Sam Van Horn – Unit 8 Post 2

POST by Monday night a few sentences about the relationship between reality (what happened) and the paintings as representation of especially Ulrike Meinhof’s life and experience. What’s consistent? How? Why? For whom?

In order to get at “representation”, I find that it’s best to take the word for what it is: presenting something again. Meaning… not the original. Not the first. Not… the ‘real’ thing. In acknowledging this, I think it helps me better understand what exactly Kurt is getting at in these paintings. Yes, it’s technically a “remake” or the “Remake” if you will. First, it must be captured in time with the snap of a camera, then once it’s preserved, it can be transformed into another medium, like painting. I like to think that Kurt’s perspective on reality was untouched by others, as he spent his youth contemplating his surroundings with positive influences like Aunt Elizabeth.

As for Ulrike Meinhof, her consistent way of life was not enough. Perhaps her choice of medium to “represent” were her articles. Just as Kurt knew his form of medium and lacked the purpose, Meinhof similarly found a new way of life in following the RAF.

Posing a question in relation to Aunt Elizabeth’s death and mental illness: How does the relationship between the ‘A’ above middle C translate for both instances of the buses? Does Kurt simply want to remember a piece of the past or does he find the same joy that Aunt Elizabeth had? I ask, additionally, because the A above middle C is known as the Stuttgart Pitch, which is a city in Western Germany. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, though I’ve been pondering a possible relation.

Unit 8 Post 2 – Bryan Tran

Weirch’s Interview of Richter reminded me very clearly of the film’s portrayal of the interview near the end. I find that there is a very mysterious and almost abstract understanding of Richter’s words. “Reality is even more dreadful.” This quote resonates a conversation with Professor Seeband’s relationship to photos. Especially seeing his photos of his family when it seemed that life was simple. 

To answer the question of the prompt, from my understanding from the texts and reading, the question of “what happened” does not rely on the personal connection the artist has with the piece but rather what the view takes of it. What is consistent is that there is a backstory, but it is rather what part of the story is important. And especially import for whom. 

Looking through the exhibit knowing the backstory changes the meaning of the paintings. Similarly to how we as the viewers of the film have a different understanding of the paints comparatively to the interviews in the film. It seems as if “we know more.”

“Art does not give answers, it poses the question” – Doris Salcedo

Rachel Gronberg Unit 8 Post 2

Richter’s series definitely appears to be harmonious in that the photos are all in the same color scale and appear to have motion or blur to them, making it seem as though all of them could exist within the same moment. Though some are subjects and some are landscapes, they seem to take the viewer to an alternate world.

Richter is claiming in the interview clip that observing his art is no closer to the experience of reality than observing a photograph. At the heart of it, they are both just replications of what really happened, and each. is just intended to make the reader feel a piece of that reality. He is playing on the idea that we consider art more based in “realism” to be more “real,” and that photography is the most “realistic,” when in reality none of it is “real.” The only real part of any replication is the feeling it evokes, and Richter blurriness helps create a feeling of disconnect and fuzziness that would exist in a memory of the reality.

Part of the experience of Ulrike Meinhof’s life is that the public didn’t get to experience all of it. I think that we could interpret the blurriness of richter’s portraits to represent that missing information, but also to represent the complications of what she stood for in the collective conscience of German society. (Is that a jump?)

Catherine Chimley – Richter Paintings Response

The controversy of Ulrike Meinhof’s life and the violence of her experiences seems removed in Gerhard Richter’s dreamlike portraits of her – her image is fuzzy, almost peaceful even in her suicide. Between reality and representation, the duality and gray area of Meinhof and the RAF can be seen – activists or terrorists, visionaries or anarchists. In these paintings, the enigmatic nature of Meinhof’s true character is evoked by her blurry appearance and the lack of a clear or focused perspective in the paintings. The series seems to force the viewer to contemplate the movement within the moment depicted as opposed to stagnant snapshots, considering the full nuance of the situation instead of a simple staged perspective.

Harrison Diggs Unit 8 Assignment 1

Katharina Blum

!: Katharina Blum’s image was tarnished in the media in an attempt to get her to confess to the whereabouts of Goetten. The particular scene that comes to mind is when Blum is reading the Newspaper where she is called “ice cold and calculating” and “capable of committing a crime” by her boss. In actuality her boss said she was “bright and sensitive” and never said anything close to what was reported. This scene evidences the extent to which media served as a weapon to dehumanize dissidents.

?: I am confused about the purpose of the constant interrogation of Katharina and the publication of horrible things about her in the Newspaper. Katharina was the last one seen with Goetten before his disappearance making her an important witness, however the lengths to which the police went is far beyond normal police investigations.

The Baader Meinhof Complex

!: Students and other youth had a significant role in demonstrations and protests of policies in West Berlin. This is seen specifically in the demonstrations about the Iranian Shah coming to West Germany.

?: How did Meinhof and this radical movement become such a national and media sensation?

Hitler Within You:

!: Anti-Semitism in Germany began before the National Socialists took over. In the 1920’s there existed an anti-semitic culture in Universities. These same people now serve in important occupations in Germany in the post-Hitler era.

?: Did the younger generation in Germany actually take serious measures to combat the old ideas that persisted in German culture?

From Protest To Resistance:

!: “Protest is when I say I don’t like this. Resistance is when I put an end to what I don’t like.”

?: Is Meinhof arguing against nonviolent protesting entirely or just expressing the need for violent resistance?

Human Dignity is Violable

!: Germany’s new plan for government allowed for the same problems to exist that they were trying to correct: War, Dictatorships, and Human dignity becoming violable

?: Did German leaders not understand the danger they were putting themselves in while creating this new rule of law?

Shadow’s of the Summit Pointing West

!: The foreign leaders of the major world powers approached the Paris meeting with primarily their own countries interests in hands rather than the situation in Germany.

?: How would history have been altered if the 1960 Paris Summit had not been ruined by US-Soviet tensions?

Unit 8 opening post- McNeill Franklin

I actually really enjoyed the two movies and readings for this assignment. While I do not know much about the time period, I am hoping to learn more in the upcoming weeks. I was especially interested in the two movies. I want to learn more about the context behind the two stories, and dive into the stories of each of the women highlighted in the films.


Shadows of the Summit Facing West: ?: “Germany is not the center of the world.” If not, why is it the center of everyone’s problems at the time. Yes WWII just ended, but not all the blame is on Germany. !: I found the Soviet Union to be very very selfish in all of this!!!

Hitler Within You: ?: What did the older generation not learn about race/ethnicity? Clearly there was a war for a reason and everyone must have learned something. !: A young child does not inherit racism- that is taught to them by their parents/ older generations. The stories on pages 103-104 shocked me.

Human Dignity is Violable: ?: Is democracy truly fair for all of the people, or does it always seem to favor a side? !: I had no clue that the Nazis ruled for 12 years! What were the worst years of the Nazi regime, and where would say the peak was?

Everyone Talks About the Weather… ?: How aware are we on what is happening in the world around us? This piece seems to say that we are very ignorant. !: All women in any sort of wartime effort deserve so much more appreciation than they recieve.

Women in the SDS: Acting on Their Own: ?: The women just wanted to be left in peace, so why bother them?? !: It seems like everything a woman did these days was wrong- they could never get anything right.

Columism: ?: What did it mean to be a communist in Germany in the 1950s-60s (since it was outlawed in ’56)? !: I know that this thought sounds crazy… but why outlaw the thought of communism? In a democracy- everyone has the right of freedom of speech. While the democracy decided on NO COMMUNISM, that does not mean that a person cannot still believe in it? They were getting punished for their own thoughts- which does not seem right to me.

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: ?: I am still really confused on what Katharina did wrong? Was she arrested for knowing Ludwig? Having sex with him? Stealing? Please enlighten me. !: I am so surprised how objectified women are in the media during this time. In the 1970s in America, women were having free sex all the time and not getting in trouble. Why in Germany?

Baader-Meinhof Komplex: ?: What exactly was the RAF in detail, and in the end- what happened to them and what was their final mission? !: I mean… major bad ass energy. That is all I have to say. That takes major guts, and I had no idea this was happening. Incredible.

Unit Eight Assignment One

By: Caison Gray

Shadows of the Summit Pointing West”

!: Meinhof must have paid very close attention to current events.

?: Why does America have so much influence in international organizations?

Hitler Within You”

!: People who participated in the Nazi regime who wanted to reduce suffering considered themselves exonerated.

?: How can a society move past its dark history when most adults participated in the evils of its past?

“Human Dignity is Violable”

!: For Meinhof, nuclear weapons and democracy can never go together, for these weapons directly destroy peace and freedom, two concepts that are foundational to democracy.

?: Was demilitarization a popular idea at the time that the Constitution was written?

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

!: 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?


!: Ironic that Meinhof characterizes columnists both having no power and as literary stars.

?: Does the columnist write to share their truth or simply to make a profit? 

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

!: I am surprised that the producer had the freedom to critique the press so harshly. Perhaps this is why he added the disclaimer at the end.

?: Was the publisher’s highly hypocritical speech at Tötges’ funeral meant to be humorous? 

Baader-Meinhof Complex

!: Interesting how divisive the RAF was to the German public despite being branded as terrorists.

?: How did the RAF justify their goal of a more humane world with inhumane methods of trying to achieve this?

Unit 8 post 1 Bullock

Katharina Blum- It is super gross how as soon as Katharinas name is printed everyone thinks it is ok to touch her and threaten her. No one is violent in this way towards Ludwig. What about German culture at the time led to this phenomenon?

Baader-Meinhof Komplex– There is an interesting irony in Meinhof’s violent actions. Many of her writings seem very anti-violence. Is there a moral difference between federal violence and individual violence.

Shadows of Summit Pointing West- The statements about how Germany is not the center of the world are very interesting and remind of American Nationalism. If we did away with borders, would people still find a way to be nationalistic?

The Hitler Within Us- I cannot imagine the confusion of being German and feeling guilt for an event I never took place in and yet I am a white person in America who was recently involved in a class debate over maybe I can. How can governments be punished without punishing innocent citizens?

Human Dignity is Violable- This discusses the limiting power Atomic bombs have of freedom and yet Meinhof uses bombs as a part of her terrorism. May we disrespect the dignity of those how have disrespected other without being hypocritical?

Woman in the SDS– In societies where women abilities are not respected women are not respected. This is why focusing on gender differences that very well may be structural as opposed to biological is so harmful regardless of what truth it may hold. How can we push past the perceived inequality of bodies to see the true equality of soul and mind.

Columnism– It seems the situation discussed in this text has only worsened. Media bias and eagerness to capture an audience has taken over. How can we know unfiltered truths?

Sode Smith, unit 8 post 1

New German Ghetto Show

(!) It’s interesting how Meinhof draws the connection between Jewish ghettos (prior to deportation and murder) and anti-nuclear campaigners. Were these new activists treated similarly to Jews?

(?) Even with a regime change, it appears as though the German government was still acting in oppressive manners. How were these new protestors and outsiders treated in unfair or unjust ways? Did they have the resources to speak out and combat unfair treatments without fear of harm?

Hitler within you

(!) I find it interesting that this column was written during the Eichmann trial. In a country that is trying to understand their own identity politics, the Eichmann trial was an incredibly formative event about reconciling with their recent past as a country. As a part of ‘Germany’s new Jews’, who oppose contemporary politics, Meinhof speaks of eliminating political terror against those who think and act differently than the mainstream. 

(?) Even the title of the column is very bold. Did people react negatively to this title? I’m also curious about what type pf inspiration the Eichmann trial gave Meinhof? 

Human Dignity is Violable

(!) This piece states that the new constitution of Germany was based on the principals of democracy being the foundation for human dignity and war no longer being an option. However, with the government shifting power, principals changed. Meinhof states that nuclear rearmament and democracy cannot co-exist. I think this statement is powerful because it links democracy to peace and the dignity of human life.

(?) How would dictatorship be an option with the ability to declare a state of emergency? Would the people not posses the power to fight against the formation of a new dictatorship?

Women in the SDS

(!) Meinhof noted how these women were not fighting for the collective and recognized their own demands/desires as legitimate. 

(?) Did this movement pursue similar goals as second-wave feminism in the US? Did these women in the SDS exclude certain groups of women in order to become more likely to reach their goals?


(!) This piece talks about the freedoms and also the constraints of newspapers. All articles are edited and appear to have some sort of slant bias. In a certain way, editing shows fear and wanting to appeal to a more broad group of people, which is a powerful idea. If papers were truly unedited and columnists wrote exactly what they wanted, Meinhof states this would lead to a better discussion.

(?) in my opinion, this appears to be opposed to general logic: wouldn’t the editor have more freedom than the columnist? 

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

(!) I felt as thought this film was a critique of being able to have dignity and uphold the truth about events. Because she struggled with maintaining the truth about her own character and that of her lover, this was extremely difficult with a ‘free press’.

(?) So, this constitutes an interesting question: should there be restraints on the press if they are misleading or untruthful? Will restraints on the press limit democracy? Even if there is free press, how do you prevent innocent people being harmed?

Baader-Meinhof Komplex

(!) This film brings to light the violence of postwar Germany. Starting with the death of an unarmed protestor, things turn ugly and end with repeated bombings of state buildings and the continuing deaths of innocent civilians. I thought this film did a good job bringing the light not only the violence of the government but also the RAF.

(?) One question I had was about the use of violence: how do you justify these bombings and are they necessary? Meinhof initially justifies violence against a police-like state, but as events develop it appears as though the RAF if equally as violent. How do you reconcile this?

Rachel Gronberg Unit 8 Assignment 1

Ulrike Meinhof Readings:

Shadows of the Summit Pointing West:

!: Germany dislikes America as much as America dislikes Germany. I knew America didn’t like Germany bc of WWII and also Karl Marx inventing communism but I never thought about the feeling is mutual.

?: Why did she assert that the Soviet Union is the country with the least conflict both internally and with allies? That seems just… wrong??

Hitler Within You:

!: She is clearly critical of the genocide– but considering her position as such a left-wing person, she takes no credit for the role of the country in aiding the genocide, commenting on the fact that people are living in fear during the Eichmann trials. She will die for her cause– but apparently acknowledging guilt in the Holocaust is not a worthy collective cause.

?: How are “old Nazis” different from “new Nazis”…?

Everybody Talks About the Weather:

!: She uses the pathos of keeping family together as an argument to give citizenship to Nirumand… but she abandons her family to be a political terrorist sooo

?: Why is she critical of anti-authoritarian kindergarten that is apparently in progress? And why does she call it that? Is she pro-authoritarian???


!: Not all of the paper is intended to be political/op-ed. That is the job of the columnist.

?: Why is she talking about the job of the columnist (isn’t she a columnist?) as a profit maker if she is anti-capitalism?

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum:

!: The concept of “free media” is backwards in the movie– the ability for the media to say whatever they want was another way for the state to oppress people. (Fake news?)

?: I’m still not entirely sure why her Katharina seemed to be hiding things, or at least refusing to cooperate with the police. I certainly don’t want to victim-blame her, but wouldn’t it have been in her best self-interest to cooperate? Also, why did she just suddenly fall in love with Ludwig and give up her whole life to be with him??

Baader-Meinhof Komplex:

!: The movie makes you sympathize with the RAF. I was fairly far into the movie before I remembered that they were considered a terror group.

?: What was the ultimate fate of the RAF? As generations continued with more violence, how did the German state ultimately stop the terror?

Harrison Diggs Akhmatova Post

There was a consensus among my group that we preferred the Anderson translation of Requiem more. The Anderson translation seemed to be easier to understand for most of our group members and we liked the way he maintained rhyming even through the translation. We felt the Anderson translation was more effective in expressing the emotions of the poem while the Thomas poem would be better if we better understood some of the context behind it. I enjoyed the Anderson translation as well because of its simplicity in reading. The poem flowed much better due to Anderson’s stylistic choices and rhyme choice.

!: The degree of the persecution of writers under the terrorist regimes in Russia is what really stood out to me during the lecture. Poetry provided an avenue of truth so therefore was completely censored under the Soviet government and the writers were sentenced to drastic punishments.

?: Knowing they would likely face persecution, why did so many bright artists persist in continuing their works under the soviet regimes.