“Enkel” – documentary about unusual relations

NEWS 29.03.2018 12:02
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Source: REUTERS/Pawel Ulatowski

The film speaks about a war criminal descendant and his grandfather's victim who have vowed to together fight racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia around the world

The “Enkel” (Grandson) documentary tells the story about the relationship between a descendant of a Second World War criminal and one of his victims, that was sealed in Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland years after millions of people, vast majority of whom were Jews, died there until it was liberated in 1945.

The film was shown as a part of the international Belgrade March Documentary Festival. It features the grandson of Rudolf Hess, the Auschwitz concentration camp commander in Poland and camp survivor Eva Moses Kor who took vows with 49-year old Hans Rainer Hess in 2014.

Script writer and director Aleksandar Reljic said he dedicated the documentary to 10,000 Jews from Backa, a part of Serbia’s northern province of Vojvodina, killed in Auschwitz.

He added it was also an extremely important story because it at the same time spoke about confrontation with horrible crimes and forgiveness aiming at preventing such crimes from happening in future.

Hess’ grandson Hans Rainer was 15 when he found out about his grandfather’s crime and death by hanging after the WW II. He ran away from his home immediately turning himself intothe worst enemy and the traitor to his father Hans Jurgen and the entire family.

The documentary’s synopsis said that his father, three aunts and an uncle all lived “normally” in the camp commander’s villa, just behind the wall separating them from the dread inside the camp. On the other side of the wall, Eva Moses Kor was a prisoner since she turned 10, together with her twin sister Miriam. Both were subjected to horrible experiments by the camp doctor Joseph Mengele.

At the age of 39 Hans Rainer Hess suffered a serious heart attack and after recovering he decided to finally confront with his family’s dark inheritance and the horror of the Holocaust. His started fighting the denial of the Holocaust being the worst crime in the history of the mankind.

Years later, as the documentary introduction says, Hess and Kor took vows towork together against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia around the world.

Kor said that the fact that Hans Rainer was Hess’ grandson gave her a great revenge. “Hess cannot enjoy the company of his grandson, but I can,” she said.

Rudolf Hess was sentenced to death by hanging and the penalty was executed on April 16, 1947. He was found guilty of organising the “industrial killings” of the Jews in gas chambers and crematoriums as a part of the “final solution” programme. In the spring of 1944, in just 56 days, he killed 425,000 men, women and children brought in from the then Hungary.