Full of errors
A Reader | 11/01/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is part of a package series of five DVDs. The impression they made on me was that they were made to "mystify" various areas of WWII history where standard scholarship sees no mysteries, really. Another gimmick of earning more money in nowaday's "globalised" world, I suppose.
The presentation, footage, and commerntary are above average. But the narratiove contains many factual errors, that even well- read kids can point out. Firstly, the narrator says that there was no such thing as an "Aryan" racial concept before Mme. Blavatsky, a 19th century Russian occultist invented it; the term merely applied to a group of languages in linguistics. That is a blatant scholastic and historical error:
The modern day name of Persia, Iran, is a variation of the word "Aryan", and Iranians have a very clear and proud historical consciousness of being Aryan stretching back for more than 3000 years. Similarly, the ancient name for neighbouring Afghanistan was "Aryana", yet another variant of "Aryan". It is true that not much is known about this ancient eurasian caucasoid racial agglomeration in its early history; it is known to have contained many different racial variations on the caucasian type but what we do know is that this hitherto obscure mass became restive and suddenly "exploded" all over eurasia some 3500 years ago, with some branches populating Persia and India, while others went north-westwards from their central asian and southern Russian strongholds to populate Germany, Scandinavia and the British isles. Here again comes to light another error in this film, about the swastika in history, which the narrator says was a "Buddhist good-luck sign". It is actually a Hindu religious symbol denoting good luck, and from there also passed on to Buddhism, which came 2000 years later. The Aryan origins of the swastika are in no doubt, because the Hindus also claim a very clearcut Aryan origin, and this is the basis for Indian society's oppressive caste system which still exists today. It derives its legitimacy from the notion that Aryans are superior to the aboriginal Indian Dravidian races and therefore should be separated in society from each other by different "castes".
So this documentary is based on flimsy scholarship, meant to create an irresponsible thrill in an important subject's history where none are needed, in order for it to sell."