My Nazi Legacy
May 2, 10 pm

My Nazi Legacy


About the Film

My Nazi Legacy explores the relationship between two men, each the sons of high-ranking Nazi officials, and internationally renowned British human rights lawyer Philippe Sands, whose family perished in the Holocaust. Sands met Niklas Frank and Horst van Wächter while researching his book East West Street, and as the three travel together on an emotional journey through Europe and the past, the film explores how each of them cope with their own devastating family history. MORE

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.

Horst von Wächter, however, is less clear about the extent of his father’s guilt; despite evidence to the contrary, he stubbornly insists his father was a decent man caught up in an intolerable situation. An Austrian lawyer, Otto von Wächter served as governor of Kraków, Poland, and Galicia, Ukraine, during the war. In Kraków his name was on decrees ordering the expulsion of 68,000 Jews and the sequestration of the city's remaining Jews into the newly created (and infamous) Kraków Ghetto. But unlike Hans Frank, von Wächter was never charged with his crimes.

Philippe Sands’ family were Ukrainian Jews, many of whom were killed as a direct result of Hans Frank and Otto von Wächter’s actions, and, to Sands, the guilt of the fathers of both men is undeniable.

As the last remaining generation to grow up during the atrocities of the Nazi era passes away, the probing documentary 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.


About the Filmmaker

David Evans, born in Wolverhampton, England in 1962, is an Emmy-nominated, multi-award-winning director of film and television. His previous work in documentaries includes a BAFTA Award-winning film about the English author Angela Carter, and a profile of radical feminist Andrea Dworkin. He directed the feature film Fever Pitch, starring Colin Firth, for which Nick Hornby adapted his best-selling book of the same name, and is now established as a leading director of high-end TV drama in the UK, with credits including Shameless, Downton Abbey, and Russell T. Davies's Cucumber.

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Film Credits

Directed by
David Evans

Written by
Philippe Sands

Produced by
Finola Dwyer
Amanda Posey

Executive Producers
Philippe Sands
David Evans
Nick Fraser

Edited by
David Charap

Directors of Photography
Sam Hardy
Philipp Blaubach
Matt Gray

Sound Recordist
Matthew Powell

Associate Producer
Josephine Davies

Music by
Malcolm Lindsay

Production Assistants
Chiara Ventura
Raphael Von Blumenthal
Chiara Cardoso

Archive and Production Assistant
Roxane Barksy

Additional Research
Andrew Wright

Runner
Theo Barrowclough

Post-Production Coordinator
Ruairi Dunne

Music Supervisor
Kle Savidge

Assembly Editor
Joanne Dixon

Titles Design
Darkside Studios

Digital Intermediate by
Molinare

Camera Equipment Supplied by
Sweet TV

Editing Facilities
Roundtable Films
Molinare

International Sales by
The Film Sales Company, Inc.

Sound Design and Post-Production by
Director’s Cut Ltd

Post Producer
Adam Caldow

Dialogue Editor
Kate Davies

DI Colorist
Andrew Elliott

Online Editor
Ben Lee

Dubbing Mixer
Tom Parsons

For Wildgaze Films

Production Accountant
John Morgan

Production Executive
Bennett McGhee

Producer’s Assistant
Hannah Duncan

For BBC

Executive Producer
Kate Townsend

Business Affairs Manager
Dawn Cleaver

Producer
Jo Lapping

For BFI

Director of Lottery Film Fund
Ben Roberts

Senior Production and Development Executive
Lizzie Francke

Head of Production
Fiona Morham

Production Finance
Sofia Neves

Business Affairs Manager
Virginia Burgess

Archival Footage and Stills Courtesy of
Corbis Images
Niklas Frank
Gudenko Igor Grigorievich
International Court of Justice
National Archives and Records Administration
Net Film
Polish National Archive
Russian State Documentary Film and Photo Archives at Krasnogorsk
Philippe Sands
Schamoni Film
The Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives of the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem and the World Zionist Organization
Transit Films
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum courtesy of Albright College
Horst Von Wächter
Yad Vashem

The “Lady with Ermine” by Leonardo da Vinci is filmed courtesy of the Fundacja XX. Czartoryskich, Krakow, Poland.

MUSIC

“Piano Sonata No.8 In C Minor Op. 13, Pathe Tique”
Written by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Courtesy of the de Wolfe Music

“Love Ukraine”
Written by Volodymyr Sosyura

“Shche Ne Vmerla Ukrainy”
Ukrainian National Anthem
Composed by Mykhailo Verbysky
Lyrics by Pavlo Chubynsky

“O, Tannenbaum”
Written by Ernst Anschütz
Performed by Nebe-Quartett
Courtesy of Digital Phonograph Cylinder Record

“Melodia”
Written by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Performed by Guillaume de Chassy
Courtesy of Southbank Centre

The producers wish to wholeheartedly thank Niklas Frank and Horst Von Wächter for their generous commitment to this film.

Production Support Provided by
The MEDIA programme of the European Union

Partial Funding Provided By
Creative Europe Media Development Fund
Stuart Wheeler

My Nazi Legacy is a co-production of Wildgaze Films Ltd., BFI and BBC Storyville in association with Willow Films.

This film was produced by Wildgaze Films Ltd. and The British Film Institute who are solely responsible for its content.

© WILDGAZE FILMS LTD / THE BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

How much should we feel burdened by the disturbing histories of our ancestors? Has anyone in your family tree had troubling pasts, and if so, how did people in your family deal with it?

AWARDS

  • Jerusalem Film Festival
    The Avner Shalev-Yad Vashem Chairman’s Award
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How much should we feel burdened by the disturbing histories of our ancestors? Has anyone in your family tree had troubling pasts, and if so, how did people in your family deal with it?