Hitler's Children

Rainer Höss (grandson of Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss), left, in Hitler's Children

Imagine, if you will, growing up in Germany with the surnames Himmler or Göring. People would undoubtedly inquire if you were kin to those (in)famous Nazis; an answer in the affirmative would inevitably result in some very awkward, accusatory conversations. Chanoch Ze’evi’s documentary lets a number of people related to prominent folks in Hitler’s inner circle—Hermann Goering’s great-niece, Amon Goeth’s daughter, Rudolf Höss’s grandson—talk about living with a legacy of inherited shame, and how they’ve dealt with the experiences. Some testimonies reveal emotional turmoil, some attest to breaking a cycle of hate through education, others simply repeat ad infinitum what would seem to be obvious: It ain’t easy having well-known perpetrators of genocide in your family tree. The notion of revealing a human side to these monsters via their living relatives’ recollections (while never playing down the fact that these men were monsters) is an interesting tactic, even if the film suffers from a monotonous modus operandi that ultimately dulls the impact of hearing about evil by proxy

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Release details

Release date: Friday November 16 2012
Duration: 84 mins

Cast and crew

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