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Fake News or the Power of Fiction? The Case for Using the Amazon Series The Man in the High Castle in Holocaust Education

  • Cornelius PartschEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Holocaust Education – Historisches Lernen – Menschenrechtsbildung book series (HEM)

Zusammenfassung

Alternativweltgeschichten werden gemeinhin als interaktive Gattung angesehen, da sie die Leserinnen und Leser zu einer vielschichtigen Betrachtung von Geschichte, Erinnerung und Geschichtsschreibung führen. Indem Werke der Alternative History an einem bestimmten historischen Moment einen alternativen Verlauf imaginieren, stellen sie nicht nur einen verfremdeten Lauf der tradierten Geschichte vor, sondern stellen auch die Gegenwart infrage. Die Amazon-Serie The Man in the High Castle ist die erste Verfilmung des gleichnamigen Romans von Philip K. Dick aus dem Jahr 1962. Darin wird die dystopische Vision einer Niederlage der Alliierten im Zweiten Weltkrieg und der darauffolgenden Besetzung der Vereinigten Staaten durch das faschistische Japan und das nationalsozialistische „Dritte Reich“ entfaltet. Im Mittelpunkt der Handlung stehen Wochenschau-Filmrollen, auf denen der „wahre“ Ausgang des Krieges zu sehen ist und die deshalb von allen Parteien verzweifelt gesucht werden. Dieser Artikel legt dar, wie The Man in the High Castle im Rahmen der „Holocaust Education“ mit Fokussierung auf eine historiografische Perspektive verwendet werden kann und Studierende zum Überdenken vorherrschender historischer Diskurse und zur Erkundung der Spannungen zwischen fiktiven und wirklichen Welten herangeführt werden können. Es wird ebenso beschrieben, wie die Vermittlung des Holocaust durch The Man in the High Castle die nationalsozialistischen Verbrechen für eine jüngere Generation relevant macht und neue Dimensionen des Reflektierens erschließen kann.

Abstract

Alternative history is thought to be an interactive genre, engaging readers in a multi-layered reflection on history, memory, and historiography. By extrapolating from specific historical moments, and thus de-familiarizing the course of history, alternative histories also raise questions about the present. In contemporary America, watching the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle, a dystopian vision of a world in which the Allies lose WWII and much of the US is occupied by Imperial Japan and the Third Reich, is as often illuminating as it is uncomfortable. In this first filmic adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s classic novel of 1962, newsreels containing footage from the “true” version of WWII have become objects of obsession on all sides. This article outlines how The Man in the High Castle can be used in Holocaust Education through a focus on historiography, by enabling students to reflect on prevailing historical narratives and explore the tensions between the fictional and real worlds. I argue that teaching The Man in the High Castle provides compelling and variegated learning experiences to the current generation of students and makes new dimensions of reflection accessible.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BellinghamUSA

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