Reviewed by GREG KING.
HITLER’S CHILDREN is a raw and powerfully moving documentary that looks at five relatives of some of the top architects of the Nazi’s policies of racial hatred and genocide, and explores how they deal with the guilt and living with the legacy of their names. Bettina Goering is the niece of Herman Goering, one of the most powerful of Hitler’s coterie, and she talks of her horror of living with the name, and she tells of her painful decision to be sterilised so she can end the family line. Katrin Himmler, the niece of Heinrich Himmler, has become an author who is determined to remind people of the horrors committed by her uncle and the Nazis. Rainer Hoess is the grandson of FRudolph Hoess, the commandant and chief planner of the Auschwitz death camp. In one of the more powerful scenes Hoess visits the camp for the first time, and while wandering through the house which holds some happy memories for him as a child, he encounters a group of Israeli school children. As they share their stories, a unique bond is formed between both who are victims of circumstances beyond their control. Niklas Franck is the son of Hans Franck, the governor of Poland who was in charge of the Polish ghettoes and concentration camps, and he travels around schools talking to classes and reminding them of the horrors of Nazi Germany. He warns against the tide of public opinion turning back to embrace those policies of hatred. And Monika Goeth is the daughter of Amon Goeth, the notorious commandant of Plaszow concentration camp, a character played by Ralph Fiennes is Spielberg’s Oscar winning film Schindler’s List. This raw, intimate documentary comes from Israeli filmmaker Chanock Zevi, whose previous film was the video documentary Ha-Haverim Shel Nadia, which dealt with his class reunion, a far less provocative subject. Hitler’s Children is powerful stuff and a reminder to all about learning from the past.