Stephen Fry Compares Current World Events to 1930s and ’40s Run-Up to World War II | Video

We are currently “in a cycle which is not dissimilar from the ’30s and ’40s” in the run-up to World War II, Stephen Fry told social media news outlet The News Movement at the Tribeca screening of his new Holocaust film “Treasure.” He added that, of course, “it’s always a mistake to overstate, ‘that person’s like Hitler,’ because no one’s the same exactly.”

Still, history is not meant to be about “the movement of politicians and armies,” the actor continued, but instead about “the experience of ordinary people” such as those he and Lena Dunham portray in the movie.

Fry added, “if we can’t remember that when we talk grandly about abstract things, about right and justice, and this country’s evil, and this one’s good, and so on… if we just talk about big things and forget individuals and their experience and what it will mean, people… W.H. Auden in his poem, ‘The Tyrant’, talked about how the tyrant laughs and brass bands play, the tyrant frowns and little children die in the streets.”

“And it’s that, it’s the fact that there is blood on the sidewalk when things go wrong,” Fry continued. “In the end, small people are beaten and dispossessed.”

Fry and Dunham, both actors with Jewish mothers, star in “Treasure” as a father and daughter who travel together to Poland. The movie is described as a “tragicomedy” in which Fry’s character spends much of his time deliberately avoiding speaking about his trauma as a Holocaust survivor and creating funny scenarios instead.

The movie is based on the book “Too Many Men” by Lily Brett. In the book, Fry and Dunham’s characters Edek and Ruth are joined on their trip by the ghost of Nazi Rudolf Höss, the longest-serving commandant of Auschwitz and subject of the recent films “The Zone of Interest” and documentary “The Commandant’s Shadow.”

You can watch the TNM interview with Fry in the video above.

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