many are outside the bounds of our understanding. Since there is a limit to which we can observe every element of a situation, there is room for a claim to be disproven––in which gravity could be considered false. As a result, theories follow a model that allows for experiments to be replicated; therefore, consistency in the data allows for people to be convinced and accept a claim as reality. The best theories are the ones that last the longest and cover the most ground without being disproved. In a way, a theory is better than a proof because it is capable of describing the world and humanity: dynamic and ever-changing, with consistencies and patterns wherever we go. Every reality is consistent.

?! Baader Meinhof by Harrison Sparks

!: Baader and Gudrun seemed hypocritical. They seemed like very mean people, not as bad as the next generation RAF, but they did not seem to care for people outside their group even though they said that was their goal.

?: How many people moved from Germany due to the troubles?

Unit 8 Assignment 1 – Jake Matthews

! & ? on Ulrike Meinhof

“New German Ghetto Show” (1960)

! – Interesting connection to McCarthyism!

? – Is modern social media a defense mechanism against the annulment of anonymity?

“Hitler Within You” (1961)

! – “Co-existence rather than war” must be response to National Socialism, rather than sandbox games; poignant!

? – Is restricting a government’s power to commit “political terror” truly the “only possible response to anti-Semitism?

“Human Dignity is Violable” (1962)

! – Nuclear armament is incompatible with democracy; too much strength becomes uncontrollable!

? – “Only democracy can guarantee human dignity,” is it really a guarantee? Or is it only a true democracy when it does?

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

! – The paradox of the working woman feeling that she should not fight for equality, and the woman at home being unable to fight for equality; misery on both ends.

? – Could the problem be solved by dispelling the myths of productivity being based on sex? Or are those myths the excuse for a more ingrained greed?

“Columnism” (1968)

! – The “outrageousness” of the columnist is what gives them such influence!

? -Opportunistic for a paper to use a columnist to get profit; but isn’t that what powers the free press?

! & ? on The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

! – This kind of foundationless slander is the antithesis of Freedom of the Press, as the Press only has meaning in journalistic integrity.

? – Is it possible to have private press that isn’t corrupt like this?

! & ? on Baader-Meinhof Komplex

! – Both sides see each other as violence personified; they’re more similar than they realize.

? – Is it justified to use violence and fear to bring about change? Or is that oppressive in its own way?

Unit 8 Assignment 1 by Skylar McVicar

“Shadows of the Summit Pointing West”(1960)

! Claiming that France is willing to use any means to achieve their ends is ironic coming from a German writer reflecting on German history.

? What is Khruschev’s intention with reducing the Soviet army by 1.2 million soldiers? What is Khruschev trying to prove before entering the Summit?

“Hitler Within You”(1961)

! This column emphasizes the need for bystanders to speak out for freedom wherever they see it threatened. This call to action is relevant across the globe today.

? How do German citizens reconcile with the fact that their ancestors were involved with the crimes of the Third Reich? How can current scholars use this history to find answers about the past?

“Everybody Talks About the Weather”(1969)

! The structure of capitalism creates a society in which women and children are dispensable and isolated.

? How are women and children treated under regimes other than capitalism?

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

! Women need to take agency over their actions to strike against their male aggressors and make the tension between males and females clear and transparent.

? Is exposing women to their unknown subjugation the most important step toward eventual equality of the sexes? Without knowledge, action cannot occur.

“Columnism”(1968)

! Writing for a column is a way to make profit and gain prestige while acting as a pressure release.

? Could writing for a column be dangerous if the content is unmonitored?

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum film

! Having freedom of the press could potentially do more harm to someone than good.

? What are current American examples of figures targeted by the media who may be innocent?

Baader-Meinhof Komplex film

! Sometimes radical events with good intentions can retrogress a society’s progress as shown when Germany moves towards a police state after the protests.

? How can a government provide equal rights to all citizens when some are using the freedoms granted by the government to try and overthrow it?

Unit8 Assignment1 Selina Qian

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

  • ? the police use “”the duty of the press is to inform the public” to justify the behavior of taking Katharina’s pictures against her will. Is it right?
  • !“Amazing how people find it hard to make a distinction between private and business life,” said by interrogators. So ironic.
  • ! Everything is recorded, yet speculations kill all the truth behind evidence.

Tomás Quintero: Unit 8 Assignment 1

! & ? on Meinhof 

Hitler Within You

!: Students played integral roles, Meinhof uses their stubborn and angry attitudes to catalyze revolution and promote change. In doing so, they can question authority and doctrine enforced by their parent’s generation.

?: Do the “old-Nazi’s” old political ideas still hold sway in Germany? 

Human Dignity is Violable

!: The Emergency Laws are capable of cancelling out freedoms for the sake of defense! Governments are quick to cancel the freedoms of people to make way for militarization. 

?: Would it be possible to successfully demilitarize as a democracy without having other countries going in thinking that it was a power vacuum? One of the ways that one uses violence is to assert dominance over another––to take power from another. 

Vietnam and Germany

!: Germany was censoring people who opposed the Vietnam war while publishing anything that supported it.

?: Were there any other reasons as to why people supported the Vietnam War besides the ideology held behind it? That’s basically why the war started in the first place. 

Everybody Talks About the Weather

!: Any decision the government chooses to make is going to have consequences impacting people––be it in good ways or bad. 

?: Were there any benefits for the politicians for corroborating with the Shah other than to not suffer the consequences contained within the Shah’s threats?

Women in the SDS: Acting on Their Own Behalf

!: Due to the sexism within the movement and in society around it, the women involved in the movement did not receive the credit they were due. 

?: What were the goals of the movement? What were the people involved in the trying to accomplish from their actions?

! & ? on The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

!: Terrorism was often used to create revolution. This stirred up fear among the civilians, making them wondering if they were next to be killed or imprisoned. I know that I would be terrified to be alive during that time. 

?: How highly (or lowly) were the journalists regarded of the time in terms of telling the truth? It was evident that they were seen to be making up information about Katharina Blum.

! & ? on Baader-Meinhof Komplex

!: Violence can be effectively used as an agent for enacting social and political change. The Red Army Faction, fighting the current governing system they perceive as fascist as a sign of resistance opposing the Vietnam War. 

?: In an attempt to create a more human society, the RAF used radically-fueled violence and inhuman means; in the process, they lose their own humanity. Are there cases in which violence and inhuman means are justified for a more human society? How far are we willing to go? And at what cost?

Sadie Blackshear Unit 8 Assignment 1

The Baader-Meinhof Complex

!: I learned about Meinhof and the RAF in AP European History, but I didn’t remember that until the scene where they were being force fed raw eggs while on hunger strike.

?: The ending became very jumbled to me and I didn’t quite understand what happened. I think too many new characters were being introduced.

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

!: The lingering threat of sexual violence for Katharina left me feeling very anxious.

?: I’m not sure that I understand this movie. I feel as though I should have read more about it before watching. The attacking of slander in the press and critiquing “freedom” of the press is apparent, but what was the BILD-Zeitung?

Ulrike Meinhof Readings

“Shadows of the Summit Pointing West” p101

!: Conservative policy in England in the 1960s involved arms reduction.

?: Meinhof keeps writing “since Camp David” but the only thing that comes to mind for me is the Camp David Accords, which took place under Jimmy Carter in the late 70s. What is she talking about?

“Hitler Within You” p138

!: “The only possible response to Anti-Semitism is the rejection of every kind of political terror that administrative powers can impose on those who think differently, those who believe differently, those who feel differently.” p141

?: What does she mean by (lack of) resistance against National Socialism–isn’t she in support of that? Why would she include “lack of”?

“Everybody Talks About the Weather” p184

!: The police’s use of force during the Shah’s visit made the student protestors realize that money and terror were tied between Germany & Iran (Germany protecting Iran’s terror to facilitate capital) and that “opposition…in the metropolitan centers… and the opposition in the Third World countries must work together.” p184

?: I don’t understand how the RAF facilitated travel between Germany and Iran for underground training, although this is an apparent tie with the movie.

“Women in the SDS: Acting on Their Own Behalf” p209

!: The men did not feel at fault or targeted in the tomato incident.

?: How did the women organize themselves after realizing that the SDS was of no use to them?

“From Protest to Resistance” p239

!: Meinhof took inspiration from the Black Power movement.

?: What draws the line between counter-violence and violence?