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Hitler's Children (2011)

Bettina Goring , Katrin Himmler , Chanoch Ze'evi  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bettina Goring, Katrin Himmler, Niklas Frank
  • Directors: Chanoch Ze'evi
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, German, Hebrew
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Film Movement
  • DVD Release Date: April 2, 2013
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008EXG6QC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,239 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

HITLERS CHILDREN is a searing documentary focusing on these tormented souls who look, talk, eat and breathe like everyone else... and yet feel as if they were spawned by the devil. --Allan Hall, The Sun

POWERFUL! A compassionate group portrait of five actual descendants of the Nazi regimes most notorious actors. --Michelle Orange, The Village Voice

A GREAT ACHEIVEMENT! Cunningly structured as a good thriller - and just as taut. --George Robinson, The New York Jewish Week

Product Description

Adolf Hitler did not have children, but what of the families of Hermann Göring, Heinrich Himmler and Hans Frank, to name a few? What is it like for the descendants of these top Nazi officials to deal with the legacy left behind by their notorious families? HITLER'S CHILDREN introduces us to the children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews of these infamous men. Among them Niklas Frank, son of Hans Frank and godson of Hitler, who despises his father's past so much that he has spent his entire adult life researching and writing negatively about him, often touring around Germany to lecture against his father and the Nazi regime. And Bettina Göring - the great-niece of Hitler's second in command, Hermann Göring - who lives in voluntary exile in Santa Fe, NM and together with her brother decided to get sterilized so as to not pass on the Göring name or blood. These, and many others, discuss how they have coped with the fact that their last name alone immediately raises images of murder and genocide; and how they have reached a balance between the natural admiration and affection children feel towards their parents, and their innate revulsion of their crimes. Some have been more successful than others at achieving that balance, but each bares, for the first time, the scars that their legacy has left them.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cognitive dissonance March 17, 2013
Format:DVD
Chanoch Ze'evi Has accomplished the near impossible: he has gathered the descendants of Hitler's regime. Placed them in front of his camera, let them talk, provided subtitles, and let the rest of the film work it's own insidious way into the psyches f all who watch it. Perhaps for the first time we are seeing a full picture of what life in and around Adolf Hitler was like as he terrified the universe with his megalomaniac plan for purification of the Aryan race - a plan that resulted in the deaths and tortures and cremations of millions of Jews, gypsies, criminals, homosexuals, and those who tried in vain to stop the atrocities.

The cast then are the descendants of Hitler's murderous group - now adults, forever tainted by the sins of their forbears, who explaining to us in penetrating eye contacts what it was like to be around the monster's court. Bettina Goering, Katrin Himmler, Eldad Beck, Rainer Hoess, Niklas Frank, and Monika Goeth are the cast members in this unforgettable film.

These six ordinary appearing people were not associated with Nazi leanings and they talk individually about what it is like to carry a name associated with the Nazi Party, being a blood relative to someone associated with hate and murder, being German at a time when that in and of itself was seen as being associated with Nazism, dealing with their family regardless of their allegiance to the Nazi Party, and if they feel any guilt associated with the actions of their infamous ancestor. Bettina Goering is the great-niece of Nazi official Hermann Göring shares her voluntary sterilization she underwent to put an end to her bloodline of horror (she now lives simply in New Mexico).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Is it possible to escape the onus of evil? The crimes of the Third Reich are indelibly printed on our mass consciousness even as we've struggled to put them into perspective. I've seen a lot of films that deal with the aftermath of World War II and the shame it brought on the nation of Germany. Those who survived, those who sacrificed, those who suffered, and those who were merciless--there are a lot of stories to tell when considering genocide and torture on a global scale. But there is one group of survivors that I've never considered before and this is the angle taken in the strong, but understated, new documentary "Hitler's Children." What if someone in your immediate family played a significant and horrifying role in what happened? What if your family legacy was evil personified? It's a chilling notion and the participants interviewed for this presentation all cope in varying ways.

The filmmakers have assembled a handful of Germans with very recognizable and notorious names such as Himmler, Goering, Hoess, Goeth and Frank. These children of Hitler, so to speak, have had their own demons to reconcile and this is their opportunity to have a voice. The interviews are candid, sometimes unpleasant, but enlightening as well. Some are still actively pursuing answers, some are more settled. For me, the most harrowing stories come from the two men participating. Rainer Hoess is the grandson of Rudolf Hoess, creator and commandant of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He struggles to understand that his father lived adjacent to the Camp and how his family could be indifferent to the horrors right next door. His pilgrimage to Auschwitz was the emotional centerpiece of the film. Niklas Frank's father was responsible for the ghettos and concentration camps in Nazi occupied Poland.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I am a big fan of Film Movement's library of foreign and indie movies, and in fact am a subscriber to their DVD-of-the-month club. However, this is one of those releases that fell outside that DVD-of-the-month subscription, so I am just now catching up on it.

"Hilter's Children" (2011 German-Israeli co-production) brings the amazing story of several of the survivor's of Hitler's closest officers and confidants (Hitler obviously has no offspring himself). Just in the first 15-20 min. alone, we got to know Bettine Goering (Herman Goering was her great-uncle), Katrin Himmler (Heinrich Himmler was her great-uncle), Rainer Hoess (Rudolph Hoess, who ran the Auschwitz concentration camp, was his grandfather), and Monica Goeth (Amon Goeth, who ran the Plaszow concentration camp, was her father). Later on we get to know some others too. I was floored by all this. These are REAL people. The beauty of the movie is that the director asks a question (off-camera) and then lets the subject talk, and talk, and talk. There is no need to provide additional voice-overs with comments or admonitions, as the interviews speak for themselves. Best of all for me was the Hoess story. Rainer, who looks to be in his 40s, had never dared to visit Auschwitz although he had seen countless pictures of his family (including his dad as a young boy) living a sheltered life next to the concentration camp. Rainer's visit to Auschwitz will move, if not shock, you to your core. (I had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz in 2009 and to state that it left an impact on me would be a huge understatement.)

The interviews deal with issues of guilt, remorse, fear of 'bad genes', how to try and live life anyway, etc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The unfortunate offsprings of those who were hitler's henchmen.
The cover says it all after all these years. Children of those who served this monster.A must for history buffs.
Published 1 month ago by rh
5.0 out of 5 stars moving
I bought this for a class that i am teaching on the Holocaust. It is an incredible and difficult concept for us all, but definitely a must to watch. Read more
Published 1 month ago by dulce valente
4.0 out of 5 stars worth watching
if your facinated by WWII like me this is worth watching, but i think more from the individuals would have been better.
Published 1 month ago by Tony007
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sins of the Fathers
Illustrates how actions during our time on this planet resonate for years to come. Haunting and thought provoking. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Minna Pinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing goes bad like blood
Many people you meet in everyday life have a difficult time with their families, especially their parents. Read more
Published 2 months ago by J from NY
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal
A phenomenal documentary. The most intense scene was when the clearly tortured grandson of Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz, speaking to a group of Israeli teens visiting the... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Aubrey Lopez
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Documentary, Needs to go Deeper.
I watched this film the other day. Overall, it's a good film however needed to go deeper into the motivation behind those who were childrens of Hitler's assistants and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by A reviewer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of Hitler's closest cohorts during the Halocaust and the...
I was deeply touched by the lives of the children of Hitler's war criminals. I hadn't thought about their having such a difficult time bearing their notorious names. Read more
Published 6 months ago by author
5.0 out of 5 stars Auschwitz encounter
Must See.
AND IT IS A FOREIGN FILM, ENGLISH SUBTITLES WHERE NEEDED (THEY DO SPEAK ENGLISH) AND IT IS FORMATTED FOR THE USA AMERICAN DVD SYSTEM, EVEN THOUGHT IS IT MAKE BY... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sacred Chapel
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Documentary
It's a bit raw in terms of content editorial, but otherwise it's very informative. If you like WWII history, this is a worthwhile documentary for you.
Published 6 months ago by Kitty S.
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