How Did “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Draw on History?


The film is dense with historical references to Eastern Europe. It’s been noted that the concierge keys that decorate a monument to the author seems inspired by the padlocks on Prague’s Charles Bridge (in addition to the occupation of the character, M. Gustav). Different eras of the Grand Budapest Hotel seem to reflect the respective geopolitical realities of those eras in actual history, whether it’s the Cold War of the 1960s or a 1930s setting colored by both world wars flanking either side of the decade. Though the fascist characters are never addressed as Nazis, there’s no mistaking who they’re supposed to represent. (Such representations recall Hollywood films like Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent, made after the start of World War II but before America’s own entry into that global conflict – the antagonists were Nazi Germans in all but name as their nationalities were often unidentified.)