Beyond 1945

In my last post, I promised that I would give you a brief overview about the remaining episodes of Heimat, which cover almost 40 years, from the end of the Second World War to 1982.  As you can imagine, the structure of these episodes is looser than that of some of the ones we watched recently, and they are also longer.  All in all, they most closely resemble the very first episode we watched, which covered the Weimar years.

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Heimat Family Tree

Now that we’ve wrapped up our screenings of Heimat, I thought you might find it helpful to see the Simon family tree, which can help us remember how all the various characters were related.  The image below comes from the book Heimat – Eine deutsche Chronik that Reitz published in 1985, shortly after the first run of his series on German television.

As you can see, there’s a final row of great-grandchildren that appear only in the last three episodes, which we will not watch for our class (I’ll post some capsule summaries of these episodes later in the week).


We’ll watch the eighth and final (for purposes of our course) episode of Heimat tonight from 7:30 to 9:15 in De Bartolo 117.  There will be homemade cake!
Your final papers are due prior to the screening.  Just send them to me as an attachment.  The Marco Polo projects, meanwhile, can wait until Wednesday night.

Marco Polo Project So Far – Part 2

During yesterday’s meeting with your team leaders and programmers, several people asked me whether I could share a template for what I considered to be a perfectly formatted placemark.  There’s unfortunately no easy way for me to upload a KMZ file to either this website or to Google Docs, but I’ll e-mail all of you a copy of the “Road to Cathay” file, which contains many excellent examples.

Meanwhile, here are some screen shots that should help you out.  The first shows the “Kashmir” placemark, which I think does a great job with textual sources.  Note that the person who wrote this paid equal attention to Marco Polo and the contemporary situation in Kashmir and incorporated these two parts into a fluid piece of prose, rather than just juxtaposing quotations.  The bibliography is professionally formatted and doesn’t require me to click through to another page.
The second screen shot shows the source code that was used to create this placemark.
The only problem with “Kashmir” is that it does not contain an image.  The last screenshot, of the “Wakhan” placemark, shows how to properly work with pictures.  The file has been resized to an appropriate dimension, and it has been attributed to the original creator who placed it in the public domain via Flickr.

Marco Polo Project So Far

As promised, here are some thumbnails of the Marco Polo project as it looks so far:

Since we last talked about this in class, I’ve had a chance to review a few more of your place marks.  I’m very happy with the work, but please keep in mind the copyright requirements that come with the assignment, specifically as they concern images.  The idea is that you go out and find image files that have a creative commons license; you cannot simply take a copyrighted image from, say the AP or the Washington Post and use it for this assignment, even if you attribute it.  Admittedly, such usage would almost certainly be covered by “fair use” clauses, but that’s not what the assignment stated – you need to find images that are in the public domain!

The Sound of Home

Posted by Michael

I found the soundtrack from Heimat available on iTunes. I know we’ve all commented on how the music is getting stuck in our heads, is anyone bold enough to stick it on their iPod?


We’ll meet for another Heimat screening tonight at 7:30 pm in 117 De Bartolo.  Our two episodes, “Up and Away and Back” and “Home Front” will carry us into the 1940’s and thus also into the Second World War.
Note that Connor’s blog post is already up, so be sure to get your comments in before you all leave for Thanksgiving!  This will be the last week in which we have student-generated blog content.

The Dispersion of the Simon Family

Posted by Connor.

Remember the opening scene of the Heimat mini-series? After the introduction in English with the photo albums, the camera’s attention turned to Paul and was focused on Paul as he returned to his hometown of Schabbach, Germany. After the First World War, the Simon family had finally been reunited. Their beloved soldier Paul was back from the war. Yet it did not seem to be such a joyous occasion. Everyone in the family went about their daily chores. Mathias didn’t really acknowledge Paul as Paul jumped into to help him mend a piece of metal. Wouldn’t you think he’d have been excited/proud that his son had returned home? Eduard went on reading the newspaper with everyone in the room, talking of all the different political events going on in the world. Paul did not seem to care at all that he was home and was blocking everyone out as he dreamed of his comrade who had passed in the war. I know I did not get the sense that this was a very cohesive family unit. Perhaps Reitz was foreshadowing what was to become of the Simon family, a family left in pieces. Did anyone see this coming? Continue reading

Peer Review Groups for Final Paper

Here are your peer review groups for the final paper:

Group 1:

Group 2:

Group 3:

Group 4:

Group 5:

Be sure to email your paper to your two teammates and to me in MS-Word compatible format (.doc, .docx, .rtf) no later than Tuesday, November 23, at 5 pm!

A Captivating Adventure

Posted by:  EJ

In the captivity narratives folder of the blog there are five blog posts. Between these five posts there are 18 comments. When you combine all of this text it is the equivalent of 18 typed pages.

These 18 pages contain truly original content – ideas we created because we thought they were worth discussing. So what better way to conclude this chapter in the Known World than to revisit these ideas we deemed so important and see if there is one theme that will unite them.

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