‘Life isn’t … ‘

The windows with the portraits of the living, the happy, the festive, give a false sense of life–which is not one round of weddings, of beautiful women with exposed shoulders, of confirmations. Sudden deaths, murders, heart attacks, drownings are celebrated in this world.

It is these instructive photographs that should be shown in the Pathe Newsreels, and not the continual parades, the patriotic Corpus Christi processions, the health spas with their drinking fountains, their parasols, their bitter curative waters, their terraces from Wagner myths. Life isn’t as serenely beautiful as the Pathe News would have you believe.

-Joseph Roth What I Saw: Reports from Berlin 1920-1933

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