An illiterate woman was jailed for life for a list of her own names. She was charged with the massacre of jews during World War Two. There is no uniform or even a signal of the Schutzstaffel. But the accusation is more penetrating than the sword. They blamed the most common women in the war like Hannah, who is weak, independent and uneducated. They did brutal killings in a state of ignorance. The victim is dead but Hannah is alive. The pallid existence is worse than death, as if she had fallen into the abyss. At that moment, we don’t know who is more tragic compared with the victim. Hannah had to spend her whole life reflecting on her sins, and such a requirement seemed so contradictory to an illiterate person.
The author of The Reader, Schlink said what he wanted to show by Hannah and Michael is how the third Reich leaved a mark to the world and the post-generation, and what kind of feeling of guilt it caused to the world. Now, the sense of guilt has been lightened from generation to generation. Young generation is thinking two things. One is the disaster and damage the third Reich brought to the jews , their neighbors, gypsies, mental patients and gays. And the other is the respect and appropriate attitude we should have when we are facing the offspring of the victim.
In the movie, Michael represented the young generations on whom the ashamed and serious problems weigh. Some of the young generations chose to escape, living an easy life. But some of them like Michael thought deeply and took a deep reflection on the two perspectives of the victims and the ordinary people.
It is important to respect history and learn from the past so as not to repeat it. The Germans, who now have the right view of history, have greatly improved the recognition of democratic institutions. People cherish freedom, democracy and peace more nowadays.