P.O.V. - Inheritance
December 10, 2008 11:34 PM   Subscribe

Imagine watching Schindler's List and knowing the sadistic Nazi camp commandant played by Ralph Fiennes was your father. Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, the daughter of mass murderer Amon Goeth. Hertwig has spent her life in the shadow of her father's sins, trying to come to terms with her "inheritance." She seeks out Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig, who was enslaved by Goeth and who is one of the few living eyewitnesses to his unspeakable brutality.

Trailer. | PBS P.O.V. - Inheritance home page. | Interview with the filmmaker. | Watch the full film online. (December 11, 2008 - January 4, 2009.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner (14 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Excellent. One of those things I was thinkin'a FPPin' when I heard them on NPR, but WOW the whole thing's online? Cool!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:01 AM on December 11, 2008

Thanks for this post.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:20 AM on December 11, 2008

saw the show last evening. Not to be missed.
posted by Postroad at 3:46 AM on December 11, 2008

Thanks for posting this.
posted by foxy_hedgehog at 4:05 AM on December 11, 2008

Nothing on tv worth watching in weeks, and I had to work last night. Will be watching for the rebroadcast; thanks for the heads up.

While this woman's story is specific and dramatic, when I lived in Austria and traveled in Germany as a young woman in the mid 70s, every German and Austrian of my generation (my parents, and theirs, are from "the Greatest Generation" to borrow a phrase) was dealing with this on one level or another. The guilt was collective and ubiquitous although not always acknowledged, the denial stunning, and the need to repudiate their own parents' crimes, complicity, or simple knowledge, through their love for their parents, wrenching to witness.
posted by nax at 5:08 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Check back on the morning of December 11 to watch the full film.

In what American time zone is it not the morning of December 11?
posted by Manhasset at 5:27 AM on December 11, 2008

Yeah, morning is running late today I guess.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:26 AM on December 11, 2008

I'm really interested in seeing this now, mainly because I can't see this going particularly well. From the observation of one who has not seen it yet, it just sounds like a bad idea. Isn't the Nazi's daughter just exploiting her father's former slave for her own emotional needs, albeit in a less sinister way than her father? I mean, if she wants attonement for her father's misdeeds wouldn't it be better to do it from afar rather than forcing Ms. Jonas-Rosenzweig to have to confront the ghosts of her past as well? Just as Hertwig's father raped Jonas-Rosenzweig physically to satisfy his own pathology, Hertwig rapes Helen emotionally to satisfy hers. Thoug, in this case I suppose she is consenting. I must really watch the thing and answer these issues for myself.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:47 AM on December 11, 2008

The full film is now streaming.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:09 AM on December 11, 2008

Pollomacho, my wife had the same feeling, but while I agree she can come off as narcissistic, Ms. Jonas-Rosenzweig could've said no to her, although obviously not to her father. SO I think it is powerful and while again, you can question the daughter's methods, I don't think you can say she is exploiting the survivor.

Mrs. Jonas-Rosenzweig comes across as an exceptionally strong woman. Amazing.
posted by xetere at 8:43 AM on December 11, 2008

Well, now that I've seen it, I think I agree with you xetere. It is Jonas-Rosenzweig's own sense of decency and kindness that allows her to help Hertwig overcome her issues. But, it's not all altruism, she says herself, "I needed to come here." She also makes sure that it is very, very clear that Hertwig's father was an evil monster, but while he was a monster that does not make Hertwig one, she has a choice.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:16 AM on December 11, 2008

A very powerful and moving film. It made clear that later generations as well as those directly involved all suffered. The survivor's husband, himself a concentration victim, later took his life; the child of the camp director suffered emotionally and her mother, at the camp, later took her life. The children of survivors know that their parent(s) are different and they too often are in need of help....truly, the sins of the father etc
posted by Postroad at 10:59 AM on December 11, 2008

I will have to try to watch this when I get a chance. Sounds fascinating. I once took a class on Masochism as a literary theme in the 20th century from a German professor and he always stressed the guilt felt by the next generation in Germany and the tendancy for this to come out in their art.
posted by threeturtles at 11:34 AM on December 11, 2008

Check back on the morning of December 11 to watch the full film.

Unless you're in Canada, apparently. Too bad, this would be interesting to see.
posted by heatherann at 5:17 PM on December 11, 2008

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