Tobias Temming, M.A.



Tobias Temming was born 1980 in Osnabrück, Germany. He studied German Literature and Media, History as well as Political Science at the Philipps-University Marburg, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Granada, Spain. Additionally, during his academic studies, he gained practical experiences at the European Parliament in Brussels and the German Embassy in Lima, Peru. There he was working in the fields of development cooperation as well as education and culture. In 2007 he finished his Master thesis on the epistemic value of Thomas Mann’s political essays and speeches for contemporary research on Fascism. Amongst other things, he worked afterwards as a scientific assistant for a Member of the German Parliament in Berlin.


Resistance – History – Film. Visualisations of Resistance in German and Dutch Cinema from 1945–1965

Public debate has arisen in Germany and the Netherlands about a consensus on the remembrance of national culture, initiated among other things by modern European Integration. As early as 1945, experiences from WWII were the cause of particularly forceful debate in both countries in this respect. This divide is especially apparent in regards to the commemoration of resistance to national socialism and fascist occupation from 1940-1945. As a national ‘lieu de memoire’, it’s remembrance is of crucial importance to the collective memory in Germany and the Netherlands. The reception and production of movies and other audiovisual materials played an important role in the discursive construction of history. Besides film, successful TV-series like “World at war”, “Holocaust” or “De bezetting”, have exposed the public to a formerly unfamiliar type of history, which we now call ‘visual history’. It is designed to convince its evidence by mediating the feeling of first hand contact, instead of convincing through reason. Both as a formative agent for European history of memory as well as element of civil society’s remembrance culture, motion pictures influence one’s imagination, one’s very personal archive of imagery, and the way by which we perceive and evaluate history. Especially early Dutch and German resistance movies provoked highly emotional reactions in both country’s publics inasmuch as they broke with dominant memorial narratives of anti-fascist resistance and thereby contributed to a novel discourse of common historical images.

In this context, this research project seeks to analyze the iconographic discourse of a selected set of early Dutch and German resistance movies in a comparative approach in which they are regarded as ‘cinematic segments of cultural memory’. Firstly, the analysis will focus on the aesthetic and narrative representation of anti-fascist resistance used in Dutch and German cinema as well as on the depiction of characters as victims, antagonists, heroes, or outcasts. Secondly, this thesis will contextualize these cinematic memory segments in the prevailing socio-cultural milieu and relate them to other dominant social and political trends of national remembrance culture. In addition to the development of the audiovisual history of resistance to Nazism in postwar Germany and the Netherlands, this dissertation contributes towards a better understanding of the manner in which film modulates civil society’s remembrance culture. This may result in a better sense of how documentation is presently acting as formative agent in moulding future perceptions of history and according to what interest critical sources of our future documentation of history are created.