The Stranger Extras

These aren't major spoilers regarding the outcome of the film, but they do present facts ahead of where Welles would have liked them presented. If you don't want to know why Kindler is an "obscenity" then do not read on.

The reason Wilson calls him that is because Kindler, in the movie, is the architect of The Final Solution. As no one seems to know or care, Hitler was not the architect. Hitler put it into place and embraced it, but he did not develop the death of millions.

If you think Hitler did it, then you probably think that six million were killed in concentration camps. You'd be wrong twice. First, twelve million were killed in concentration camps of which six million were Jews. Staggering, huh? That's my gripe against the concept of The Holocaust Museum; it diminishes the atrocity by focusing on those of the Jewish faith and visitors don't realize that the museum is a tribute and remembrance to about half of those abominably butchered. (Go to the museum and appreciate it. But, as horrific as the depicted events are, also realize that it isn't the whole truth. Also remember the Italians, Rumanians, Poles, Russians, and others who suffered the same fate.)

Anyway, I said you'd be wrong twice. The second reason is that the name of the person who came up with the plan for the wholesale slaughter of millions was not Hitler, but Hitler's chauffer. Yes, a little weasely man named Martin Boorman devised The Final Solution.

Boorman began as Hitler's chauffer, ingratiated himself, and rose in power. As powerful as Goering and Himmler, Boorman did not get their media attention. In fact, he was so low profile about himself that at the end of war he managed to escape by simply driving away. The rumor, captured in the Blue Öyster Cult song, "Boorman the Chauffer" (an additional track on the "Secret Treaties" CD), is that Boorman drove out of Berlin and into Switzerland at the end of the war.

In real life, supposedly, he was caught and killed in Switzerland, but there's no official confirmation of this and there are some conflicting stories like the one where he was positively killed at a train station in Berlin. The movie's Kindler could be considered as a fictionalized Boorman. Everything about Kindler but the age fits. Boorman was older than the Kindler character.

My mind is filled with little facts like these. They help keep things in perspective.

Oh, here's a movie tidbit. When Loretta Young is climbing the ladder to reach Welles in the clock tower, she's really climbing a ladder. When Welles reaches out and grabs her by one arm and the ladder falls away, that's really Welles with Young dangling without wires or special effects. Hearing Young describe it in an interview, you knew she was scared but trusted Welles when she appeared in that scene.

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