1982-1998 -- reign of Helmut Kohl as Chancellor of Germany. He saw the destruction of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989) and the formal unification of West and East Germany (October 3, 1990).
At the age of 82, Maria Simon dies. The entire family, including Paul, attends the funeral and traditional feast in Maria's honor. There are some real divisions among the three sons of Maria, but at the street fair they smooth over some of the hardest feelings.
Upset by the death of so many of his friends, but especially over the death of Maria, Glasisch dies.
Good movie. Given the lack of German treatments of World War II, this covering of Germany from just after the end of World War I to 1982 is very welcome. It is very interesting watching the changes in the Simon family over the many years from 1919 to 1982 as well as hearing of some of the various historical events during this period: the rise of Hitler, the tragedy of World War II, the destruction of much of the German economy, the economic miracle of the recovery and the rise of great prosperity to Germany.
A not very admirable character was that of Paul Simon, the eldest son of Katharina and Mathias. The man just simply and literally walked away from his family consisting of a wife and two sons. Even when he returns to Germany, he arrives in a fancy car with a fancy chauffeur and prances around like a conquering hero in an American cowboy hat and fancy clothes. He thinks that the money he earned in the United States will make up for any sins resulting from his abandonment of his family. But he has done a great deal of damage to his wife and his two estranged sons (from him and each other) and their troubled relationships with half-brother Hermann, Maria's son by Otto
The most admirable character is Katharina Simon. In the small village, she was the only skeptic and out-spoken critic of the fascist Hitler and his government. And, more importantly, she had a kind and very caring heart. Through all the troubles caused by Paul abandoning his family, while she lived, she was the key player in keeping the family together. The next most admirable character was Maria who helped her mother-in-law keep the family together and was the key family player following the death of Katharina Simon.
Regardless of all the problems that faced the Simon family, all three of Katharine's children, Paul, Eduard and Pauline, prospered. And all three of Maria's sons, Anton, Ernst and Hermann, prospered (and this despite the great divisions between the brothers caused primarily by their being abandoned by their father Paul).