It was to become a new Limes, according to Hitler's plan, an insurmountable bulwark against the Allies in western Germany. Built at the end of the thirties of the last century, the "Westwall", partly hidden deep in the woods, stretches from the Netherlands to Switzerland. A six hundred and thirty kilometer long testimony to megalomania, with formerly more than eighteen thousand bunkers, countless anti-tank barriers and tunnel systems, some of which were built by forced labor. Stones, trenches and underground structures, which, so the suggestion, tie in with heroic history. After the Second World War, large parts were blown up, others were conserved for historical reasons or left to nature. Parts of the "West Wall" - also called the "Siegfried Line" by the English - can be viewed in the Eifel, for example.The mythization is clearly conveyed as an element of the German war strategy and national conspiracy. As the alleged heirs of the Nibelungs, the Nazis wanted to make themselves invulnerable on the "West Wall" - or alternatively, they wanted to play Germanic tribes. Weltanschauung was made subservient to whatever was possible. Later it turned out that the ideologically inflated defenses in the West were not that grandiose at all.

As the setting for a series that deals with current right-wing extremist and right-wing terrorist social dangers and possible clandestine structures in police and constitutional protection agencies, the “Westwall” is well chosen. The script for the series of the same name, which its author Benedikt Gollhardt ("Danni Lowinski") initially published as a book, but above all the production by Isa Prahl ("Tatort: ​​Gefangen", "What we knew: Risk pill") and the design of the images by Andreas Köhler (“Global Family”) are clearly aimed at a young audience. The audience that the public broadcasters are more or less desperately trying to win. In “Westwall”, it is not the mediation of history that is required, but a current reference to the present. The series is a lesson for peoplewho switch off in traditional history lessons but stick to video games.

Protection of the constitution are on her trail

At first the opponents are unknown, the mission remains in the dark, friend and foe only separate from level to level, information is found and used, fight follows fight, key after key, until the final showdown. Six episodes, six levels, if you will, six twists and escalations, as well as a touch mystery are offered by the fictional right-wing terrorist persecution of "Westwall". The central characters are Julia (Emma Bading) and Nick (Jannick Schümann), two young adults who for a long time have no idea who is pulling strings in the background. Julia is a police candidate, the next "super police officer", as not only friend Lydia (Lorna Ishema) and trainer Roosen (Rainer Bock) think. Julia shoots brilliantly,is guided by her intuition and takes care of her paraplegic community father Wolfgang (Karsten Antonio Mielke). Apparently by chance she meets Nick, who is coached and put under pressure by Keppler (Devid Striesow), an opaque guy.

After the first sex, Julia flees - she discovers a swastika tattoo on Nick's back. Meanwhile, a mysterious woman, Ira (Jeanette Hain) moves with several "children" into an abandoned sawmill on the Siegfried Line. With her protégés, formerly homeless youths, and her right hand, the bomb maker Karl (David Schütter), Ira wants to set up a paramilitary cell in the forest to prepare for an overthrow in Germany through underground attacks. Protection of the constitution are on her trail. Dr. Gräf (Suzanne von Borsody), the manager, is also struggling with the authorities' conflict of jurisdiction and a mole in their own home. Keppler is her confidante, together they put Nick on Julia. The plan: They want to track down Ira through Julia. What is the relationship between the two womenonly gradually reveals itself.

As a television or media library event, “Westwall” is of average quality. Dramaturgical arcs are used stereotypically, "Superpolicist" Julia shoots and investigates practically indestructible, dropout neo-Nazi Nick is soon madly in love, and bravely fights from injury to injury, the youth terror line sometimes looks like mom's favorite camp. Dr. Count, with a (floppy) hat, is little more than a teller of information. But Emma Bading, who gave a great performance as a gaming addict in “Play”, plays with her own physical directness. The series owes much of the existing credibility to her.Devid Striesow and Rainer Bock give their characters a bit of ambivalence and Jeanette Hain conveys the image of a megalomaniacal figure with an insane talent for manipulation in her tirades of hate against non-“bio-Germans”. "Westwall" is not a real political thriller (like "Furia") and also has no intention of dealing with youthful right-wing extremism in a multifaceted way (like the film "Kriegerin"). Ultimately, the greatest attraction lies in the image design by Andreas Köhler, who has received numerous awards for documentaries such as “NoBody's Perfect”. The historical backdrop of nature on the Westwall does not escape the documentarist's gaze, despite the mystical swirling fog and indistinct secondary characters."Westwall" is not a real political thriller (like "Furia") and also has no intention of dealing with youthful right-wing extremism in a multifaceted way (like the film "Kriegerin"). Ultimately, the greatest attraction lies in the image design by Andreas Köhler, who has received numerous awards for documentaries such as “NoBody's Perfect”. The historical backdrop of nature on the Westwall does not escape the documentarist's gaze, despite the mystical swirling fog and indistinct secondary characters."Westwall" is not a real political thriller (like "Furia") and also has no intention of dealing with youthful right-wing extremism in a multifaceted way (like the film "Kriegerin"). Ultimately, the greatest attraction lies in the image design by Andreas Köhler, who has received numerous awards for documentaries such as “NoBody's Perfect”. The historical backdrop of nature on the Westwall does not escape the documentarist's gaze, despite the mystical swirling fog and indistinct secondary characters.The historical backdrop of nature on the Westwall does not escape the documentarist's gaze, despite the mystical swirling fog and indistinct secondary characters.The historical backdrop of nature on the Westwall does not escape the documentarist's gaze, despite the mystical swirling fog and indistinct secondary characters.

The first two episodes of

Westwall will

run on Saturday from 9.45 p.m. on ZDF.

ZDFneo will show all episodes on Tuesday, December 7th and the following Wednesday at 9.45pm.

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