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Inheritance -- Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, a soft-spoken woman struggling with a profound legacy left by a father she never really knew. Monika's father was Amon Goeth. Often described as a "monster," and "inhuman," Goeth was a prominent Nazi leader and commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp. He murdered thousands of Jews and other prisoners during the war. When Schindler's List opened in 1993, Monika found Ralph Fiennes' chilling portrayal of her father so disturbing that she left the theater more than once. The fact that this man was her father is something that Monika still cannot reconcile. Feeling an aching need to come to terms with this legacy of hatred, Monika reaches out to Helen Jonas, who lived enslaved under Goeth's roof serving as both his maid and prey for nearly two years. In INHERITANCE, sixty years after Amon Goeth's execution, Monika and Helen meet for the first time at what was once Goeth's luxurious villa overlooking the concentration camp. It's a brutally honest, gut-wrenching, and emotional journey that brings both closure and new questions.


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A Legacy of Hatred and the Journey to Change It. See more »
"Inheritance" is the story of Monika Hertwig and her journey to accept the truth about her father, Nazi commander... See more » | Add synopsis »
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
(2 articles)
SXSW – Foo Fighters: Back and Forth – Documentary Trailer
 (From HeyUGuys. 18 March 2011, 1:00 PM, PDT)

On DVD: "Blind Mountain," "Inheritance"
 (From IFC. 13 January 2009, 7:03 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Very Moving and Unique See more (8 total) »


Vivian Delman ... Herself
Monika Hertwig ... Herself
Reinhardt Hertwig ... Himself
Helen Jonas ... Herself

Directed by
James Moll 
Produced by
Shannon Dill .... associate producer
Chris Malachowsky .... executive producer
Ryan Malachowsky .... executive producer
Segio Molho .... executive producer: Swing Musica
James Moll .... producer
Christopher Pavlick .... producer
Original Music by
Andrés Goldstein 
Daniel Tarrab 
Cinematography by
Harris Done 
Film Editing by
James Moll 
Production Management
Conrad W. Denke .... post production
Sound Department
Sebastian Consigli .... sound mixer
Marla Hettinger .... sound mixer
Tim Kimmel .... sound effects editor
William Levins .... sound re-recording mixer
William Levins .... supervising sound editor
Mariano Mendoza .... additional music engineering
Federico San Millan .... additional music engineering
Robert Miller .... sound
Jorge Morales .... sound mixer
Jorge Morales .... sound recordist
David Urban .... sound
Visual Effects by
Alan Chamberlain .... digital artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Rich Barbadillo .... grip
Brian Hamblin .... assistant camera
Don Holtz .... still photographer
Pete McGill .... grip
Chad Wilson .... second camera operator
Editorial Department
Everette Andal .... on-line editor
John Davidson .... colorist
Xander Denke .... on-line assistant editor
Derek Ellingson .... on-line assistant editor
Music Department
Jim Bedoian .... archival music consultant
Fernando Ciapero .... musician: french horn
Patricia Da Dalt .... flute
Pedro Diciervo .... musician: spanish guitar
Nestor José Garrote .... musician: oboe and english horn
Andrés Goldstein .... piano
Gustavo Massun .... viola
Michael Miller .... archival music consultant
Marianno Rey .... clarinet
Luis Roggero .... violin
Transportation Department
Misiek Kotok .... driver
Hubert Zulott .... driver
Other crew
María Laura Bonavita .... administrative coordinator
Andrea Engel .... production assistant
Mirjam Garber .... production coordinator
Marrietta Gilliogly .... production accountant
Patricia Gleason .... translator
Luciana Goldstein .... production assistant
Julieta Halac .... production assistant
Chaska Hendrickson .... production associate
Monika Hertwig .... archive
Helen Jonas .... archive
Anthony Kandan .... production coordinator
Leon Leyson .... archive
John Moll .... production attorney
Robin O'Neil .... archive
Ludmila Page .... archive
Gerald Posner .... consultant
Sarah Regan .... production associate
Marianna Rowinska .... post-production support (as Marianna Rowinska-Dassier)
Stacy Schrier .... production accountant
Marta Sir .... production assistant
Clara Ulrich .... production assistant
Maciej Wojak .... production coordinator
Annie Jeeves .... publicist (uncredited)
Star Barry .... special thanks
Sara Berger .... special thanks
Adam Biesk .... special thanks
Paul Cruz .... special thanks (as Paul Garnica)
Dena DeCola .... special thanks
Gary Ferguson .... special thanks
Diane Fine .... special thanks
Renee Firestone .... special thanks
Ricky Kreitman .... special thanks
Louis Lazzara .... special thanks
Michael Mayhew .... special thanks
Daisy Miller .... special thanks
Michael Rosen .... special thanks
Bonnie Samotin .... special thanks
John Scott .... special thanks
Maggie Scott .... special thanks
Robert Sherman .... special thanks
Rick Singer .... special thanks
Rick Singer .... thanks
Serina Tremayne .... special thanks
Judy Wunsch .... special thanks
Rafe Wunsch .... special thanks
Robert J. Wunsch .... special thanks
Ari Zev .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:75 min
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

BBC Four renamed the documentary to "My Father was a Nazi Commandant" for British television.See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Schindler's List (1993)See more »


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18 out of 26 people found the following review useful.
Very Moving and Unique, 25 October 2009

Monika Hertwig is the reason to see "Inheritance." She comes across as a very real, lovely woman, someone you'd like to have as a friend or next door neighbor. She's a grandmother and housewife, in her sixties, very tall and slim. She's sensitive and caring. She's also the daughter of Amon Goeth, the commandant of Plaszow, the Nazi concentration camp depicted in "Schindler's List." In that film, Ralph Fiennes played Monika's father. Monika was born in 1945. Goeth was executed in 1946.

Monika reports how she learned, slowly but surely, as a child, who her father was and what he did. Monika contacted Helen Jonas, who, as a child, had been one of two Jewish woman named Helen who had served as Goeth's slaves in his Plaszow home. Jonas lived in New Jersey. Monika and Helen met at the site of the Plaszow concentration camp, and James Moll filmed their meeting.

As several viewers have noted, Monika comes across as the more sympathetic of the two women. Monika allows her emotions to show. She weeps profusely when meeting Helen and appears to be approaching Helen for a hug. Helen rebuffs her. It is clear that Helen was severely hurt by her childhood experiences, and has never fully recovered. She still views the world as hostile, even when it is not. Monika is not an enemy. It is her profound misfortune to be the biological child of a very evil man, but she herself is not evil. One would have liked to have seen Helen express the forgiveness for which Monika so obviously hungers.

Monika never knew her father, and comes to know him from others' accounts, including Spielberg's and Fiennes' depiction of Goeth in "Schindler's List." Helen fleshes out the depiction. Goeth pushed Helen, a mere child, down the stairs in his home several times. He knew that Helen, his little slave, had a boyfriend, Adam. One day Goeth teasingly asked Helen where Adam was, and, then, within minutes, shot Adam. Goeth kept two large dogs at Plaszow. He trained them to maul and kill human victims. He robbed Jews before killing them. Monika has a cigarette case from her father. She suspected that he stole it from one of his Jewish victims.

Most mysterious is Monika's mother, Ruth Kalder. No one in the documentary mentions it, but, weirdly, Ruth looks Jewish; certainly her features are those that Nazis would identify as Jewish. She had abundant, striking black hair and a prominent nose, which Monika inherited. In one photo, Ruth looks very much like Chico Marx. This is not a wisecrack, but a statement of fact. It's more than a little odd that Goeth would select a girl who looked so Jewish, even as he sent thousands of Jews to their deaths for their allegedly obvious "racial inferiority," a racial inferiority that was supposed to be obvious in their dark Semitic features, allegedly so different from blond Aryan superiority. One has to ask, why did Ruth love Goeth? The documentary does not probe this pressing question.

"Inheritance" includes archival film footage of the actual execution, by hanging, of Amon Goeth. It was a grotesque event. Hangmen need to know their physics. Length of rope and drop must be calculated to produce a clean death. The masked executioners in Poland tried to kill Goeth two times before getting it right on the third try. The viewer may question why it is important to view this spectacle of death.

I would like to have seen some harder questions asked of each character. Monika: Point blank, did you inherit any of your father's evil? Where did that evil come from? Where did it go? Is he in hell? Can God ever forgive men like Amon Goeth? What would you do if you were God? Would you send your father to hell forever? If not, why not? Helen: Will you ever be able to forgive? Will you ever be able to move on? Will you always be stuck in victim mode? Why are you so harsh with Monika? What about Helen's children? I would have liked to have heard more about their experience of being children of survivors. I would have liked to have seen some depth given to Poland. The bulk of this film was shot in Poland. There were Germans and Jews but there were Polish victims and heroes and perpetrators as well. Poland isn't even background in this doc and that is a failing. Two suicides and one drug addiction are mentioned, but not explored. In short, I was very moved by this documentary, but I would like to have seen it go deeper into the very big questions it touches on.

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