The View from Hell

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A Fascist View of Suicide

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Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s movie The Lives of Others, about the East German secret police in the 1980s, implies that the fascist government stopped keeping statistics on suicides, and re-termed suicide “self-murder,” in response to the high number of suicides there, especially of writers and artists, which uncomfortably reflected the misery of East Germany.

This word, self-murder, placing moral reprehensibility upon the suicide and whitewashing any moral responsibility from his horrible situation, is the same usage as the Dutch word (zelfmoord) cited so approvingly by suicide opponent Sherwin Nuland in his book How We Die, in reference to the negative Dutch attitude toward suicide by the non-terminally-ill.

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Written by Sister Y

May 22, 2008 at 3:50 am

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