“Die Welle” is a German sociopolitical movie directed by Dennis Gansel. The movie is based on a social experiment and the novel, The Wave written by Tod Strasser. The main characters are Rainer Wegner, Tim, Marco, Karo, Lisa, Anke Wegner and Sinan. In the movie, Rainer Wenger, a school teacher, starts to lecture about autocracy despite the fact that he is an anarchist. At the beginning of his lectures, one of his students claims that a dictatorship cannot be established in contemporary Germany, then he decides to start an experiment to show the students how easily masses can be turned into a fascist community. He begins asking his students to call him as Mr. Wenger. He demands that every student stand and give direct answers when speaking. He also suggests putting on a uniform to remove all kinds of differences and unite the group. The next day the students think that they need a name and decide on “Die Welle” They become much more united except Karo and Mona, who are aware of the situation that they face. Meanwhile, the group starts to ostracise people who are not in The Wave and Tim becomes more and more attached and committed to The Welle. Members of the group resort to violence during a water polo competition after Karo and Mona find a way to distribute anti-The Wave fliers. Following the fight, Wenger calls a meeting of all the members. On the meeting when Wenger blazes away, Marco opposes him. Then, Wenger accuses him of being a traitor and asks the members to bring him for punishment. Finally, he disbands The Wave and by using this case shows his students how dangerous and extreme The Wave become.
To link fascism to the movie, it is needed to mention the certain principles of fascism. According to fascism people need to be united under a strong leader to be guided, there is strength through the unity, the individual is nothing and needs to be absorbed by the community, there has to be unquestioning obedience to the leader, individuals must be ready to sacrifice themselves, etc.
Wenger’s changing the students’ places to break off the bonds that they are familiar with is about undermining individualistic view and all types of distinctions among them. The purpose is to create a united group. He again aims to unionize by saying “We cannot face struggles on our own but if we unite, then we will be much more stronger.” and that is the principle of “There is strength through unity” of fascism. Then he mentions the concept of uniform and Lisa says “The purpose of the concept of uniform is to abolish all social differences.” Mona comments “Yes but it removes the sense of individualism, too.”
Marco’s saying “… The Wave means a lot to me, togetherness and unity.” to Karo, the members having their own party, the members fighting against people during the competition and ostracizing others show us how united they become. One of the student’s writing “We are all the parts of an entity. With The Wave, there are ideals to fight for.” is the clearest example of their having gained the sense of unity.
Members doing anything that Mr. Wegner says, especially bringing Marco to the stage for punishment shows their unquestioning obedience, loyalty, and respect to Mr. Wegner.
To conclude, Professor Wegner has effectively shown his students how extreme and fascistic they become so easily. It would be beneficial to finish with his final speech “Fascism is like this. We assume that we are the best, better than the others. The worst thing is that we ostracize the ones who do not think as we do and we hurt them.”