Taken from the German television 3 part movie “Their Mothers Their Fathers”, this scene is hard to watch and hard to understand since it is not seen in context with the movie.
Yet the scene is prototypical of many of the atrocities perpetrated by Nazi Germany.
You can see the German officer is shocked and feels empathy towards the Jewish girl but is not able to prevent what happens next. And perhaps, slaughtering her is in order to teach him a lesson.
The movie was reviewed in Israel. Uri Avnery’s review of “Their Mothers, Their Fathers” appeared on March 1 2014 in avnery-news.co.il. Avnery himself fled from Germany to Palestine in 1933. Concerning the film’s not showing Nazi death camps, Avnery writes “The Holocaust is not the center of events, but it is there all the time, not as a separate event but woven into the fabric of reality.” He describes the progression of two of the protagonists: “Death is all around them, they see horrible war crimes, they are commanded to shoot prisoners, they see Jewish children butchered. In the beginning they still dare to protest feebly, then they keep their doubts to themselves, then they take part in the crimes as a matter of course.”
Avneri draws a very powerful conculusion. “It is this element of the situation that is difficult for many people to grasp. A citizen under a criminal totalitarian regime becomes a child. Propaganda becomes for him reality, the only reality he knows. It is more effective than even the terror.”
Is this in effect a way of forgiving the German civilian population of WW II? Difficult to say.