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Review: Hitler's Children

By GERALD PEARY  |  December 21, 2012
3.5 3.5 Stars

Israeli filmmaker Chanoch Ze'evi is the probing interviewer behind this chilling, unsettling documentary. He places before his camera the living relatives of infamous Nazi criminals — Goering, Himmler, etc. — to understand how they tick with such family poison pounding in their veins. In general, they are disturbed and repentant, none more than Niklas Frank, who has spent a sorrowful lifetime in writing and lecturing against his father, the Third Reich commandant of Poland. Bettina Goering, the great-niece of the Luftwaffe's Herman, has exiled herself to rural New Mexico. And there is Rainer Hoess, grandson of RudolfHoess, the commander of Auschwitz, who, in a conscious act of penitence, travels to the infamous concentration camp, and, in a scene of extraordinary emotion and courage, initiates an impromptu discussion there with tough-minded, visiting Israeli students. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2012 Boston Jewish Film Festival.

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