Monday, May 31, 2010

Inheritance, A documentary directed by James Moll 2008

James Moll is a longtime associate of Steven Spielberg and a co-founding director of the Shoah Foundation. He won a 1999 Oscar for 'The Last Days,' a documentary about five Hungarian Holocaust survivors.

Originally shown as part of the P.O.V series on PBS TV, this documentary is a recording of a 2004 meeting arranged by the film director, James Moll, between Monika Hertwig, the daughter of Amon Goeth, who had been the chief commander of the Plaszow concentration camp in Poland, and Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, who had been interned in the camp and had served as a maid in Amon Geoth’s headquarters until rescued by Oskar Schindler. Jonas-Rosenzweig was accompanied by her daughter and the three of them meet on the grounds of the former concentration camp.

This documentary is fascinating and provocative in that one of the two main participants is the daughter of a famous Nazi. We see her wrestling with the guilt that was part of her inheritance and the grief of having had to come to terms with who her father really was. (She first saw her father as other than a war hero when she saw Ralph Fiennes' portray him in "Schindler's List.") She was eager to meet Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, a Jewish survivor who now lives in New Jersey. Their meeting was tense. Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig needed to tell her story. Monika listened but she knew there was no way she could make everything right.

For more information about the subject of this documentary, click here.

Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig
Vivian Delman (her daughter)

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