Skip to comments.When Dadís a Nazi Monster, How Do You Cope?
Posted on 12/02/2012 3:00:20 PM PST by nickcarraway
Hitlers Children, a Documentary About Guilt by Blood
Quiet, simple and soaked in sorrow, Hitlers Children takes a stripped-down approach to an emotionally sophisticated subject.
Tracking down five descendants of some of Hitlers closest accomplices, the director, Chanoch Zeevi, encourages them to talk about how their lineage has affected their lives. The coping mechanisms vary, but the shame and nagging guilt are shared. Monika Hertwig recalls the panic attack she suffered when a viewing of Schindlers List revealed the full monstrosity of her father, Amon Goeth. For Bettina Goering, the great-niece of Hermann Goering, a kind of peace has been achieved by living off the grid in New Mexico and undergoing sterilization. I cut the line, she says with pained finality.
(Excerpt) Read more at movies.nytimes.com ...
No child is responsible for the sins of his or her parents. None. How can you be held accountable for that which someone else did at a time when you either didn’t exist or were too small and powerless to stop?
The kids are not responsible for who their parents were or what evil their parents did.
The kids are only responsible for what THEY do on this planet.
Hopefully, their parents’ murderous deeds will inspire the kids to do great things to help the survivors and their families and people in Israel or where-ever, but the kids are NOT to blame for their parents.
I agree. Navel-gazing (for a lifetime) is NEVER the answer.
My family [on my mother’s side] are Austrian - but the family had lived in Czechoslovakia since at least the 1700’s. In the 1800’s, they moved back to Austria [most of them] ...
After the Germans annexed the Sudetenland [where my remaining relatives lived], a VERY distant cousin was a judge working with the occupying Nazis ...
Whether he willingly collaborated, or was forced to work with them, I do not know ...
What I do know is that after the Russians liberated the region, a series of atrocities against German [Austrian] ethnics occurred. These included massacres, kangaroo “trials”, forced one-on-one barehanded fights [between relatives - winner getting to live], rapes, etc.
My cousin realized that he and his family would suffer from this because of his work [willing or not] with the Nazis. So, he took his entire family of 9 out into a field - killed them and then himself ...
But such is the nature of children, even adult children, to blame themselves.
It’s what molesters count on, for one thing. It’s a human tendency.
For all their undeniable evil, the Nazis didn’t do a single thing that hasn’t been common down through human history. Only the scale of their evil was greater than routine, and you can make a good argument that even the scale has been considerably exaggerated in a historical context.
In any case, being ashamed of your ancestry is at least as idiotic as being arrogant about it. You are responsible for your own actions, not those of your ancestors.
I’ve always found the notion that the Germans as a people should be held eternally guilty for their crimes against the Jews pretty funny.
If taken literally, the same principle, although at a considerably greater time difference, would make the Jews of today bear the guilt for the death of Christ. Not the sole guilt, of course, but the NT account makes it clear a lot of Jews, particularly their leaders, were heavily involved.
The Nazi persecution of the Jews had little to do with their being “Christ-killers,” but the accusation was fertile soil for antipathy in Christendom for well over a thousand years.
This documentary was originally shown on British TV back in June. Fortunately it was posted to a UK torrent site. I found it extremely interesting...and moving.
Great niece had herself sterilized. Over-react much?
That’s still another casualty of Herman Goering and the Nazis, that his great-grandniece underwent sterilization. It’s obvious to this FReeper that there’s nothing wrong with her genetic code that she or her progeny will become monsters, given that she is so wracked with guilt that she denies herself children. Very sad.
I don’t think many people still holds Germans culpable, however much like every Frenchman was a member of the resistance after the war ended, most Germans after the war claimed to not know about the millions of people who were dragged kicking and screaming from their homes in the middle of the night, their businesses and property confiscated and were never seen again.
It is hard to believe no one seems to have noticed the incredible irony of Russian judges presiding over war crimes trials along side of American and British ones.
Goering’s father was a famous christian missionary in Angola Africa.
Virtues of the father are not passed on to the children.
“How can you be held accountable for that which someone else did at a time when you either didnt exist or were too small and powerless to stop?”
Doctrine of inherited guilt. FWIW, I agree with you.
Too bad some of these souls take such tortured and pointless paths to expiate their percieved guilt. The grand-niece of Goering mentioned in the article sounds like a typical, emotional leftist. The poor fool even sterilized herself to help rid the world of her genetics.
Sorry, woman, it’s called sin. Yours will be more than enough to condemn you without borrowing guilt from the freaks in your family. BTW, everyone’s got somebody in the family tree that goes unmentioned in polite talk.
Her thinking is a common theme with lefties, though; Genetic causal arguments for aberent and cirminal behavior and the legal notion of collective guilt. Nice tools to marginalize and punish unpopular people who do not subscribe to the same kinds of nonsense.
Funny thing, this woman rejecting her great-uncle’s philosophies and then taking them in a new and self-destructive direction.
You have to embrace the guilt so you can write books and documentaries about how guilty you feel.
That is unbelievably sad. How horrible.
How horrible that he was driven to this point with no way out.
yes. my point was just that I do not consider the children to be guilty. nor would I recommend that they “embrace” their parents’ guilt, but if they can study and learn from it, I’m happy
many of the children have done so. others, not... but a lot have and that’s good.
(there sure is a lot of evil in today’s world... it is not centered in Germany this time but in Muslim world ... but the evil is horrible, and very very dangerous for us all. I guess each generation has to contend with such garbage...perhaps it is to test us...I can’t say...)
I went to school for several years with a grandson of Joachim von Ribbentrop. And, at the same, with a descendant (not quite as direct) of the man who hung him!
“most Germans after the war claimed to not know...”
That is an excellent point. It could be possible given the state run media at the time. But more than likely the denial stems from being unable to admit one let these atrocities happen with a clear conscience.
As far as the original article goes, if I were a child of one of these people, I don’t think I would assume guilt. But it would affect how I viewed my parent. No doubt there are atrocities in every war...but fighting in a war vs being a death camp overlord is some how different to me.
This story is about exonerating liberals for voting obama. It’s psych ops and the guilty must be assuaged.
There’s a version on Netflix called “Inheritance.”
As you say, it’s interesting, but tough to watch.
Thought I’d pass along.
Bettina Goering is a nut. She practically suggests that Nazi beliefs are inherited by sterilizing herself. What a pompous noob.
It makes no sense to me, BTW.
I worked in the same office with the granddaughter of Herman Gehring. her family had changed the spelling of their name. she said it was just something she had to deal with in life
Too bad there are many who believe we are still accountable to slavery.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton used American taxpayer money, personnel, equipment and facilities to wage war and overthrow the governments of Libya and Egypt. They have been attempting the same in Syria. There are some bad actors who have died because of this. There are also innocent people who have died because of this. Now, I’m an American, and if I can see an American interest in waging a war, well, I can live with that. But Libya, Egypt and Syria? And if there has been an American interest, Obama and Hillary haven’t even tried to explain it. Starting wars without an American interest is murder. Ask Chelsea Clinton what it’s like to have monsters for parents.
Himmler had four daughters.
I bet she voted for obama, never realizing the irony.
When do we get the movie about the guilt of the descendants of the commies who killed 100M+, as opposed to the 12M to 18M killed by the Nazis?
Every German who ever said "I didn't know" is a Goddamned liar.
My contention is not that what happened there was exaggerated, but rather that the evil it represented was not unprecedented in human history. The notion that the scale of killing was unprecedented in human history, and that "industrial processes" were needed to kill lots of people in a short time, or that the Nazis brought some novel degree of efficiency to the process of murder.
The Mongols killed 60M to 100M people, a MUCH larger percentage of the human population at the time than the Nazis and commies combined.
They also killed more people much faster than the Nazis, being rivaled in this only by the great bombing attacks of WWII.
The Mongols regularly took 100,000 or more people captive after taking a city, bound the captives and shared them out among a perhaps 50,000 man army. On the signal, everybody chopped heads and then they built a pyramid with them.
IOW, the Mongols routinely murdered 100,000 people in just a few minutes. Whereas, if I remember correctly the maximum killed in 24 hours at Auschwitz was somewhere around 25,000.
Since the Nazis had to ship people from all over Europe to Auschwitz, using precious shipping space to do so, their method of killing was immensely less efficient than the Mongols, who needed only edged weapons and tens of thousands of hardened killers willing to use them.
My point is not that the Nazis were not spectacularly evil, only that we have forgotten how much evil there is in human history.
How clear is our conscience today? Does voting to kill millions of babies in the womb (and some botn in spite of an attempted abortion) give supporters room for a clear conscience today?
Maybe Chelsea is a monster too?????
“Guilt by blood.”
Think about that for a little bit. It is both true and not true. If you consider that you yourself are guilty by virtue of blood, you are well on the way to wisdom. If, however, you find yourself thinking that there are some who are guilty by virtue of their blood, but, certainly, not you, then you are primed to become something you cannot imagine yourself to be. You are the very thing Hannah Arendt pointed to when she coined the phrase, “The banality of evil.”
If certain Germans, related to the Goerings, Hoess’, Goeths, Franks, and who-knows-who-else’s of this world, are guilty by virtue of blood relation, how different is that from the Nazis’ own accusation of guilt by blood association of the Jews? This is just one group blaming another for all the world’s problems. But the problem is deeper than that, far deeper, more personal than that, far more intimate than that. The problem touches each of us.
The world cares little for what the Bible - God’s Word! - says about sin and guilt and evil. But it is so right. It is so perceptive and true. Which is, probably, why most of the world dismisses it. It is too uncomfortably on point.
Evil is a condition in which we find ourselves immersed. Some give evidence of the reality of evil in obvious, plainly seen ways, others in subtle, easily shrugged off ways. But we all swim in it, breathe it in, and walk through it.
As we enter once more into the season of Advent, the season of preparing ourselves for why - why! - the eternal Son of God became man and came into the world, it would be well worth our while, each of us, to consider the banality of evil and what the phrase “blood guilt” means and does not mean.
Christmas will be much more meaningful for us if we do.
Guilt by blood is a disgusting concept. When I was younger, my best friend was named Hans. His parents where two liberal UN employees. His grandfather was a Nazi party member before 1933. My father, a Holocaust survivor, and mother, a daughter of two survivors, never had a problem with our friendship. Hans’s grandfather was an evil man, long dead.
In any case, being ashamed of your ancestry is at least as idiotic as being arrogant about it. You are responsible for your own actions, not those of your ancestors.
You said a mouthful. We saw, in retrospect, German folly in elevating a narcissist with a huge ego to the highest position; now, we see the same thing where Obama’s concerned in this country. Both Clintons AND Obama have been given a pass and high tribute no matter what they do; and they leave much destruction in their careless wakes as they lumber along starting wars and uprisings, feeling very important all the while. Man’s government is CORRUPT; past help other than a divine intervention.
What source are you using in quoting all of these casualty figures relating to the Mongols? 100 million? Who did the tabulating at the time? The Germans were meticulous in their record keeping, it’s part of what got them hung in the Nuremburg Trials. Although they were blood thirsty, it was my understanding that the Mongols moved fast and were more interested in loot so much as to just wanton slaughter. In the modern era, nothing can compare to an entire Western European nation, considered one of the most enlightened , Christian and ‘’civilized’’ as Germany doing what it did.
The real irony is that the atrocities [except the rapes] were committed by the Czechs. People whose Czech families had lived side-by-side with the German-Austrian families for hundreds of years.
The Russians committed the rapes, then stood aside while the other atrocities were committed by the Czechs. The Czechs were allowed to do so because of the Benes Decrees that stripped the German-Austrians of virtually all of their rights.
If you Google [Czech German Expulsion], you will find many citations for it. One of the most famous [infamous] incidents was the Landskroun Massacre. Landskroun is the county seat less than two miles from the town that my ancestral family called home ...
I think Goering got blamed for more than he was guilty.
What he was guilty of was not being a very good Reichmarshall.
After the Stalag 18 or whatever number it was, escape, Hitler ordered them all to be exectuted which was a violation of the laws of war.
Goering convinced Hitler to not do it. I doubt the Americans who loved because of Goering thought he was such a criminal.
I have also read that he was a pleasant person on a one to one situation. He also loved to hunt wild boar and deer.
“...the Nazis didn’t do a single thing that hasn’t been common down through human history...”
Exactly. If you read the Bible, the ancient Israelites conducted several genocides, as did just about every other group in human history. The Roman empire got built because they would slaughter peoples who resisted(such as the Israelites).
People who want to focus exclusively on Nazi atrocities in history have an agenda: to undermine Western civilization psychologically by portraying a group of white, anti-communist Christians as the most evil people of all time.
Conservatives need to reject this attack on our culture and demand that all historical events be treated objectively.
The Mongols reopened the Silk Road, and they preferred to collect taxes than conduct wars ~ I doubt the Mongols came anywhere near 100 million victims ~
I agree. I could hardly imagine at that time in human history if the total population in that part of Asia came any where near that. The Mongols were fearsome, no doubt but like most thieves it was hit hard, grab what you can and move on.
He was a monster. Goering give himself grand titles, and looted whole nations, while millions died. He was perhaps not the worst monster of the group, but he was a monster nevertheless.
he was a pleasant person on a one to one situations
Many monsters are. Hitler and Stalin, for example. Please do not give Goering a pass because others were a bit worse.
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