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April 8, 2016  RSS feed

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‘My Nazi Legacy’ to air May 2 on WEDU

A powerful new documentary called My Nazi Legacy, will premier next month on PBS and will be shown on Monday, May 2 at 10 p.m. on WEDU in Tampa.

Immediately following My Nazi Legacy, there will be a showing of The Magic of Anne Frank’s Diary at 11:30 p.m.

Directed by David Evans, My Nazi Legacy offers an unforgettable look into the hearts of men who have lived their lives in the shadow of inherited guilt, denial, and shame.

It explores the relationship of two sons of high-ranking Nazi officials, and eminent human rights lawyer Philippe Sands, whose family perished at the hands of the Nazis.

As the three men travel together on an emotional journey throughout Europe and the past, the film explores the different ways that each copes with his devastating legacy.

Niklas Frank has no qualms about denouncing his father, Hans Frank, who was convicted of war crimes at Nuremberg and executed in 1945.

After a stint as Hitler’s personal lawyer, Hans Frank became Nazi Germany’s chief jurist in occupied Poland and was directly responsible for the mass murder of Jews and Poles. In the film, Niklas shares old photos and never-before-seen home movies and visits Poland’s Wawel Castle, where a da Vinci painting stolen by his father still hangs.

For Horst von Wachter, the extent of his father’s guilt is less clear-cut. Despite evidence to the contrary, he insists his father was a decent man caught up in an intolerable situation. An Austrian lawyer, Otto von Wachter served as governor of Krakow, Poland, and Galicia, Ukraine, during the war. But unlike Hans Frank, von Wachter was never charged with his crimes.

Philippe Sands met both men while researching a book on the origins of international law. Sands’ family were Ukrainian Jews, many of whom were killed as a direct result of Hans Frank and Otto von Wachter’s actions, and, to Sands, the guilt of the fathers of both men is undeniable.

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