Wednesday, February 12, 2014
"Hitler's Children": interviews with descendants of other notorious men in his circle
In “Hitler’s Children” (2011), journalist Chanoch Ze’evi interviews the biological descendants of several of the more notorious figures in Adolf Hilter’s Third Reich.
He starts off with Bettina Georing, now living off the grid, off solar power, in the mountains near Santa Fe, NM, who stages a gathering for other descendants near the end of the film. She talks about the issue of keeping the surname.
Katrin Himmler talks about her great uncle’s having founded the concentration camps. She would author “The Himmler Brothers”. Rainer Hess talks about his father’s having grown up in a garden home on the border of Auschwitz, playing with toys made by the prisoners. Niklas Frank would author he book “Der Vater”.
About halfway through the 83-minute film, several of the people make a journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau. There is a scene on the night train from Berlin to Cracow. I actually took that train in May 1999. I had the wrong date, but paid a little bribe once in Poland to get a sleeping bunk. The train would stop every half hour or so, and play an odd chime as it was about to go further east. It was a surreal journey. The opening chapter of my novel manuscript "Angel's Brothers" takes place in modern times at Auschwitz.
One of the other people (I think Eldad Beck) drives and bikes through East Germany. I took a day trip from Berlin to Dresden. Also, at the Connection Disco in Berlin on a Saturday night that trip, I met a young graduate student, now in Britain, who had been born in Leipzig when it was still Communist and emigrated to Britain.
There is some discussion at the end about the Fourth Commandment, “Honor your father and mother”. Frank says he simply cannot.
The film should not be confused with the History Channel documentary, “Hitler’s Family”.
The film was distributed by Film Movement and has this site. It can be rented on YouTube for $3.99 or found on Instant Play with Netflix.
There is a film “The Hidden Fuehrer: Debating the Enigma of Hitler’s Sexuality” by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, with Gabriel Rotello (who has written about “demographic winter”), from Cinemax Reel. It draws somewhat from Lothar Machtan’s controversial book “The Hidden Hitler”, which Christian right pastor Scott Lively jumped on around 2001. The “ideology” in this material may be fanning some of the anti-gay furor in Russia, Nigeria and Uganda right now.
Hitler did not have any of his own children!
Wikipedia attribution link for image of “Arbeit Macht Frei” entrance to Auschwitz-Birkenau.