• Jonathan Seyfried

What Downfall Looks Like: A Review of 'Babylon Berlin'

A series set in 1929 Weimar Germany shows us the aspects of social collapse that usually escape our perception.


Those who study history often fall into the trap of compressing the time spans of the past, perceiving much shorter durations than what actually existed. TV shows such as Turn: Washington’s Spies force the viewer to acknowledge the reality of the multi-year American Revolution. It’s easy to blithely pronounce “there were a few important battles, and then the British surrendered at Yorktown.” To those who experienced it, however, the outcome revealed itself over the course of many months upon many months. My students sometimes express astonishment when I remind them that if they had started their freshman year in 1941, they would have spent all four of their years of high school in wartime. Imagine your entire high school experience taking place with America in an all-encompassing war.


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