There is a great movie moment in Carol Reed’s Night Train to Munich of 1940, a tale of Germany at the onset of the Second World War and the attempt by a dashing secret agent, played by Rex Harrison as a sort of James Bond avant la lettre, to spirit out of the country a Czech professor with vital information about a new armor-plating technology—and his beautiful daughter—after they have been kidnapped by Nazis. At one point, a Nazi guard is interrogating a lowly clerk. “It’s been reported to me that you’ve been heard expressing sentiments hostile to the fatherland,” says the guard. “I warn you, Schwab, this treasonable conduct will lead you to a concentration camp.”

“But, sir,”...

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