Bettina Goering is the great-niece of Nazi official Hermann Göring. Katrin Himmler is the great-niece of Heinrich Himmler, second in command of the Nazi Party under Adolf Hitler. Rainer Hoess is the grandson of Rudolf Hoess, creator and commandant of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Niklas Frank is the son of Hans Frank, Polish Governor-General during WWII, he who was responsible for the ghettos and concentration camps in Nazi occupied Poland. Monika Goeth is the daughter of Amon Goeth, commandant of the Plaszów Concentration Camp. None with Nazi leanings, the five talk individually about what it is like to carry a name associated with the Nazi Party, being a blood relative to someone associated with hate and murder, being German at a time when that in and of itself was seen as being associated with Naziism, dealing with their family regardless of their allegiance to the Nazi Party, and if they feel any guilt associated with the actions of their infamous ancestor. In addition to ... Written by
Kein schöner Land in dieser Zeit
Music & lyrics by 'Anton Wilhelm von Zuccalmaglio'
Performed by Die Sterndrehere (comprised of Adi Piper (guitar and vocals), Annette Cantor (as Annete Cantor) (violin and vocals) & Deuter (vocals)) See more »
How do you cope with being descended from a Nazi criminal?
Hitler's Children (2011) is a documentary directed by Chanoch Zeevi. The movie features in-depth interviews with the children or grandchildren of notorious Nazis. Obviously, there are millions of people in Germany--and elsewhere--whose parents or grandparents were members of the Nazi party. However, the people in the film are descended from the most notorious, vicious members of Hitler's inner circle: Goering, Hess, Himmler.
All of the descendants of these Nazis appear to be gentle, humane people. The movie outlines the manner in which they have dealt with their unsolvable dilemma-- how can you love or respect a parent or grandparent who committed such monstrous acts?
It's interesting that none of the people in the film made any attempt to excuse or explain the behavior of their relatives. This attitude has severed some family ties. Their parents or siblings sometimes cling to the "it's all lies" excuse. The people in the movie meet concentration camp survivors or the children of survivors. How can they cope?
The Holocaust will remain a scar on human history as long as human history exists. Its psychological effects will always be with us, although perhaps they will diminish with time. For the people in the movie, the effects of the Holocaust are with them forever. It's an impossible situation. They have to deal with it in the best way they can.
This film was shown at Rochester's Dryden Theatre as part of the wonderful Rochester Jewish Film Festival. It's definitely worth finding and seeing, and it will work well on DVD. It makes a good companion film to another JFF movie, "The Flat." In "The Flat," a daughter of a high-ranking Nazi maintains the fiction that her father was "just a journalist." He wasn't.
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