Weimar Society In Blood Brothers

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In Ernst Haffner’s novel Blood Brothers, the state of the Weimar Republic was cast in a dim, depressing, and pessimistic light. One of the most prominent challenges faced by the boys in the book was the decay of family values and traditions. Each of the brothers, in some form or another, dealt with the lack of familial stability, and how that changed the direction of their lives, in different ways. The very concept of what a family meant turned on its head after the war, “The family, too, seemed to be in rapid decline. An ecstasy of erotisism cast the world into chaos. Many things that otherwise took place in secret appeared openly in the bright light of the public stage.” (Ostwald, 77). Haffner’s descriptive view of the Weimar Society from …show more content…

From his position as a social worker, Haffner must have been privy to many problems, familial and otherwise, that were present in society. Haffner was also not a part of the military elite, or the government for that matter, so his perspective from below is solidified by this particular rank. By writing down and narrating Blood Brother, Haffner recreated Weimar society and further cemented these stereotypes present in the society at the time. Haffner’s main blind spot in his novel is a direct result of his gender. Based on his novel, it is clear that the role of women in Weimar was not important, or well received by men such as himself. The picture painted of women, when they were even spoken of, was undesirable and condemning. It seemed as though their only role was to appease the needs of men through sex, Ludwig once describes a scene where, “He’s put between two drunken women who’re not too proud to grope him for cigarettes.” (Haffner, 25). The boys’ attitudes towards women, and how the interact with them, showcases the lack of understanding Haffner had of women; how often times, they had to resort to prostitution in order to make ends meet. After the war, women also were more sexually liberated, “Above all, it was the women who in many respect completely transformed themselves. They asserted their demands, particularly their sexual demands, much more clearly. In every conceivable way they intensified their claim to the right of life and a full range of experience.” (Ostwald, 77). Women had taken new liberties with their lives, and Haffner’s point of view completely missed this new

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