Mixed Signals From Spielberg?

Saving Private Ryan: A Review
Published: 1998-07-30

Saving Private Ryan, directed by Steven Spielberg

Let's begin with what this latest entry in the Spielbergian canon is not: it is not a "holocaust" or gas chamber flick. Saving Private Ryan is about combat on the Western front during World War Two and the honor and compassion of the U.S. government; overt Jewish themes are almost non-existent.

So what's Spielberg's point, what is the message from this most didactic of the current generation of Jewish-Hollywood wunderkinds?

There's a message of course, but it is delivered by mostly subtle means. This film is also about commerce—building the "Dream Works" super-studio's war chest into the hundreds of millions of dollars. (Their next project is an animated film about a black Moses raised by a black Pharaoh Ramses).

Spielberg's overarching message in Saving Private Ryan is that after 54 years, the Allied myths about World War Two continue to hold true—Studs Terkel's pivotal reference point—"The Good War"—is confirmed. There are good wars, by golly, and WWII was it. Hip, hip, hooray!

Don't look for the shades of moral gray or existential self-doubt that attends retrospective accounts of Korea and Vietnam. Those were bad wars (we were fighting Communism) and American vets are supposed to grieve in a fit of collective nervous breakdown for even having participated.

That's not the case with World War Two—a "good war" because it was the greatest white fratricide in an age of white fratricide. So how does Spielberg go about celebrating the "values" of the "good war" in a time of slackers, grunge and Generation X?

First, he plays on the heart-strings of the same type of naive draftees who marched to Omaha Beach in the first place: the heartland goyim who, in 1998, are desperately weary of the sickness of soul afflicting America and who want heroes and something to believe in again.

Voila — Spielberg to the rescue. Zionists are always willing to wave their cinematic wands of approbation over the killing fields of the Gulf War and World War Two because "enemies of the 'Jews" were "our" enemies in those conflicts.

So, patriotism, bravado and blind faith in army generals are conditionally legitimate here (whereas in Korea and Vietnam such attributes among America's fighting men were just shy of a war crime).

The hook for the audience for Saving Private Ryan is the loving, slow-motion caress with which Spielberg's cameras embrace the pornography of violence, as previously seen in Spielberg's "Amistad," (in a high-tech orgy of dramatized white on black violence aboard a slave ship).

Saving Private Ryan opens with the U.S. infantry landing on the blood-spattered beaches of Normandy, where those German SOBs actually had the nerve to shoot at the invading Americans. The gall!

The nearly-psychedelic scenes of death and carnage—perhaps the most thrilling and beguiling ever staged—will surely attract the video sadists to this roller coaster of digital, "virtual combat."

Beyond the ultra-violence, Spielberg has a nearly three hour film to fill and what he does with his time actually constitutes camp—failed seriousness.

This film is a botched job, to the extent that Spielberg subverts his own agenda in a concluding cemetery scene and reveals a terrible truth about the Jewish mentality in the process.

The premise of the film is a huge slice from the dusty dish of "Capra-corn" (after pro-Soviet sentimentalist Frank Capra). It seems that Uncle Sam cares about his troops. No less a figure of sterling manhood than FDR's General George C. Marshall takes a personal interest in Private Ryan, the sole survivor among four brothers who marched off to make the world safe for Communism.

Marshall touchingly recites by heart the words of that other champion killer of white men—Abe Lincoln—to set the sentimental stage for a search-and-rescue operation for the surviving Private Ryan—a parachutist who landed off-course in "enemy"-occupied France.

A special team of Army rangers is dispatched to save him (in the middle of a war!). The team is deliberately comprised of one of those multi-ethnic American units that were staples of B-movies and Marvel comic books. There's a timid egghead, a dumb Italian, a pushy Jew, a big Aryan from Brooklyn and a Sgt. York type from the South.

The unit is so swarthy, at first it almost resembles a detachment from the Puerto Rican National Guard. The Jewish character waves his "Star of David" necklace at German POWs and taunts them with shouts of "Juden, Juden." But there are no depictions of any husky German grunt spitting on the "sacred" necklace. The scene is the sole Jewish reference in the film. There is no sense that a "holocaust" is transpiring a few thousand miles eastward in Poland.

Why Spielberg didn't hit the "holocaust" theme harder is anyone's guess. It's my hunch he intuits how weary American audiences are of blatant holohoax operas. He chose to advance his agenda by less transparent means.

One of these is the suggestion that the Wehrmacht—mostly conscripts, if we recall our history—are practically war criminals just for fighting the Americans.

Spielberg the "humanitarian" telegraphs an unambiguous message about the necessity of shooting unarmed German POWs and how foolish it is not to shoot them (the Jewish soldier eventually dies as a result of his captain having failed to authorize the murder of a German POW).

One of the most compelling principals in the film is the Sgt. York character—a Protestant fundamentalist from the South who's a diehard German-hater. When a POW speaks to him in German, he erupts in a rage, saying, "Shut that filthy pig Latin!"

"Pig Latin"? Is Spielberg mocking the presumed ignorance of the servants of Zionism? German being the language of philosophy and rocketry, among other stellar Teutonic achievements, Spielberg would seem to be both applauding and mocking the anti-German bigotry of this "hick," who mutters a psalm every time he blasts any German who gets in his sniper rifle's sights.

How the Germans ever conquered Europe and North Africa and fought the Red Army to the gates of Moscow is certainly a mystery if one credits their portrayal in "Saving Private Ryan." They fight with basic soldierly resolve only as long as they have the advantage—a fortified pill box, a machine gun nest or a Tiger tank. But as soon as the tide turns, the German soldiers toss their arms into the air and jabber in hysterical fear and pleading.

They fight with the same wooden stupidity as did the extras on the set of the old 60s TV series "Combat"—as soon as they are in American sights they get hit and drop, whereas American troops can run in front of a legion of Wehrmacht rifles and machine guns while dodging bullets with miraculous invulnerability.

In a bizarre scene, the Jewish soldier loses a bout of hand-to-hand combat with a German soldier, who then knifes the "Jew" with an almost loving compassion. I'll leave that bit of Spielbergania to Freud.

There is some surprisingly poor casting. Mafia-movie actor Dennis Farina plays an American officer with no credibility whatever and TV's Ted Danson has a gratuitous cameo as another officer. All that's missing is a cameo—ala Hitchcock—of Spielberg himself in earlocks and kipa.

There is just one swastika visible in the film (a graffito painted on the Atlantic Wall). Even an SS tank commander appears sans monocle and armband. Spielberg is obviously very sensitive to charges of overkill and shoah-biz schlock.

He makes his anti-German point with a much lighter touch, but he makes it all the better by this near-subliminal technique. It's simple, really, an old trick from the propaganda manual: he endears us to the American troops by showing them griping and complaining (yes, even the "Jew" gets out of line), joking, sobbing and gambling.

We share their life stories and their jests. We "bond" with them. They are not robots. They gripe about "foobar"—catch-all slang for US government incompetence and high command absurdity (the government is incompetent even in its great compassion and goodness—a concession to combat infantry "realism").

The Germans are mere ciphers, however. Never does Spielberg take us to their campfire to hear their songs and stories. We almost never glimpse their humanity. No German words are ever translated into sub-titles. German becomes an unintelligible clamor—a "pig Latin." We are glad whenever the German boys die and Roosevelt's troops prevail.

The closest Spielberg comes to humanizing the German troops is in a brief standoff between an American and a German, when they both run out of ammo and hurl their helmets at each other; and in a quick flash of a German soldier making a hurried gesture resembling the Catholic sign of the cross (blink and you miss it).

In a nearly three hour film, those 15 seconds do not counter-balance the straw men Spielberg has fashioned. He has shown even these skimpy scenes only to make his point more convincing—yes, he grudgingly seems to be saying in these snippets—the Germans are sort of human, maybe—but not anywhere on par with the noble and lovable Americans.

This would not wash in a 1990s war film about Korea or Vietnam. Asian soldiers would have to be painted in the full strokes of their humanity or the filmmaker would risk charges of racism. Germans? Bunch of "krauts."

Spielberg's defenders will claim he humanized the Germans in a scene with a German POW who babbles about "Betty Boop" and "Steamboat Willie." But his mutterings are grotesque, not poignant. This is not a means for humanizing Germans, it's a microscopic examination of how the vaunted "Hitlerian superman" behaves when he's disarmed—his behavior being perilously close to that of a coward.

There is not a single good German soldier in "Saving Private Ryan," just as every single one of the hundreds of German soldiers depicted in "Schindler's List" were, to a man, nothing but homicidal robots.

I would summarize Spielberg's "Pvt. Ryan" homily to the next generation of American cannon fodder as follows:

Hey kids, don't get too far out into grunge and 'slacking.' Sooner or later it will be your turn to die for the Holy People in another Glorious Crusade against 'tyranny.' I will show you the blood and guts—none of the horrors of war are hidden here. But you'll be a man, son, if you kill the enemies of the honorable U.S. government who are, after all, the enemies of semi-divine Zionism.

Where Spielberg trips up most patently is at the end of the movie, when his cameras return to Arlington National Cemetery (a suitable locale for his morbid funereal psychosis—he also concluded "Schindler's List" with a macabre trip to a seedy, Israeli cemetery).

In a scene calculated to jerk tears from the most hardened AmVet or Legion member, a doddering old soldier performs a tableau of patriotism. As he does so, the camera pans across the cemetery and we see literally thousands of crosses marking the graves of the poor lads who died fighting their German brothers in Europe. Among all those graveyard crosses there is only one grave marked by a Star of David.

Spielberg is openly advertising a highly disproportionate ratio. When Americans go to war, for every couple thousand gentiles who die, one "Jew" dies. Since Spielberg deliberately chose to visually represent this disproportional casualty rate, what does this reveal about his mentality?

Does it not imply that he feels we were born to die for his tribe—that perhaps by such means we are absolved from the "guilt" of being goyim, through glorious death for the yeshiva boys who themselves mostly don't trouble to join the American army?

Saving Private Ryan is a whitewash of the ignominious record of George C. Marshall and a celebration of senseless fratricide and national chauvinism; and this from that compassionate paragon of super-humanitarianism—that bearded and bespectacled teddy-bear— "Uncle Steve" Spielberg, "repository of Jewish warmth and wisdom."

Sweet dreams, kiddies...the killing fields await another generation of American manhood, prepped and primed by the latest Hollywood enchanter. Prepare the prosthetics and wheel chairs, puff up the pillows at the Veteran's hospitals, speed up production at the body-bag factories, war-Zionism is on a "patriotic" roll—across the technicolor screen and around the world.

Michael A. Hoffman II, Editor Published by the The Campaign for Radical Truth in History Coeur d'Alene, Idaho http://www.hoffman-info.com. Hoffman is a former reporter for the N.Y. bureau of the Associated Press and the editor of "Revisionist History" journal

In the short time since its release, Steven Spielberg's latest message film, Saving Private Ryan, appears to have people confused about the nature of its message. It doesn't seem to do much to reduce passions about the events of that era, as some emails from around the Net will show.

This first set of email comments is from an AOL board about the movie, and was posted to an Internet discussion group.

— David Thomas

Subject: i dont like germans any more
Date: Wed, Jul 29, 1998 23:03 EDT
From: SDeLeon117
Message-id: <[email protected]>

This movie was great. It was the greates war movie of all time. But it made me hate Germans because they were cold blooded animals.

Subject: Re: My father and his buddies and a German sniper.
Date: Mon, Jul 27, 1998 00:44 EDT
From: Gulz2thsea
Message-id: <[email protected]>

My father was in the Battle of the Bulge and during one of the skirmishes they met up with some German soldiers who had taken the uniforms off of dead American GI's and tried to pass so they could get closer and kill the Americans. This was in the middle of the winter. My dad and his fellow GI's made the Germans strip and had them ride on the front of the jeeps until they froze to death and then they flicked them off just like bugs. I never understood that mentality until now!!!! Kill or be killed.

Subject: SS man stabbing Jewish GI
Date: Wed, Jul 29, 1998 17:58 EDT
From: CMoerk
Message-id: <[email protected]>

Just FYI, a few details on the scene in the loft where the SS NCO (NOT the toothy Wehrmacht NCO the GI translator let live first and later shoots):

a) The SS man whispers: "Easy, easy, it's much better this way; it's almost over, shh." A creepy lullaby, and as some have said already, the symbolism of the other GI cowering in fear and letting this happen is hugely symbolic of our unwillingness for the longest time to face the Holocaust.

b) It is this death — combined with the later putdown from the Wehrmacht soldier he recognizes in the lineup — that makes the young GI reverse his later decision not to kill an unarmed man.

c) Both are extremely realistic — and honest. That's what streetfighting is like.


The next is from a militant racialist group newsletter.

The Nationalist Observer via FIPS (TNO Correspondent)
1269 recipients Writing in "[ ]"s by Alex Curtis

"Saving Private Ryan" – a review

Say what you will, but a film made in this day and age that shows "the Nazis" and particularly the SS as combatants heroic beyond imagining, fighting with greater dignity and courage than their all-white (plus a single loud-mouthed yid) American opponents... should be seen. The scene where the SS Mann (who also ends up killing Tom Hanks in combat and is himself murdered for it by an American coward) tells the Jew (who begins trying to negotiate!) that he must die as a solider now and should die in peace, while gently sinking his knife into the Jew's "heart", is unforgettable. This film could have been made by the Gods of Manhood and War working together. For the history "buffs" among you, the final battle scene in the movie appears to decently reflect the June 11-13 real battle for Carentan, where elements of the U.S. 101st Airborne took the city on the 12th from German and Vichy French police formations, only to be nearly driven out the next day by a few Panzergrenadiers from the 17th SS Division. It took the last-second arrival of the entire U.S. 2nd Armored Division and all their air cover to finally recover.

It all kinda makes you wonder what the white Americans and the white Nazis could have accomplished... together.

Finally, for now, this late addendum from Liz Smith.

Spielberg teaches important lesson

by Liz Smith

("...North America's foremost gossip columnist...")

[*The Calgary Sun*, July 25, 1998, p. 40]

"The men of D-Day... to them had come the responsibility, the sacrifice and the honor of saving Western civilization," said director Steven Spielberg of the invasion of Normandy, which is portrayed in his movie, Saving Private Ryan.

This film will be a wonderful education for the multitude of young people out there who don't realize the importance of the Second World War... who aren't sure Hitler actually existed... who don't believe the Holocaust happened.

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Michael A. Hoffman
Title: Mixed Signals From Spielberg? , Saving Private Ryan: A Review
Published: 1998-07-30
First posted on CODOH: July 28, 1998, 7 p.m.
Last revision:
Comments: Reviews; with contribution by Liz Smith, Alex Curtis, and others
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