Epic Graphic Novel “Berlin” Depicts the Rise of Fascism

An excerpt from Jason Lutes’ decades-in-the-making book, with distinct echoes of our current political climate.

Berlin by Jason Lutes is a graphic novel of parallel and intersecting narratives about the rise of fascism in Germany from 1928 to 1933. The richly detailed setting is the city of Berlin itself, which before the Third Reich was a world center of intellectual life and artistic innovation. A magnum opus decades in the making, Berlin depicts a society in crisis with obvious parallels to our own, and has been acclaimed for its insight, drama, and humanity.

In this section, journalist Kurt Severing contemplates the value of his writing to society after his friend Irwin is attacked by Nazis and unjustly arrested. 

Later in the narrative, a father and son attend a rally where a Nazi district leader—none other than Joseph Goebbels—uses the rhetoric of martyrdom, conspiracy, and racist scapegoating to manipulate the emotions of the crowd.

This excerpt from Berlin by Jason Lutes (Drawn & Quarterly, 2018) appears here by permission of the publisher.

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