[Last Crusade] Was Indy naive to trust an Austrian in 1938?

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by Princess_Tina, May 21, 2008.

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  1. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Anyone else been wondering lately if Indy was a bit too naive in The Last Crusade, trusting an Austrian in 1938, when Austria had just willingly allowed Nazi's to take it over? (For more info on the annexation, known as Anschluss, click [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anschluss]here[/link] )

    I enjoy the movie a lot, but for some reason think that if he really hated the Nazis that much, he might have been suspicious of any Austrian... at least in 1938.
  2. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Yeah I think a little bit sure, but remember this is fantastical so a little suspension of disbelief is necessary I think.
  3. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Oh, I think suspension of disbelief went a long way - this didn't even really occur to me until fairly recently, 19 years after I first watched the movie. ;)

    Ironically, it has been in great part watching the Young Indiana Jones series on DVD that's aroused my interest in all of the geopolitical causes and effects of both world wars. So I'm much more aware now that Austria is practically the only country that was practically dying to be annexed by Nazi Germany. Which of course doesn't mean that all Austrians were Nazis - just that you probably had to be careful who you trusted.
  4. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    See I am not sure I would characterize it as the Austrians practically dying to be annexed. A lot of backdoor politics and coercing was necessary to make things happen. It was fought on many levels by the Austrians. The Austrian Nazi Party had to basically pull a Coup d'état in order to make it happen. Nazi German propaganda would have had the world believe the Annexation was welcomed with open arms by the Austrians. Perhaps the greater world at the time, or academics like Indy, knew or felt otherwise.
  5. chibiangi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2002
    star 4
    Or maybe she was just a hot piece of kitty and he didn't care...
  6. the_immolated_one Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2006
    star 3
    I bet Indiana had heard of the von Trapp family and their remarkable escape from Nazi tyranny, so he felt Austrians couldn't all be bad. However, I'm talking about the fictional von Trapps who exist only on celluloid with Indiana Jones. The real von Trapps just got on a train and left Austria.

    But all bad jokes aside, maybe he just trusted Dr. Elsa Schneider because Alison Doody is so smoking hot. See I think it wasn't so much that he was naive but that he was truly smitten with her and that compromised his logic. The cool thing about the Indiana Jones character is he's just an ordinary guy. An example of this is in "Temple of Doom" were he is motivated by greed in the beginning of the movie. I got a kick out of these real archaeologists on the show called "Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest" saying that Indiana respects archaeology but that's bogus. The thing is: he sure wasn't respecting it when he was trying to barter Nuhaci's remains for a big diamond and in the movie we don't know what his intentions are with that diamond other than to make his pockets fat. But this is what I'm talking about, he's nothing but an ordinary guy and an ordinary guy wants to be rich and an ordinary guy will fall for a hot woman and a ordinary guy gets old, hence "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" unlike James Bond who never seems to get old, well never over 45 anyway.
  7. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Well obviously I can't claim to be an expert in Austrian or German history. But I've been trying to learn a bit more about it. I guess it's too easy to go by the appearances - knowing Germany and Austria-Hungary were allies in WW1 and that Austria didn't actively fight against Nazi annexation in 1938. Also the fact that, according to most accounts, Austrians today don't like to own up to their collaboration with the Nazis, where it may have existed.

    At any rate, if the Indy movies and TV series does awake some interest among some of us to learn more about history, geography and anthropology, then more power to Indy! ;)


    I don't think any real Indy fan would think that. He's always arguing that any important archeological find "belongs in a museum!" Also, according to the Indiana Jones diary, the diamond was supposed to be the famous Peacock's Eye, which he had been trying to rescue since the 1920's.

    And I'm not going to dispute she was attractive. But Indy's dad didn't trust her - even if he also go to know here intimately. ;)
  8. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    I don't claim to be an expert, but I do have a degree in German language and culture, which included a fair amount of historical studies, as I myself am fascinated by history in general. Yeah it's true that Austria did collaborate with the Nazis, they had their own Nazi party. But do not go by appearances, they can be very deceiving. I was only taking objection to the characterization of the "Anschluss" as the Austrians "practically dying to be annexed" because that is not true.
  9. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Well, I admit I was using a bit of hyperbole there. But I'm sure the Austrian Nazis really did look forward to it, though. ;)

    In all seriousness, I'd love to hear more about German/Austrian culture myself. I was just looking at the German site for KotCS - It's called Indiana Jones und das Königreich des Kristallschädels over there. :-B
  10. the_immolated_one Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2006
    star 3
    Then it appears you need to watch "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: The Treasure of the Peacock's Eye". That's where a teenage Indy and his friend Remy Baudouin go after the Peacock's Eye because "it could be our ticket to wealth beyond all dreams". Ask yourself if Indiana Jones is so righteous then why is he bartering with a gangster in the first place? Why is he trading the remains of Nurhaci for the diamond? The remains of Nurhaci are part of Chinese history and culture and the remains belong the Chinese people not a gangster. So it appears Indiana Jones' scruples seem to dissipate when they apply to Chinese culture and history. So are you sure Indiana Jones truly respects archaeology or are you romanticizing the character?

    So goodbye my real Indiana Jones fan, and I'll leave you with these words spoken by a young Indiana Jones when asked by Bronislow Malinowski why he was treasure hunting: "To get rich."
  11. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    I've actually just finished watching all 3 volumes of the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, thank you. Of course I saw the episode of The Treasure of the Peacock's Eye. But that alone wouldn't have been enough to know the diamond in Temple of Doom was apparently the Peacock's Eye.

    And of course, if you have seen The Treasure of the Peacock's Eye, then you should know that it was his conversations with Malinowski that made him realize he didn't really want material riches, which is why he gives up (for the time being) hunting for the Peacock's Eye, parts ways with Remy, and finally decides to go back to America and pursue a college education (archeology, of course).

    As for the remains of Nurhaci - we don't know for sure whether or not they were the real thing. He might have been trying to pull a fast one on Lao Che just for the sake of getting his hands on the Peacock's Eye and turning it over to the museum.
  12. Darth-Seldon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Not all Austrians were Nazis in 1938. She was his contact person in Venice and a colleague of his fathers. No reason not to trust her (except that his father went missing while in her company.)

    -Seldon
  13. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Yes, I already said that just because Austrians didn't fight against Nazi annexation, it doesn't exactly mean all Austrians were Nazis. As for her being a colleague of Indy's father -- well, yes, she was, and he (Henry Sr.) didn't trust her.
  14. Oissan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 9, 2001
    star 7
    Well, the idea behind combining Germany and Austria again wasn't entirely new. The Austrians originally wanted to write it into their constitution after WWI, pretty much declaring a unified Germany as the goal to achieve. The Allies didn't allow it, so they kept it out of it.

    Austria wasn't really all that different from Prussia or Bavaria, they were a German tribe so to speak. They definately had an interest in a reunited Germany, but that doesn't have much to do with later becoming part of Nazi Germany.
    I guess they would have gladly joined Germany if the situation had allowed it. Now, I don't think that it would have happened without Hitler. Only the appeasement-policy allowed it, and that wouldn't have happened without Hitler being in power. The Weimar Republic had no real strength to get such a unification past the allies.
  15. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Yeah I agree with that. I was just trying to say that Austria as a whole did not come running into Nazi hands with glee. There were large groups of Austrians who did not want to be a part of Nazi Germany, even if they did support some sort of unified German-speaking thing.
  16. the_immolated_one Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2006
    star 3
    Yeah, that's stretching things.

    The thing is:
    "Temple of Doom" and the "Peacock's Eye" share the same theme and that is that Indiana starts off as being treasure hunter and even a tomb raider in "Temple of Doom" and then at the end of both movies Indiana finds out what a real treasure is: In "Peacock's Eye" the real treasure is the education back home and the real treasure in "Temple of the Doom" was helping the Indian people. It's not a bad thing that Indy is not the most moral guy in the beginning of "Temple of Doom". It's just a character arc and it's just about redemption. It makes the movie better.
  17. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it - though I don't agree with it at all. Not to mention that it ultimately has nothing to do with the thread topic. :p
  18. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 8
    Indiana Jones hates Nazis but I think, by this point, Indy hasn't made the mental leap that Nazis are the total political spectrum of the Austrian-German people in 1938. If Elsa had been wearing a Swaztica armband, then he'd probably have had a far different reaction than knowing she's his father's assistant who just happens to be Austrian.

    Indiana Jones is thinking about his father at this time too. That probably distracts him. Sexism (or perhaps chivalry) also, honestly, probably did play a very large role in his dismissing her as a threat. Elsa seems to be a harmless academic and genuinely concerned for his father right up until the point she betrays him.
  19. GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin + Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I don't think he even had any reason to link her to Nazis until they had arrived at the castle, and by that point they'd already gone through quite a bit. And, really, I don't peg Indy as a xenophobe and the sort to distrust someone because they're a foreigner whose nation is run by a dodgy government.
  20. qui-gon-kim Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 19, 2001
    star 4
    Right. Remember the Von Trapp family and The Sound of Music?
  21. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    So the Nazis were just a dodgy government? [face_thinking] Plus also, I don't think being wary of the Japanese or Germans during WW2 made anyone a xenophobe -- just careful during wartime. And ultimately even Donovan told Indy not to trust anyone. ;)
  22. the_immolated_one Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2006
    star 3
    Please try not to be offended, but see if you're serious about all this then right there within your post shows the futility of questioning Indiana's mistake of trusting an Austrian. Because DONOVAN IS AN AMERICAN. And Belloq is a Frenchman and Mac is a Brit. I just don't think these Jones films are making any kind of statement about who should have been trusted and who shouldn't have been trusted in 1938 or in 1957 And look at this new movie: Indiana's own government has blacklisted him. If anything these movies show that people are just easily manipulated by material things and that's what the Elsa character is all about. I hardly think any thought was taken on behalf of the film makers to make a point about Nazi sympathizers from within Austria. There were people from within Austria who fought to liberate Austria from Germany.

    It's just I wouldn't read one Wikipedia article and make judgements about people or groups of people because first off: Don't believe everything you read on Wikipedia and second: The history of the European people started long before 1938 and there are so many things that you need to understand about that region and the world of the 19th century and early 20th century before you can make a decision on who was wrong and who was right in 1938. One of the biggest reason there even was a WW2 is because the Brits, Americans, and French just left Germany to rot after WW1. Hindsight is always 20/20 so that's why after WW2 the Americans fed and nurtured West Germany. Americans help rebuild Germany and Europe because they didn't want history to repeat itself. Chaos breeds war. The Great Depression hit Germany the hardest because of the reperations that Germany had to pay for losing WW1. There are even rumors that some people in Germany resorted to eating the dead because of the lack of resources, but those are just rumors as far as I know. In the midst of this chaos came a man that promised to give Germany its pride back, who stood up and refused to pay the reparations, who started to put the Germans to work in the factories and in the armies and that man was Hitler. I wouldn't be so hard on the Germans and Austrians if I was you. People make mistakes and that's just a fact of life and antisemitism was around in Europe long before Hitler was even born.

    The thing is: the age of Imperialism was still in full swing in the early 20th century and Great Britain, France, the U.S. and Japan were the front runners of early 20th century Imperialism so you have to ask yourself: Was what Germany doing to their European neighbors really that much different than what Great Britain was doing to India? See the U.S., England, and France had just stopped crapping in their own neighborhood by the early 20th century but they were still crapping abroad. Germany just came late to the age of imperialism and they just wanted their piece of the pie but by the early 20th century the pie was getting smaller. So what do you do? If you were a new imperialist in the early 20th century you became an imperialist by taking what belonged to the other imperialists. WW2 was nothing but a battle of the imperialist; however, the U.S. did do something actually quite profound when they help rebuild Europe and Japan but sometimes their means were questionable.

  23. LordNyax113 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3
    What a excellent and insightful post. =D=
  24. Princess_Tina Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 6
    Sorry, but you haven't said a single thing I didn't know since high school at least. There really isn't any need to be condescending. And the fact that there were people from other nationalities who perhaps should not have been trusted is absolutely irrelevant to the question at hand. Sorry, but I don't think anyone in their right mind should have blindly trusted an Austrian in 1938. Nothing you say even bears any rele
  25. the_immolated_one Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2006
    star 3
    Princess Tina, thanks for starting a thread where my opinion is not allowed.

    Also I would like to thank you for starting a thread where you open by saying you're interested in history now that you watched Young Indy but where I'm mocked for talking about history.

    Again, thank you for starting a thread where you say that all Austrians and Japanese were once villians and should not have been trusted. Yeah, we should all just swoon in your firebrand rhetoric that leads to historical events like Executive Order 9066.

    And finally thanks for starting a thread about a comic book movie character and his behavior that you believe should be critiqued as if he lived in the real 1938 world. These Indy movies are character studies. Nothing more.
    "Raiders" is the romatic story. "Temple of Doom" is Indy's redemption. "Last Crusade" is the love story between the father and son.

    You're not supposed to rationalize these movie other than the character development. Is your next thread going to be about why Indy shouldn't have trusted Wu Han because Wu Han's father was a member of the Society of Right and Harmonious Fists and after that are you going to tell us that Indy shouldn't have trusted Short Round because of his left wing socialist views?

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