In 1936, the attempt of the two Bavarians, Anderl Hinterstoisser and Toni Kurz, and the Austrian pair, Edi Rainer and Willy Angerer, also resulted in a fatal outcome, as dramatized in Nordwand.
In Nordwand, Stolzl not only omits this historical and ideological context but also unabashedly borrows some convenient details from other expeditions.
In particular, he develops these tropes in Nordwand by opposing Nazi ideology with German Romanticism and Weimar culture.
Paradoxically, the character of Luise not only soothes the German moral conscience but also substantiates the problematic parallels between Nordwand and another film from which Stolzl took many cues, Arnold Fanck's Der heilige Berg, whose intertitles during the prelude likewise state that it is "inspired by actual events that occurred during a twenty-year period in the life of the great mountains" (Der heilige Berg) and whose setting is the vicinity of the other iconic mountain of the Alps, the Matterhorn.
17) In Nordwand, the ordeal begins when Toni decides to retreat, abandoning his and Andi's attempt to reach the summit in order to save the injured Austrian.
The "fallen" climbers in Nordwand and Der heilige Berg hint at a changing and ultimately ill-fated gender dynamic: compared to the emotionally inept men who retreat to the mountains at signs of trouble--"they're [men] all--children," says the Friend's mother--the artistically-inclined women are arguably the more successful, adaptable characters.
In Nordwand, Stolzl adopts and develops this trope further.
In Die Welt, for example, Stolzl claims that Nordwand reflects no political ideology:
Naturlich haben wir uns fur Nordwand viel mit den alten Bergfilmen beschaftigt, mit Arnold Fanck, Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Trenker.
On the other hand, the director claims: "Wir haben uns deshalb entschieden, die Ideologisierung des Alpinismus zu dieser Zeit offen anzugehen und zu einem zentralen Thema von Nordwand zu machen.
As in Nordwand, a pair of brothers become the ultimate Bergkameraden, and the Messners are depicted as outsiders who, in the spirit of the student rebellions from 1968, rail against restrictive rules and outdated conventions.
Instead, in a manner not unlike that of Fanck and Stolzl in Der heilige Berg and Nordwand, he fashions the climbers as ultimate Bergkameraden and presents their climbing as a matter of life and death (Figure 11).