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Hypno-Toad 03-24-2020 11:54 AM

Babylon Berlin Question
In the Netflix series Babylon Berlin, there is a character named Horst Kessler. He's a Brownshirt (A Nazi) and is involved with the early, 1929, machinations of the Nazi party.

Is this guy a reference or analogy to Horst Wessel? The real-life Brownshirt who was a martyr for the Nazi cause?

Sam Stone 03-24-2020 01:14 PM

No, I don't think so. I just read up on Horst Wessel, and he was a law student. There are no incidents in his Wikipedia entry that line up with the events in the show. The real Horst Wessel was not physically imposing and had a deformed arm.

The real Horst Wessel was killed in 1930, and we're not quite there yet in Babylon Berlin. I'd say that if Horst Kessel is murdered by a Communist by being shot when he opens his apartment door, or if he dies and Goebbels decides to turn him into a martyr, then we can say the character was at least loosely inspired by Horst Wessel. But so far, the only thing they seem to have in common is a first name and that they were thugs in the NSDAP.

Hypno-Toad 03-24-2020 06:07 PM

Both the real Horst and this horst had an (ex?)-prostitute girlfriend named Erna. So I think I'm right and that they are basing the character on the original.

Sam Stone 03-24-2020 06:37 PM

Oh, I missed that! That's indeed a good piece of evidence.

Hypno-Toad 03-26-2020 09:57 AM

I wonder if the show will last long enough to reach the end of Horst's timeline. It seems like the end of this season is the real end of the Weimar Republic and Jazz Age Germany. Going further would be to start a new story.

Sam Stone 04-02-2020 04:17 PM

Having watched to the end of the season (spoilers from here)....

Horst Kessler is clearly Horst Wessel. He was even killed in his doorway as the real Wessel was.

As for the rest of the show.... Man did it get dark and twisted and strange at the end. The plot with the forensics scientist came right out of the blue, and I don't think I'm German enough to understand all the crazy subtext at the end with the show and how it affected everyone. It was clearly supposed to be a metaphor for what the protagonists were going through, but I didn't really get it.

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