Making Of Hitler's Children – A Long Road
The documentary film Hitler's Children is set to begin screening in America in 2013, following an initial debut in 2011 on Israeli television, an appearance at various film festivals, and broadcast on the BBC in the UK. It has already gotten plenty of praise and attention from various critics and industry insiders, and is recognized as one of the most unique and engrossing documentaries to focus on the lasting effects of the Holocaust. But like any film, it wasn't created in a day. The making of Hitler's Children took time, devotion, and hard work.
The movie was directed and produced by longtime filmmaker Chanoch Ze'evi, who claims that the film was born from a meeting between him and Traudl Junge, the former secretary of Adolf Hitler. During the discussion Ze'evi said he came to realize that there was an inherent need to understand the roots of the evil that led to the Holocaust. He realized that most documentaries only talked to concentration camp survivors or their descendants, not the 'other side'.
His ultimate goal for the film was to show that there are victims on both sides of the concentration camp fences and that these descendants of Hitler's top officers have had to deal with the shame, guilt, and stigma that their names carry with them. He also claims that the goal of stimulating discussion about the Holocaust was a goal.
After deciding on the subject matter, Ze'evi had to seek out the descendants of the Nazi party's top officers. Some were easy to find, since they had dedicated their lives to speaking out about the sins of their fathers and grandfathers and making sure that the public knew the danger of Neo-Nazism and hatred. Others were much harder to locate, like Bettina Goering, who now lives off the grid in seclusion in New Mexico and has gone so far as to undergo voluntary sterilization.
Some were immediately willing to participate, while others had to find the courage to speak out about their lives in the shadows of their fathers and grandfathers.
In the end, Ze'evi created a documentary that shows the long-lasting effects of blood, and one that has garnered much attention at various film festivals around the world. All involved, including the five subjects profiled in the film, had to confront the pain and sadness connected to the atrocities of the Nazi party and in the process have helped show another side that many people have never seen.