This page is dedicated for the compilation of real-life references to names, places, foods and concepts mentioned in the Monster universe.
Note that most of the descriptions/links that will be used are from Wikipedia.
The majority of the Monster plot took place in two countries: Germany and the Czech Republic. Naoki Urasawa and Werner Weber made a lot of references about both countries which contributed to the plot development of the series.
GermanyEditThe first half of the series took place in Germany until Johan, Tenma, and the others went to the Czech Republic. The backstory of Monster includes the distinction between East and West Germany during the mid-1900s, with East Germany portrayed in a very negative light due to its association with inhumane human experiments and involvement with the communist bloc.
Officially known as the Federal Republic of Germany (in German, "Bundesrepublik Deutschland"), is a federal parliamentary republic in western-central Europe. The country consists of 16 states, and its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants, it is the most populous member state in the European Union. As of the 21st century, Germany is one of the major political and economic powers of the European continent and a historic leader in many theoretical and technical fields.
The series started in Germany with Dr. Tenma being a successful brain surgeon in Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf.
DüsseldorfEditDüsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region with 11.5 million people.
Düsseldorf is an international business and financial centre and is renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located within the Blue Banana, the city is headquarters to five Fortune Global 500 and several DAX companies. Messe Düsseldorf claims to organize nearly one fifth of all world‘s premier trade shows.
Culturally, Düsseldorf is known for its academy of fine arts (Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, e.g. Joseph Beuys, Emanuel Leutze, August Macke, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Andreas Gursky), its pioneering influence on electronic/experimental music (Kraftwerk), and its relatively large Japanese community. As a city by the river Rhine, Düsseldorf is a stronghold for Rhenish Carnival celebrations. Every year in July more than 4.5 million people visit the city's Largest Fair on the Rhine funfair.
As the seventh most populous city in Germany by population within city limits and an urban population of 1.5 million, Düsseldorf is one of five metropolitan regions in Germany.
The Lieberts of East Germany came to live in Düsseldorf with which their murder paved the way for the meeting of Dr. Tenma and Johan.
HeidelbergEditHeidelberg is a city in southwest Germany. The fifth-largest city in the State of Baden-Württemberg after Stuttgart, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, and Freiburg im Breisgau, Heidelberg is part of the densely populated Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. In 2011, over 149,000 people lived in the city. Heidelberg lies on the River Neckar in a steep valley in the Odenwald.
A former residence of the Electorate of the Palatinate, Heidelberg is the location of Heidelberg University, well known far beyond Germany's borders. Heidelberg is a popular tourist destination due to its romantic and picturesque cityscape, including Heidelberg Castle and the baroque style Old Town.
Heidelberg CastleEditThe Heidelberger Schloß (in English, "Heidelberg Castle") is a famous ruin in Germany and landmark of Heidelberg. The castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps.
The castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is located 80 meters (260 ft) up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. It is served by an intermediate station on the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway that runs from Heidelberg's Kornmarkt to the summit of the Königstuhl.
The earliest castle structure was built before AD 1214 and later expanded into 2 castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt destroyed some rebuilt sections.
In the series, this is where Nina would have had to meet Johan had Tenma not stopped their encounter because he thought Johan would kidnap her.
Heidelberg UniversityEditThe Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, more commonly known as the Heidelberg University, is a public research university located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Founded in 1386, it is the oldest university in Germany and was the third university established in the Holy Roman Empire. Heidelberg has been a coeducational institution since 1899. Today the university consists of twelve faculties and offers degree programs at undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels in some 100 disciplines. It is a German Excellence University, as well as a founding member of the League of European Research Universities and the Coimbra Group. The language of instruction is usually German.
At the start of the series, Nina attended this university and took up law while delivering pizza to help her with her expenses, even though she was well provided for by her adopted parents. By the end, she finished her law degree here and had been awarded for having an excellent thesis.
BruntálEditBruntál is a town located near the western boundary of the Moravian-Silesian Region, in Czech Silesia. From 1938 to 1945 it was one of the municipalities in Sudetenland. A suitable position in the middle of the Jeseníky Mountains provides an ample number of touristic opportunities to the town. The cultural importance of Bruntál lies in its possession of a Baroque castle and many historical buildings.
This is where the The Lieberts lived with Johan, with the latter having committed arson at the town hall to eliminate any record of the prior Johan Liebert's existence. They were eventually murdered follwing the middle age murders over Germany.
MunichEditMünchen (in English, "Munich") is the capital and the largest city of the German state of Bavaria. It is located on the Isar Rier north of the Bavarian Alps. Munich is the third largest city in Germany, behind Berlin and Hamburg. About 1.42 million people live within the city limits. Munich was the host city of the 1972 Summer Olympics. Its inhabitants are sometimes called Munichers in English.
The city's motto is "München mag dich" (Munich likes you). Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" (Cosmopolitan city with a heart). Its native name, München, is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat of arms. Black and gold—the colours of the Holy Roman Empire—have been the city's official colours since the time of Ludwig the Bavarian.
In the series, Johan lived here when he finally decided to haunt Hans Georg Schuwald. Here is where also latter lived, having obtained the nickname "Vampire of Bayern" because of his evening strolls during the witching hours in Munich's red light district.
Johan and several characters stayed here until Schuwald's book donation ceremony in the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich came to nothing due to Johan's minions' arsoning of the library.
Ludwig Maximilian University of MunichEditThe Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (German: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), commonly known as the University of Munich or LMU, is a university in Munich, Germany. A public research university, it is among Germany's oldest universities.
Originally established in Ingolstadt in 1472 by Duke Ludwig IX of Bavaria-Landshut, the university was moved in 1800 to Landshut by King Maximilian I of Bavaria when Ingolstadt was threatened by the French, before being relocated to its present-day location in Munich in 1826 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. In 1802, the university was officially named Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität by King Maximilian I of Bavaria in his as well as the university's original founder's honour.
The University of Munich has, particularly since the 19th century, been considered as one of Germany's as well as one of Europe's most prestigious universities; with 34 Nobel laureates associated with the university, it ranks 13th worldwide in terms of Nobel laureates. Among these were Wilhelm Röntgen, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Otto Hahn and Thomas Mann. Pope Benedict XVI was also a student and professor at the university. The LMU has recently been conferred the title of "elite university" under the German Universities Excellence Initiative.
The LMU is currently the second-largest university in Germany in terms of student population; in the winter semester of 2009/2010, the university had a total of 45,539 matriculated students. Of these, 7,801 were freshmen while international students totaled 6,743 or almost 15% of the student population. As for endowments, the university records in 2008 a total of 458.8 million Euros in funding without the university hospital; with the university hospital, the university has a total funding amounting to approximately 1 billion Euros.
In the series, Johan, Karl Neuman, and Lotte Frank attended college here, with Johan taking law, Karl taking business management, and Lotte cultural anthropology. Johan Liebert orchestrated an arson at the library there, where he had initially planned to have Hans Georg Schuwald assassinated and inherit his vast business empire, but changed his plans.
FrankfurtEditFrankfurt is where Eva was commissioned to look out for Johan and point him to Christof Sievernich. This is where also Martin met his untimely death in quest to protect Eva from Čapek's hitmen.
Frankfurt am Main (Frankfurt on the Main), commonly known as Frankfurt, is the largest city in the German state of Hessen and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2012 population of 704,449. The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5,600,000 and is Germany's second-largest metropolitan region. Since the expansion of the European Union in 2007, the geographic midpoint of the European Union is about 40 kilometres east of Frankfurt am Main.
University of FrankfurtEdit
The Goethe University Frankfurt (full German name: Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main) is a university which was founded in 1914 as a Citizens' University, which means that, while it was a State university of Prussia, it had been founded and financed by the wealthy and active liberal citizenry of Frankfurt am Main, a unique feature in German university history. It was named in 1932 after one of the most famous natives of Frankfurt, the poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Today, the university has 38,000 students, on 4 major campuses.
Former CzechoslovakiaEditCzechoslovakia (or Czecho-Slovakia; Czech and Slovak: Československo, Česko-Slovensko) was a sovereign state in Central Europe that existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993.
From 1939 to 1945, following its forced division and partial incorporation into Nazi Germany, the state did not de facto exist but its government-in-exile continued to operate. In 1945, the eastern part of Carpathian Ruthenia was taken over by the Soviet Union.
The important political reversals of Czechoslovakia were developing parallel to the story of Monster.
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Czech RepublicEditAfter the failed book donation ceremony, the series then moved to the Cezch Republic, following Schuwald's instructions to Tenma to visit the Three Frogs in Prague.
Much of Johan and Nina's backstory originated in former Czechoslovakia, which was dissolved and had become the Czech Republic and Slovakia by the time the series took place. Anna, "Jodaddy", Franz Bonaparta and Petr Čapek were all Czech citizens and lived there prior to the start of Monster, just like Johan and Nina.
The Česká Republika (in English, "Czech Republic") is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east, and Poland to the north. Its capital and largest city, with 1.3 million inhabitants, is Prague. The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia and a small part of Silesia.
The Czech state, formerly known as Bohemia, was formed in the late 9th century as a small duchy around Prague, at that time under the dominance of the powerful Great Moravian Empire. After the fall of the Empire in 907, the centre of power was transferred from Moravia to Bohemia, under the Přemyslids. Since 1002 it was formally recognized as part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1212 the duchy was raised to a kingdom and during the rule of Přemyslid dukes/kings and their successors, the Luxembourgs, the country reached its greatest territorial extent (13th–14th century). During the Hussite wars the kingdom faced economic embargoes and crusades from all over Europe. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, the Kingdom of Bohemia was gradually integrated into the Habsburg monarchy as one of its three principal parts, alongside the Archduchy of Austria and the Kingdom of Hungary. The Bohemian Revolt (1618–20) lost in the Battle of White Mountain, led to Thirty Years War and further centralization of the monarchy including forced recatholization and Germanization. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Bohemian kingdom became part of the Austrian Empire. In the 19th century the Czech lands became the industrial powerhouse of the monarchy and the core of the Republic of Czechoslovakia which was formed in 1918, following the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I. After 1933, Czechoslovakia remained the only democracy in central and eastern Europe.
At the end of the series, revelations from visiting numerous places in the Czech Republic contributed to the unpredictable ending of the show.
PragueEditTwo of the most important places in the series -- the Three Frogs and the Red Rose Mansion -- are located in Prague. Described by Johan as 'a town straight out of a fairy tale', it served as a bridge to Johan and Nina's grim past.
Praha (in English, "Prague") is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. It is the fourteenth-largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia proper. Situated in the northwest of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its larger urban zone is estimated to have a population of nearly 2 million. The city has a temperate oceanic climate, with warm summers and chilly winters.
Prague has been a political, cultural, and economic centre of central Europe with waxing and waning fortunes during its 1,100-year existence. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic and Renaissance eras, Prague was not only the capital of the Czech state, but also the seat of two Holy Roman Emperors and thus also the capital of the Holy Roman Empire. It was an important city to the Habsburg Monarchy and its Austro-Hungarian Empire and after World War I became the capital of Czechoslovakia. The city played major roles in the Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War, and in 20th-century history, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era.
Charles BridgeEditThe Charles Bridge is where puppeteers like Jaromír Lipsky perform their shows. In Monster, it was given the fictious title of "Čedok Bridge," and was Nina's landmark for finding the location of the Three Frogs. The real-life counterpart of the inn -- the Three Ostriches -- is also right next to Charles Bridge, serving as a parallel to their locations in the series.
The Karlův most (in English, "Charles Bridge") is a famous historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava (Moldau) until 1841, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city's Old Town and adjacent areas. This "solid-land" connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe. The bridge was originally called the Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or the Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been the "Charles Bridge" since 1870.
The bridge is 621 meters long and nearly 10 meters wide, resting on 16 arches shielded by ice guards. It is protected by three bridge towers, two of them on the Lesser Quarter side and the third one on the Old Town side. The Old Town bridge tower is often considered to be one of the most astonishing civil gothic-style buildings in the world. The bridge is decorated by a continuous alley of 30 statues and statuaries, most of them baroque-style, originally erected around 1700 but now all replaced by replicas.
BrnoEditBrno is the hometown of Johan and Nina's mother, Anna. In the series, many women from this region had been drafted to particpate in a secret government project.
Brno by population and area is the second largest city in the Czech Republic, the largest Moravian city, and the historical capital city of the Margraviate of Moravia. Brno is the administrative center of the South Moravian Region where it forms a separate district Brno-City District. The city lies at the confluence of the Svitava and Svratka rivers and has about 400,000 residents, its greater metropolitan area is regularly home to more than 800,000 people while its larger urban zone had population about 730,000 in 2004.
JapanEditJapan is where Dr. Kenzo Tenma came from. Weber himself visited this country to learn more about Dr. Tenma.
Nihon or Nippon (日本 ); formally 日本国 Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku, literally "[the] State of Japan") is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the "Land of the Rising Sun".
YokohamaEditYokohama is the hometown of Dr. Tenma. Here he attended school from kindergarten until college before he was able to get a schorlarship in Dusseldorf.
Yokohama (横浜市 Yokohama-shi) is the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture and the second largest city in Japan by population after Tokyo and most populous municipality of Japan. It lies on Tokyo Bay, south of Tokyo, in the Kantō region of the main island of Honshu. It is a major commercial hub of the Greater Tokyo Area.
FranceEditThe story moves to Southern France briefly on two places only. Michael Müller moves to Nice and at the end of the series, Tenma pays a visit to the twins's mother who lives in a monastery in an unnamed town.
France officially the French Republic (French: République française), is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe, with several overseas regions and territories. Metropolitan France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of three countries (Morocco, Spain) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. From its shape, it is often referred to in French as l’Hexagone ("The Hexagon"). It is a member of the European Union.
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NiceEditDetective Müller moves with his family to Nice after receiving a huge sum of money for murdering the Fortners. There, he build a large villa. Supposedly, he lives a carefree life there when in fact, his life is being controlled by Johan (whom he refers to as an uknown person) who gave him money for completing the mission. Müller realizes that too and said at one point that his life is like a pawn in chess. Nina comes to Nice to avenge her dead parents. Roberto also makes his first appearance in Nice.
Nice is a port city, placed at the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur not far away from the Italian border between Cannes and Monaco. Nice is the fifth most populous city with around 350.000 inhabitants. The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of about 1 million on an area of 721 km2 (278 sq mi). Located on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille.
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TunisiaEditWhile he was sealed in a safety deposit box by his neglectful parents, the petty thief and notorious escape artist Gunther Milch often fantasized about visiting Tunisia due to his parent's frequent discussions about what a wonderful place it was, and still has fantasies about vacationing or even moving there, which he would later relate to Dr. Tenma when they met in prison.
TurkeyEditSeveral Turkish immigrants are depicted throughout the series.
VietnamEditSeveral Vietnamese immigrants are depicted throughout the series.
Myanmar (Burma)EditHugo Bernhardt stated that he killed the mother of the little girl that he adopted while serving as a mercenary in Myanmar.
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the Nazi Party (German: Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeitepartei (NSDAP); National Socialist German Workers Party). He was the absolute dictator in Germany, from 1934 to 1945, with the title of Reich Chancellor. He was the head of the Nazi Germany, World War 2 in Europe and the Holocaust, commonly known as Führer.
Hitler was a decorated veteran of World War 1. He joined the German Workers' Party (precursor of the NSDAP) in 1919, and became the leader of the NSDAP. In 1923, he attempted a coup d'état in Munich, known as the Beer Hall Putsch. The failed coup resulted in Hitler's imprisonment, during which time he wrote his memoir, Mein Kampf (My Struggle). After his release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, antisemitism, and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda. After his appointment as chancellor in 1933, he transformed the Weimar Republic into the Third Reich, a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of Nazism.
Hitler's aim was to establish a New Order of absolute Nazi Germany hegemony in Continental Europe. To this end, his foreign and domestic policies had the aim of seizing Lebensraum ("living space") for the Germanic people. He directed the rearmament of Germany and the Invasion of Poland, cooperating with Soviet Union and a small Slovak contignent that marked the beginning of World War 2 in September of 1939.
In October 25, 1936., Nazi Germany joined the forces with the Empire of Japan and the Kingdom of Italy, founding the alignment titled Axis Powers. In three years, the Axis Powers occupied most of Europe and North Africa. In 1943, Germany had been forced onto the defensive and suffered a series of escalating defeats. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time partner, Eva Braun. On 30 April 1945, less than two days later, the two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Red Army of Soviet Russia.
Hitler's aggressive foreign policy is considered the main cause of the outbreak of World War 2 in Europe. His antisemitic policies and racially motivated ideology resulted in the deaths of a millions of Jews, and millions of other people deemed racially inferior.
Adolf Htiler is often credited as a modern definition of evil. While there have been recent moves in Germany to confront its tragic past, the reign of the Third Reich remains a naturally fraught subject. World War 2 is considered to be the most terrible disaster that happened in the history of humanity.
For more information about Adolf Hitler, click here
Nazism is a common theme in Monster series. Certain characters from the series are heavily influenced by Hitler's actions and the way of thinking. Petr Čapek, Helmut Wolf, Christof Sievernich, Ernest Sievernich, Gunter Goedelitz and the most prominent is The Baby, who openly declared it, he also seems to enjoy in participating the massacre of foreigners more than any of the members. The mentioned figures found a secretly neo-Nazi community, in which their main goal is to make Johan Liebert the next "Adolf Hitler". Helmut Wolf happens to be the only member, not interested in that plan.
Maria TheresaEditMaria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (German: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions and the last of the House of Habsburg. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.
She started her 40-year reign when her father, Emperor Charles VI, died in October 1740. Charles VI paved the way for her accession with the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 and spent his entire reign securing it. Upon the death of her father, Saxony, Prussia, Bavaria, and France all repudiated the sanction they had recognized during his lifetime. Prussia proceeded to invade the affluent Habsburg province of Silesia, sparking a nine-year conflict known as the War of the Austrian Succession. Maria Theresa would later unsuccessfully try to reconquer Silesia during the Seven Years' War.
In the Red Rose Mansion, Johan visited the room of Maria Theresa where the portrait of his mother is.
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is the party of nationalsocialists, which was leaded by Adolf Hitler. He transformed the DAP (German: Deutsche Arbeiterpartei - English: German Workersparty ) to his own extreme party within his plan to take over Germany with the help of democrazy after his plan of a military takeover was a complete failure.
The Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (in German: Bundeskriminalamt, abbreviated BKA) is the federal investigative police agency of Germany, directly subordinated to the Federal Ministry of the Interior. It is headquartered in Wiesbaden, Hesse, and maintains major branch offices in Berlin and Meckenheim near Bonn. It is headed by Jörg Ziercke since 2004.
Primary jurisdiction of the agency includes coordinating cooperation between the federation and state police forces; investigating cases of international organized crime, terrorism and other cases related to national security; counterterrorism; the protection of members of the constitutional institutions, and of federal witnesses. When requested by the respective federal state authorities or the federal minister of the interior, it also assumes responsibility for investigations in certain large-scale cases. Furthermore, the Attorney General of Germany can direct it to investigate cases of special public interest.
One of the main characters, Inspector Lunge is a police inspector in BKA. He worked on numerous murder cases with hints linked to Tenma, when in fact the one who were responsible for all the murders was Johan Liebert.
Anyway, Lunge plays an important role in the series, since he chases after Tenma until the very end, when he realizes that Tenma is innocent. Lunge has been dragged into Johan's mess for quite some time, even not aware of it but persistently claiming that Johan doesn't exist.
Deutsche Bahn (DB)Edit
Deutsche Bahn is the national railroad network of Germany.
Pictured below is Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Frankfurt Central Station), among the many train stations featured throughout Monster, as seen from roughly the same vantage point:
means commercial Company in Germany
AmpelmännchenEditThe "Ampelmännchen" is the figure shown on traditional German traffic lights mainly in eastern Germany. Despite being symbols from the communist era, they were retained on the cultural pretext of ostalgie, or nostalgia for certain aspects or features of life in socialist East Germany.
The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS), was the official state security service of the German Democratic Republic or GDR, colloquially known as East Germany. The Stasi was headquartered in East Berlin, with an extensive complex in Berlin-Lichtenberg and several smaller facilities throughout the city. The Stasi motto was "Schild und Schwert der Partei" (Shield and Sword of the Party), that is the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). Several Stasi officials were prosecuted for their crimes after 1990.</span>
In the first place Stasi served as an oppression to the German population (similar to the StB from the former Czechoslovakia). Beside a massive surveillance through the various informants, Stasi terrorized dissidents and those who were against the regime.
Czech Secret Police (StB)Edit
The Czech Secret Police or Státní bezpečnost in, Štátna bezpečnost in Slovak, was a plainclothes secret (ie. political or internal) police force from 1945 to its dissolution in 1990. Serving as an intelligence and counter-intelligence agency, it dealt with any activity that could possibly be considered anti-communist and/or counterproductive to the purposes of the state.
In the series, certain elements of the StB are shown to have reorganized themselves as organized crime syndicates following the dissolution of the communist bloc. These elements appear to be led by Karel Ranke, a former high-ranking captain in the StB, and composed a variety of members, including prominent figures like Inspector Zeman and Commissioner Hamrlik, both of the Prague police department. Around 1997, they collectively sought to obtain the key to a safety deposit box (the location of which was known to Mikhail Petrov [Reinhart Biermann], the former administrator of Kinderheim 511), to sell its contents to unidentified prospective client(s). However, they fell into conflict with both the interests of Wolfgang Grimmer and Detective Jan Suk, respectively a freelance journalist trying to secure the tape for his own investigations relevant to his troubled past and a framed police detective who had formerly been Zeman's protégé, and "Anna Liebert", a mysterious blonde "woman" who sought the tape for "her" own destructive ends.
Omnipol is a trade company, based in Prague, that specializes in international defense and aerospace trading, generally acting as an intermediary in transnational sales of arms. It was formerly government-subsidized by the state in communist-era Czechoslovakia, and engaged in controversial arms trade deals, including the sale of semtex explosives to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which may have been used to perpetrate the Lockerbie bombing on December 21, 1988.
Werner Weber mentions Omnipol on several occasions in "Another Monster". According to Weber, Jaroslav Carek, a former StB captain, acts as a prominent trade advisor in Omnipol (during this time, he establishes several terrorist training camps) and later assumes a normal life following plastic surgery under the identity of "Eugen Molke"; he is murdered under his "Molke" identity by Herman Führ in the midst of Gustav Kottmann's axe-murder spree. It is speculated by Karel Ranke that Omnipol helped to facilitate and fund the eugenics experiment that yielded, among others, Johan Liebert and Anna Liebert, possibly implicating Carek's involvement.
Charter 77 was an opposition group that had its inception in a document of the same name, active from 1976-1992. The initial declaration was largely prompted by the Czechoslovakian government's failure to abide by human rights provisions it had consented to in a variety of official documents and treatises, especially the 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia and the 1975 Helsinki Accords, and was specifically impacted by the arrest of members of a psychedelic band, Plastic People of the Universe. Among its most prominent signatories were Václav Havel, Dr. Jiří Hájek and Dr. Jan Patočka. The activities of Charter 77, including the publication of their eponymous manifesto, inspired resistance against the state, and its proponents and signatories met with state harassment, particularly by the government press and the StB. The fates of many of those associated with the movement and/or document was released by the support group Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Persecuted domestically and their partners Helsinki Watch and Amnesty International transnationally in 1978. The following year, Havel and five others associated with the support group were charged with acts of subversion and sentenced with five years in prison. In spite of this, Charter 77 and its support group continued to highlight state repression and human rights violations throughout the 1980's and membership expanded to 1,900 signatories, ultimately precipitating the Velvet Revolution of 1989, which democratized the nation and eventually led to the peaceful separation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992. Many members of Charter 77 would seek office in the emergent government, including Havel, who became the last president of Czechoslovakia from 1989-1992, and of the Czech Republic from 1993-2003.
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Václav Havel (Prague, 5 October 1936 – Hrádeček, Vlčice, 18 November 2011), Czech politician and writer, one of the major leaders of Velvet revolution.
He was born in a well-known, wealthy entrepreneurial and intellectual family, which was closely linked to the cultural and political events in Czechoslovakia from the 20's to the 40's. Because of this, communist regime forbid him to go on college afterwards. This was the reason for him to take apprenticeship in chemical laboratory. Since as a teenager, he published drama fictions that were internationally successful. He was an active participant in movement of Prague Spring in 1968. Because of this, he was kept under the government surveillance and was often abused. Havel spent four years in prison. One of the people he had conflict with -- was the famous writer Milan Kundera. When in 1989, democratic changes engaged Europe, Havel again joined the revolutionary activity. As a president of the organization "Civil forum", he was one of those who negotiated with communists. From 1989. to 1992. he was the ninth president of Czechoslovakia and from February 1993. until February of 2003. he was the first president of Czech Republic in two mandates. Despite being more democratic than Vladimir Mečiar from Slovakia, he was still the subject of criticism and controversy, especially because he abolished capital punishment, released many convicted prisoners for fewer crimes and for counteracting Lustratio.
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Milan KunderaEditMilan Kundera (Born, 1 April 1929) is the Czech Republic's most recognized living writer. Kundera is Czech with French nationality, he received as a refugee in 1981. He "sees himself as a French writer and insists his work should be studied as French literature and classified as such in book stores.
Kundera is specialized in writing social novels. His works tend to capture philosophical side of sociality with pointing dark sides of people at times. He is not limited at one genre, he prefers to mantain the balance of joy and misery by including the various elements as the story progresses. Kundera considers himself to be a writer without a message. He was able to keep one of his publishers in dilemma while bringing decision for the book message. This was recounted in one of his novels and was a positive success to him.
Although his early poetic works are staunchly pro-communist, his novels escape ideological classification. Kundera has repeatedly insisted on being considered a novelist, rather than a political or dissident writer. Political commentary has all but disappeared from his novels (starting specifically after The Unbeatable Lightness of Being) except in relation to broader philosophical themes. Kundera's style of fiction, interlaced with philosophical digression, greatly inspired by the novels of Robert Musil and the philosophy of Nietzsche, is also used by authors Alain de Botton and Adam Thirwell. Kundera takes his inspiration, as he notes often enough, not only from the Renaissance authors Giovanni Boccaccio and Rabelais, but also from Laurence Sterne, Henry Fielding, Denis Diderot, Robert Musil, Witold Gombrowicz, Hermann Broch, Franz Kafka, Martin Heidegger, and perhaps most importantly, Miguel de Cervantes, to whose legacy he considers himself most committed.
Kundera was born in 1929 at Purkyňova ulice, 6 (6 Purkyňova Street) in Brno, Czechoslovakia, to a middle-class family. His father, Ludvík Kundera (1891–1971), once a pupil of the composer Leoš Janáček, was an important Czech musicologist and pianist who served as the head of the Janáček Music Academy in Brno from 1948 to 1961. Milan learned to play the piano from his father; he later studied musicology and musical composition...Click here to read more about Milan Kundera
Milan Kundera hasn't been mentioned in Monster however his style of writing and presenting the history and a tough life during the critical periods of political regime is occasionally similar to that of Naoki Urasawa's. Though it is unclear if Urasawa is influenced by his works nor if he read any of his books.
Gregor Mendel (Hynčice July 20th 1822 - January 6th 1884) Austrian priest and scientist, and Augustinian friar.
Gregor Mendel was born as Johann Mendel into an ethnic German family in Heinzendorf bei Odrau, Austrian Silesia, Austrian Empire (now a small village Hynčice, Czech Republic). He was the son of Anton and Rosine (Schwirtlich) Mendel, and had one older sister, Veronika, and one younger, Theresia. Local teacher and priest noticed Mendel's intelligence and helped him to continue education. In a case, he would join Augustinians monks - religious order, church would pay him school education . Young Mendel ordeined in 1843 in monastery of Brünn (Today Brno). Following the Augustinian rules, he chose a new name - Gregor.
In Monster, Viera Černá mentioned Mendel when saying that he attended the same college, she did in Brno. Tenma said that he has heard of him, because he is famous for discovering the Law of Inheritance.
Mendel demonstrated that the inheritance of certain traits in pea plants follows particular patterns, now referred to as the laws of Mendelian inheritance. The profound significance of Mendel's work was not recognized until the turn of the 20th century, when the independent rediscovery of these laws initiated the modern science of genetics.
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General Nogi MaresukeEditCount Nogi Maresuke, otherwise known as Kiten, Count Nogi or General Nogi (乃木希典; 25 December 1849-13 September 1912) was a prominent Japanese general and the governor of Taiwan. He is most notable for his service in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), in particular for commanding the critical Siege of Port Arthur and gaining victory in the conflict. He also served the imperial government against the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877 and during the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). He is often considered a national hero in Japan, remembered for his feudal loyalty and ultimate self-sacrifice.
Nogi was born to a samurai of the Chōfu clan on Christmas Day, 1849. He enlisted in the Fushimi Loyal Guard Barrack in November 1869, and was given French-inspired military training. In 1871, he was commissioned as a major in the nascent Imperial Japanese Army following the Meiji restoration, and became attaché to the 14th Infantry Regiment in 1875. He became staff officer to the Kumamoto regional troop in the following year and later transferred to command of the 1st Infantry Regiment. Thereafter, he served against the forces of the samurai Saigō Takamori during the Satsuma Rebellion, notably demonstrating suicidal bravery to attempt to retrieve a banner of the Meiji Emperor (Mutsuhito) that he lost in battle, but was ordered to stop by his superiors.
Nogi married Shizuko, daughter of the Satsuma samurai Yuji Sadano, on August 27th, 1876, and they had their first son, Katsunori, on August 28th, 1877, and their second son, Yasunori, in 1879. Nogi was promoted to colonel in 1878, and studied military strategy and tactics in Germany in 1887. In 1894, he commanded the 1st Infantry Brigade as major general in the Sino-Japanese War, penetrating Chinese defenses and successfully occupying Port Arthur, a location that he would later famously reclaim once more, unbeknownst to him. As a senior commander, he participated in a notable massacre there. He was then assigned to the 2nd Infantry Brigade as lieutenant-general and captured Taiwan, remaining with his occupation force until 1899. He was then assigned to the 11th Infantry Brigade in Kagawa.
He was proclaimed baron (danshaku) and became Governor-General of Taiwan from 1896-1898. Notably, he did not take a vested interest in pursuing politics, but did usher in political reforms on the island when his mother died of malaria, improving the health care infrastructure in Taiwan.
In 1904, Nogi was recalled to service and appointed general of the Japanese Third Army, commanding 900,000 men during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. Nogi's forces landed in Port Arthur after the Battle of Nanshan and besieged the area, encountering stronger Russian resistance and fortifications than those he had previously encountered in the First Sino-Japanese War. This resulted in major Japanese casualties and a protracted campaign, leading many in the military-government apparatus to recommend Nogi's dimissal, but he was defended before the Supreme War Council by the Meiji Emperor himself.
During the siege, both of Nogi's sons, who also served in the armed forces as lieutenants, were killed in action; however, in spite of this personal trauma, Nogi won both national and international admiration for his ethic of mercy toward both captured Russian prisoners-of-war and Manchurian civilians during the Siege of Port Arthur. He would ultimately attain victory at Port Arthur, with Russian general Anatoly Stessel and his forces personally surrendering to Nogi. Later, he would command the Battle of Mukden that resulted in the termination of the war's land campaign. Nogi's campaigns had incurred heavy Japanese losses, with a total of 56,000 casualties occurring during the Siege of Port Arthur, and a remorseful Nogi broke down in a meeting with the Meiji Emperor, asking the emperor for permission to commit seppuku, or ritual suicide. However, the Meiji Emperor insisted that Nogi must live as long as he did.
After the war, Nogi was promoted to a count and awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, 1917. He was head of the Peers' School from 1908-1912, and mentored the young Hirohito, the later ascendant Emperor of Japan. He would spend his fortune creating hospitals for wounded soldiers and erecting memorial monuments to commemorate both Japanese and Russian losses during the war. He attended the coronation of King George V in Britain alongside Prince Yorihito as the "Defender of Port Arthur". However, on September 13th, 1912, shortly after the death of the Meiji Emperor, Nogi and his wife committed suicide in accordance with the seppuku tradition, per his commitment to live so long as the Emperor did, willing his body to medical science in his suicide note.
In Monster, General Nogi is mentioned by the Turkish elder and community leader, Mr. Deniz, convincing the others to trust Dr. Kenzo Tenma and a local prostitute when they attempts to convince the leaders of Frankfurt's Turkish Quarter to be wary of an imminent arson attack by neo-Nazis, led by The Baby. When Tenma inquires as to who Nogi is, Deniz makes reference to an incident wherein he saved an Ottoman fleet of the Turkish Navy that had run aground in the Pacific, and he considers him to be an example of a trustworthy Japanese man. Also, in an interesting parallel to the themes and storyline of Monster, Nogi went by the name Mujin ("no one") in his boyhood, signifying his namelessness to protect him from evil spirits.
Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders)Edit
Fall of Berlin WallEdit
Fall of Berlin Wall marked a start of liberalization of communist ideology and structure in East Germany and majority of socialistic countries in Europe.
Unification of East and West GermanyEdit
Deutsche Wiedervereinigung (eng. German reunification) marks the movement of reuniting East Germany and West Germany in October 3rd, 1990. From then, 3 October celebrates in Germany as a German Unity Day. Division of Germany was a consequence caused by World War 2 during the period of Cold War that lasted four decades.
Dissolution of the Czechoslovakian StateEdit
The Dissolution of Czechoslovakia, was an event that saw the self-determined separation of the federal state of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993. The Czech Republic and Slovakia, entities which had arisen respectively as the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic in 1969 within the framework of Czechoslovak federalisation, became immediate subjects of international law in 1993. It is sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce, a reference to the bloodless Velvet Revolution of 1989 that led to the end of the rule of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the formation of a democratic government.
Prague Spring/Velvet RevolutionEdit
Prague Spring (Czech: Pražské jaro, Slovak: Pražská jar) was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia between 5 January 1968 and 21 August the same year when the Soviet Union with the allies from Warsaw Pact (except Romania) invaded the country to halt the reforms.
WeisswurstEditWeisswurst (or Weißwurst) is a type of white Bavarian sausage, traditionally made using minced veal and pork back bacon, and incorporating variations of ingredients such as parsley, lemon, onions, mace, ginger or cardamom for flavor. These are stuffed into pork casings, producing sausages that are roughly ten to twelve centimeters in length and two centimeters in thickness. Unlike many other types of sausage, no form of nitrite preservative is used and the meat is not smoked, and, as such, weisswurst is typically served fresh in the morning hours. It is generally unique to the Bavarian region of Germany, and is typically paired with a brezen (Bavarian pretzel) and sweet mustard.
Weisswurst was one of Dr. Reichwein's favorite meals, and he frequented a restaurant in Munich that he claimed had the best weisswurst, which later served as a safehouse for Kenzo Tenma. When Reichwein took Tenma and Dieter to the restaurant and the owner offered to put Tenma up there, Reichwein recommended that Dieter try the weisswurst, and Dieter subsequently enjoyed his meal as well.
The Kaiser roll, also called a Vienna roll or a hard roll (original name: Semmel or Kaisersemmel; if made by hand also: Handsemmel), is a kind of bread roll, invented in Vienna, and thought to have been named to honor Emperor Franz Joseph. It is a typically crusty round roll made from wheat flour, barm, malt, water and salt, with the top side usually divided in a rotationally symmetric pattern of five segments, separated by curved superficial cuts radiating from the centre outwards or folded in a series of overlapping lobes. Kaiser rolls are often produced by machine, as well as by hand. Kaiser rolls are traditionally found in Austria, but have also become popular in other countries, such as the United States, Poland (kajzerka), Canada, Slovenia (known as kajzerica), Croatia, Italy, and Germany. Italian bakers, during the Austrian domination in Lombardy, produced a hollow version known as michetta or rosetta.
Before Nina left, she prepared some Kaisen rolls for Tenma and left them in the cottage. Dieter also made some for Nina.
NikujagaEditNikujaga (肉じゃが) (meaning meat-potato) is a Japanese dish of meat, potatoes and onion stewed in sweetened soy sauce, sometimes with ito konnyaku and vegetables. Generally, potatoes make up the bulk of the dish, with meat mostly serving as a source of flavor. It usually is boiled until most of the liquid has been reduced. Thinly sliced beef is the most common meat used, although minced/ground beef is also popular. Pork is often used instead of beef in eastern Japan. Nikujaga is a common home-cooked winter dish, served with a bowl of white rice and miso soup. It is also sometimes seen in izakayas.
Tenma was dining Nikujaga with Hugo Bernhardt and his adoptive daughter.
OyakodonEditOyakodon (親子丼), literally "parent-and-child donburi", is a donburi, or Japanese rice bowl dish, in which chicken, egg, sliced scallion (or sometimes regular onions), and other ingredients are all simmered together in a sauce and then served on top of a large bowl of rice. The name of the dish is a poetic reflection of the fact that both chicken and egg are used in the dish.
The simmering sauce varies according to season, ingredients, region, and taste. A typical sauce might consist of dashi flavored with soy sauce and mirin. Proportions vary, but usually there is three to four times as much dashi as soy sauce and mirin. For oyakodon, Tsuji (1980) recommends dashi flavored with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. To make oyakodon, cut chicken and other ingredients into bite-sized pieces. Heat ¼ cup simmering sauce in a small frying pan. Add chicken (and sliced onion, if desired) and simmer until the chicken is cooked. Then add scallions and other ingredients. When all ingredients are cooked, slowly pour 1–2 lightly beaten eggs evenly over the whole dish. When eggs are nearly cooked (edges set), slide the topping from the pan onto hot cooked rice served in a large bowl. The hot rice will finish cooking the eggs. Several other Japanese dishes pun on the parent-and-child theme of oyakodon. Tanindon (他人丼), literally "stranger bowl", is otherwise identical but replaces the chicken with beef. A dish of salmon and roe served raw over rice is known as sake oyakodon (鮭親子丼).
Whilst Tenma was resting at Milan Kolasch's place, he prepared oyakodon. Eveerybody were laughing at the name due to the reference, the name gives. Kolasch commented at this point, that Japanese have surprisingly nice humor for foods.
Goulash is a thick soup or stew of Hungarian origin. It consists usually of potato, onion, tomato, garlic, black pepper and some other ingredients. One of the main basis makes the fried onion. Various combinations such as mutton or veal are famous. Goulash can be served with pasta also.
The name originates from the Hungarian "gulyás". The word "gulya" means "herd of cattle" in Hungarian, and "gulyás" means "herdsman".
The word gulyás originally meant only "herdsman", but over time the dish became gulyáshús (goulash meat) – that is to say, a meat dish which was prepared by herdsmen. Today, gulyás refers both to the herdsmen, and to the soup.
Goulash became very popular in cuisines of states from the former Austro-Hungarian empire. Today, it is popular in Central Europe, Scandinavia and Southern Europe.
Petra Schumman makes the best goulash in the village.
Chicken MarengoEditChicken Marengo is a French dish consisting of a chicken sautéed in oil with garlic and tomato, garnished with fried eggs and crayfish. The dish is similar to chicken à la Provençale, but with the addition of egg and crayfish, which are traditional to Chicken Marengo but are now often omitted. The original dish was named to celebrate the Battle of Marengo, a Napoleonic victory of June 1800.
Otto Heckel is known for making excellent Marengo Chicken.
Hospodářské Noviny EditHospodářské noviny (English: "Economic Newspaper") is one of the top newspaper publications in the Czech Republic, and is not to be confused with a similar Slovakian publication of the same name.
In Episode 40, when Wolfgang Grimmer attempts to question Mikhail Petrov about his role in the Kinderheim 511 experiments, the latter can be observed reading a copy of this paper. However, while most of the series takes place during the mid-to-late 1990s, the edition of the paper is apparently erroneously dated from August 11, 2004, as can be discerned from the appearance of an actual front-page cover story published at that time; this discrepancy is likely accounted for by the production of the series during that year.
The anticipated HBO Live Adaptation of Monster has reciprocally gotten coverage in Hospodářské noviny, partly on account of its Czech setting and characters: http://art.ihned.cz/c1-59820350-del-toro-adaptuje-pro-hbo-japonsky-komiks-ve-kterem-vystupuji-capek-a-zeman.
Among the various themes that pervade Monster, perhaps the most central one concerns identity and its significance. This finds its most obvious expression in the importance of a name. Johan and Anna Liebert, the twins, don't officially have birth names conferred upon them, due to Franz Bonaparta's insistence that the "perfect children" that their mother had birthed didn't need names, reflecting the themes of many of his nihilistic works, including children books like The Nameless Monster; hence, they're both lacking in opportunities to cultivate their own sense of identity. This effect is furthered by the fact that their mother later dresses them alike, further blurring their conception of a self; Johan and Nina (Anna) state as much later in their lives, viewing each other at various points as being parts of a whole that complement each other and confusing and/or conflating experiences that one or the other actually had (eg. the massacre at the Red Rose Mansion). The desire to eradicate certain individuals' sense of identity, such as General Wolf, Dr. Kenzo Tenma and Nina Fortner, his sister, is one of Johan's apparent motivations, if not his primary one; in a way, it may represent an attempt at allowing them to empathize with his own solitude and lack of identity, or a gift of insight that he imparts upon them. He succeeds at seeing this through in the case of General Wolf, murdering and eliminating everyone that Wolf loved and thereby making him gradually lose touch with his own sense of identity (ie. name), as there is no one left to call him by it (as in The Nameless Monster). Roberto states that this is what Johan ultimately plans for Tenma, but this desire may be tempered by Johan's own apparent death-wish, as he seeks to permanently render his sense of identity void, not just nominally, psychologically or philosophically, but physically as well; this is reflected in the repeated instances where he willingly or even eagerly acquiesces to the prospect of Tenma shooting him, climaxing during the massacre in Ruhenheim.
Though Johan (and, by extension, Nina) are the main individuals to which this concern can be applied, it prevails among other characters and in other instances as well, reflective of the aims of those like Bonaparta and his associates. Roberto, for instance, seems to revel in the fact that he doesn't have a name (according to himself), apparent in his testimonies to Heinrich Lunge. Conversely, his possible childhood friend, Wolfgang Grimmer, seeks to restore the sense of identity that he has lost, in particular his personal feelings and emotions. Though both are rendered sociopathic by their experiences, they both take different trajectories in trying to, respectively, either distort or establish their sense of identity. The conditioning (or deconditioning) procedures implemented at locations like Kinderheim 511 and the book readings at the Red Rose Mansion deemphasized the personality in an attempt to create "perfect soldiers" or socially engineer the next generation to suit the psychological agendas of Bonaparta and others, causing many people to undergo a process of dissociation and lose their sense of identity, literally forgetting their own names in most cases; this could alternatively manifest in multiple personalities, as in the case of "The Magnificent Steiner" aspect of Wolfgang Grimmer. In short, numerous examples of identity and its relevance appear throughout Monster, and may indeed reflect the central concern of the series.
Identity is an important concern in the philosophy of metaphysics, and also finds substantial and yet more notable relevancy in the realm of psychology and sociology (see here: Identity). It is also encapsulated by other branches of philosophy, such as the philosophy of language (eg. Derrida's "It's all in the text...") and the philosophy of mind (eg. solipsism). Specifically, Monster seems most primarily informed by the development of individuation, or the lack thereof, as the case may be.
The theme of nihilism, the belief that life is meaningless and that everything and everyone deserves to perish, is prevalent throughout Monster, particularly in the form of Johan. Frederich Nietzsche, one of the first philsophers to take nihilism seriously, wrote in his book Will to Power, "Nihilism is…not only the belief that everything deserves to perish; but one actually puts one shoulder to the plough; one destroys." This is certainly true of Johan, a figure of pure, unrelenting nihilism. Hartmann describes Johan as saying that mankind would hate and kill each other into oblivion, and that his goal was to be the last one standing at the end of the world. Also, Johan destroys indiscriminately throughout the series, causing the deaths of many men, women and children with apparently no remorse whatsoever.
CommunismEditCommunism is defined as a form of government with purpose to create a perfect, classless society. It is a political, social and economic ideology based on subtracting a private property and establishment on property of community for social means of production.
Socialism is a social-economic formation that performs after revolutional overthrowing capitalism (expropriation) and makes the transitional period from class society to classless society. In socialism, doesn't exist a certain class of people who monopolizes resources for the means of production. Also, there doesn't exist a class that, with the help of monopoly, could non-stop assumes a part of production that makes another class. Total means of production of resources are in social ownership.
Totalitarianism is a political system in which a certain political organization or party holds total authority over society and seeks to control all aspects of public and private life whenever necessary. Totalitarianism is in general, a dictatorial regime. Totalitarianism spread through revolutions, coup d'état, after military interventions and multiparty democratic elections.
Many of the characters from the series has in one way or another a background in psychology. The foremost was Franz Bonaparta, a psychiatrist, psychologist and brain surgeon as well as picture book writer and illustrator. Also, the series has Dr. Rudy Gillen, a criminal psychologist, and Dr. Julius Reichwein, a counseling psychologist whose specialty includes helping alcoholics. Additionally, investigators like Inspector Heinrich Lunge utilize techniques drawn from criminal psychology; Lunge does this to delve into the minds of those relevant to his investigations and, by "becoming them", gain insight into their motives or actions.
Since the series is rooted on the philosophy that personality is a product of past experiences, psychology is a repeated theme in the series.
Mental alteration of a person's mind to fit another persn's specifications.
Analyzing the circumstance Nina had gone through: her foster parents killed in front of her and all the horrible experience she has accumulated, her moving with the Fortners is a welcome change. Slowly, she began to lose memory of those events that gives her nightmares, until such time that she can no longer remember events that happened before her tenth birthday. This case can be very well associated with Dissociative Fugue.
Dissociative Fugue (formerly Psychogenic Fugue) is often brought about by a sudden, unexpected travel away from home or one's customary place of daily activities, with inability to recall some or all of one's past (Criterion A). This is accompanied by confusion about personal identity or even the assumption of a new identity (Criterion B). The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of Dissociative Identity Disorder and is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition (Criterion C). The symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (Criterion D).
Most fugues do not involve the formation of a new identity. If a new identity is assumed during a fugue, it is usually characterized by more gregarious and uninhibited traits than characterized the former identity. The person may assume a new name, take up a new residence, and engage in complex social activities that are well integrated and that do not suggest the presence of a mental disorder (quoted directly from DSM-IV-TR, 2009)
Dissociative Identity Dsorder (DID)Edit
Following Johan's cryptic messages to Tenma, Tenma pursued the angle of Johan's having a Dissociative Identity Disorder (300.14), Tenma visited his former college batchmate Rudy Gillen to confirm his hunch about the matter. Gillen was at first at the same page as Lunge: that Johan is a figment of Johan's imagination or it is Tenma himself that has the disorder.
Formerly named by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders Third Edition (DSM-III) as Multiple Personality Disorder, DID is described by the DSM-IV-TR as a disorder whose essential feature is the presence of two or more distinct identities and personality states (Criterion A) that reccurently take control of behavior (Criterion B). There is an inability to recall important personal information, the extent of which is too great to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness (Criterion C). The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition (Criterion D). DID renects a failure to integrate various aspects of identity, memory, and consciousness. Each personality state may be experienced as if it has a distinct personal history, self-image, and identity, including a separate name. Usually there is a primary identity that carries the individual's given name and is passive, dependent, guilty, and depressed. The alternate identities frequently have different names and characteristics that contrast with the primary identity (e.g., are hostile, controlling, and self-destructive). Particular identities may emerge in specific circumstances and may differ in reported age and gender, vocabulary, general knowledge, or predominant affect. Alternate identities are experienced as taking control in sequence, one at the expense of the other, and may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another, or appear to be in open conflict. Occasionally, one or more powerful identities allocate time to the others. Aggressive or hostile identities may at times interrupt activities or place the others in uncomfortable situations.
The Burmese girl living with Hugo Bernhardt is thought to have been sufferring from Selective Mutism (313.23), which most probably caused by the shock brought about by Bernhardt's homicide of her mother in front of her eyes in a shanty in Myanmar.
Selective Mutism is the persistent failure to speak in specific social situations (e.g., school, with playmates) where speaking is expected, despite speaking in other situations (Criterion A). The disturbance interferes with educational or occupational achievement or with social communication (Criterion B). The disturbance must last for at least 1 month and is not limited to the first month of school (during which many children may be shy and reluctant to speak) (Criterion C). Selective mutism should not be diagnosed if the individual's failure to speak is due solely to a lack of knowledge of, or comfort with, the spoken language required in the social situation (Criterion D). It is also not diagnosed if the disturbance is better accounted for by embarrassment related to having a Communication Disorder (e.g., Stuttering) or if it occurs exclusively during a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder (Criterion E). Instead of communicating by standard verbalization, children with this disorder may communicate by gesttues, nodding or shaking the head, or pulling or pushing. or, in some cases, by monosyllabic, short, or monotone utterances, or in an altered voice.
In clinical settings, children with Selective Mutism are almost always given an additional diagnosis of an Anxiety Disorder (especially Social Phobia).
Religion and theology fills a distinctive role in Monster, primarily by way of allusions and analogies. This is mostly informed by an Abrahamic (and specifically Christian) context, but other religious references (eg. Buddhist) are also utilized on occasion.
The Anti-ChristEditThroughout the series, Johan Liebert is often compared to the antichrist through various allusions to scriptural and cultural references (eg. surviving head trauma) and is hence possibly implied to represent an antichrist-like figure or even the antichrist himself.
In Christian eschatology, the Antichrist (or anti-Christ) is a figure who is stated to represent the inverse of Jesus Christ, insofar as Christ is viewed as a figure of pure good while the anti-Christ is viewed as a figure of pure evil, who will be present to bring about the End of Days.
"The Beast" from the Book of RevelationEditThe series opens with a passage from Revelation 13:1-4 describing a "beast with seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns upon each horn", alluding to the broader premise of the series. Frequent references to "the beast" are made throughout the series, such as descriptions of a similar beast that purportedly lived in the basement of the Red Rose Mansion. In the penultimate episode of the series, Herbert Knaup believes that Johan Liebert, who threatens to murder his child while attempting to corrupt Dr. Tenma, visualizes him as a "terrifying beast" fitting the aforementioned description and shoots him in the head, drawing further analogies to the previous entry of the antichrist.
In this context, "the beast" specifically refers to "the beast from the sea" as juxtaposed to the similar "beast from the earth" (or "false prophet") depicted in several passages of the biblical Book of Revelation, which is often believed to represent metaphor and whose meaning has many different interpretations. The narrative states that "the beast from the sea", alongside the "beast from the earth" ("false prophet") and in alignment with "the dragon", will gather kings and persecute Christians to do battle with Jesus Christ at Armageddon, but the two "beasts" will ultimately be defeated and thrown into "the lake of fire" by Christ.
In an interview with Werner Weber, Inspector Heinrich Lunge contended that Johan was a rare criminal, able to cast aside his desires one after the other, "like a Buddha drawn to destruction." In this sense, Johan Liebertmight have represented an almost nihilistic inversion of a Buddha.
In Dharmic theology, referring to the concepts of buddhahood or buddha-nature, a Buddha is considered to be a being who has attained a state of enlightenment ("bodhi") regarding the nature of things ("dharma"). One of the most respected and noted Buddhas of all time was Siddhartha Gautama (or Shakyamuni), a Hindu prince who attained enlightenment and cast aside earthly desires, preaching and adhering to a philosophy of asceticism, and he is widely regarded as "The Buddha" (or founder of Buddhism).
Also, Scenery for a Doomsday
Themes of eschatology pervade Monster. In one instance, students, including an acquaintance of Karl Neuman, who are members of a club that researches campus lore and prophecy at the University of Munich engage in the translation of a poem by one of the university's founders, which reads as follows:
"In the penultimate intercalary year… the Thursday boy will visit the land. All the books will be engulfed in flames, and the entire world will be engulfed in sadness."
It soon becomes apparent that this verse is more than likely a reference to none other than Johan Liebert, who reads Latin to the business tycoon and investor Hans Georg Schuwald on Thursday evenings, and later orchestrates a devastating inferno at the university library during a book donation ceremony taking place there on Schuwald's behalf. Indeed, veiled references to religion and prophecy become increasingly apparent during the inferno scene itself, notably the hand signal that Johan Liebert uses, which some members on tumblr speculate mirrors the "Remember John" gesture purportedly incorporated into Leonardo da Vinci's notable portrait, "St. John the Baptist", among other works of his, and purportedly utilized by other artists thereafter in their own works (see here). It should be noted that some art analysts speculate that the "Remember John" gesture implies an encoded message about the divinity of John the Baptist as a "messiah" rather than Jesus of Nazareth, given that John the Baptist is pointing toward heaven; if this connotation is true, then da Vinci's interpretation is likely to be rejected by most mainstream Christians given their central tenet that Jesus of Nazareth was the messiah foretold in earlier scripture, while John the Baptist was a holy figure and/or a saint as the forerunner of Jesus, but not the messiah himself (though some related faiths, incl. Mandaeanism, invert this distinction).
In this sense, Johan Liebert may be reflective of mainline Christian perceptions of da Vinci's hypothetical symbolism, representing a faux-messiah or false prophet, which may dovetail with his possible status as an antichrist figure. Nevertheless, he may also ironically represent an inversion of his typical portrayal as representing pure evil, since he uses his right hand, rather than his left hand, to make the gesture, connotating purity with a "sea of fire" and hence possibly depicting his actions as being almost sacrificial (eg. Christ-like) in nature, taking on Schuwald's sins much as he absorbed the traumatic experiences of others and made them his own, notably his twin sister Nina Fortner (or Anna Liebert). Whatever the case may be, Johan's act of destruction at the library appears as an analogue for the End of Days (or "Doomsday") that is prophesied in the Bible, specifically the Book of Revelation.