My Nazi Legacy
Questions of (very) problematic parentage are raised in David Evans’ documentary which follows international human rights lawyer Philippe Sands as he interviews two sons of high-ranking Nazi officers.
He talks to Niklas Frank, whose father was executed after being found guilty of war crimes at Nuremberg, and Horst von Wächter, whose father operated in occupied Poland and shows how, interestingly, both men have strikingly opposite views on their relationship with their fathers, and have utilised different emotional strategies (to varying success) to deal with the weight of the past. Frank entirely condemns his father’s actions, and rejects his memory – while the more fragile von Wächter is deeply conflicted and cannot balance his filial love with the reality of his father’s deeds.
From these encounters a gripping conversation emerges, resulting in the men journeying to Poland where members of Sands’ own family were executed during the war. A fascinating encounter, it’s also a profound and timely meditation on remembrance and moral responsibility.