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Claude Lanzmann Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (2)

Born in Bois-Colombes, Hauts-de-Seine, France
Died in Paris, France

Mini Bio (1)

Claude Lanzmann was born on November 27, 1925 in Bois-Colombes, Hauts-de-Seine, France. He was a director and writer, known for Shoah (1985), Sobibór, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m. (2001) and Le dernier des injustes (2013). He was married to Dominique Petithory, Angelika Schrobsdorff and Judith Magre. He died on June 28, 2018 in Paris, France.

Spouse (3)

Dominique Petithory (1995 - 5 July 2018) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Angelika Schrobsdorff (1971 - ?) ( divorced)
Judith Magre (1963 - 1971) ( divorced)

Trivia (9)

Older brother of Jacques Lanzmann and Evelyne Rey.
Since 1986 Claude Lanzmann is the director of "Les Temps modernes", an intellectual magazine founded in 1945 by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
In 2013 Claude Lanzmann received the Honorary Golden Bear for 'Lifetime Achievement' at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival. It was the first time that a documentary filmmaker received this honor from the Berlinale.
Since 2013 Claude Lanzmann is a member of the 'Documentary Branch' of the 'Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' (AMPAS).
Napalm (2017) is his first and only documentary about North Korea. Lanzmann first visited the reclusive state in 1958 and returned four times after that.
Author, journalist at Les Temps modernes, he was a longtime friend of Sartre and de Beauvoir, he is the older brother of Jacques Lanzmann.
He was made a Commander of the Légion d'honneur in 2006 and promoted to Grand Officer in 2011.
He was the son of Paulete (Grobermann) and Armand Lanzmann. His family were Eastern European Jewish immigrants to France.
France gave him a national homage at the Invalides on 12 July 2018.

Personal Quotes (12)

The first and only time Shoah (1985) was screened at a cinema in Madrid, Castilian fascists in brown shirts and swastika armbands set up booths by the theatre doors and passed out the worst revisionist literature to viewers beneath the unruffled gaze of the police, who refused to intervene: they hadn't been ordered to. Such was freedom in the fledgling Spanish democracy! The next day, when the second part was screening, a bomb scare put an end to its run: this time, the police intervened zealously to evacuate the room. Later, Spanish national television broadcast "Shoah" at the outrageous hour of 2 a.m., tantamount to censorship. I intervened with the highest cultural authorities in an attempt to secure another broadcast, but in vain. I was told that television was free to choose its shows and schedule. [preface to "Shoah, une pédagogie de la mémoire" by Carles Torner, Éditions de l'Atelier, Paris 2001]
[on the Shoah aka Holocaust] The human brain is not prepared to understand this - even on the steps of the gas chamber. [2011]
...there's not a single corpse in Shoah (1985). The people who arrived at Treblinka, Belzec or Sobibor were killed within two or three hours and their corpses burned. The proof is not the corpses; the proof is the absence of corpses. There were special details who gathered the dust and threw it into the wind or into the rivers. Nothing of them remained. [2011]
[on the reception of Shoah (1985)] The film was a triumph everywhere. In all the newspapers. Amos Oz wrote five articles about the film. It was unanimous. I don't know how many interviews they made. They made pictures, they made profiles of me. They understood perfectly that there was 'before Shoah' and 'after Shoah'. [2015]
[on historian Raul Hilberg's "The Destruction of the European Jews", first published in 1961] No other book will ever be, by my hand, annotated to such a degree. A beacon of a book, a breakwater of a book, a ship of history anchored in time and in a sense beyond time, undying, unforgettable, to which nothing in the course of ordinary historical production can be compared. [1993]
To be anti-Zionist is to not want Zion to exist, to not want the Jews who live there to exist - it is to wish them death. [2017]
[on Mihail Sebastian's "Journal 1935-1944: The Fascist Years", first published in 1996] Like all great works, Mihail Sebastian's Journal generates its own actuality. Discovering and reading it today, more than a half a century after it was written, is a shattering and overwhelming experience... What is particularly admirable in this diary is Mihail Sebastian himself: he cannot help remembering that these fascists have been his former friends during their common youth, and he is able to feel sorrow when one of them dies. Even when he is himself marked and hunted, even when his own life is at stake, even when the horror culminates in the massacre at Jassy, even when he is beyond disgust and revulsion, he never loses his sense of justice, nor his humanity. He remains through and through a Just.
[on Le dernier des injustes (2013)] I began to understand the fundamental problem of the councils, who were required to collaborate with Germans. They had no choice - no choice at all. The role of 'collaborator' is completely false to describe them and define their attitude. [2014]
In a way, Steven Spielberg's film is a melodrama, a kitschy melodrama. One is affected by this story of a German swindler, nothing more than that.
I wanted to get as close as possible to death. No personal accounts are told in Shoah (1985), no anecdotes. It's only about death. [Der Spiegel, 2010]
[remembering in Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah (2015)] I was telling myself, 'Very well, I agreed to do this, but what is my theme? The heart of the Shoah, what is it?' Shoah (1985) is not a movie about survival. And it is not a movie about survivors. And the survivors are not in "Shoah". "Shoah" is a film about death. Nobody came back alive from a gas chamber. The people would arrive and within three hours a transport of 5,000 people is gassed. But these people have never known Auschwitz. They don't even know where they are. They don't know where they will die. They are not aware of their own death. This is very important.
[why 'Holocaust' is an improper name to describe the Nazis' genocide of six million Jews during World War II] This was by no means a 'Holocaust' [in Greek the word refers to a burnt offering to a god]. To reach God 1.5 million Jewish children have been offered? The name is important, and one doesn't say 'Holocaust' in Europe. This was a catastrophe, a disaster, and in Hebrew that is 'Shoah'. [N.Y. Times, 2010]

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