Imagine watching Schindler’s List and knowing the sadistic Nazi camp commandant played by Ralph Fiennes was your father. Inheritance is the story of Monika Hertwig, the daughter of mass murderer Amon Goeth. Hertwig has spent her life in the shadow of her father’s sins, trying to come to terms with her “inheritance.” She seeks out Helen Jonas, who was enslaved by Goeth and who is one of the few living eyewitnesses to his unspeakable brutality. The women’s raw, emotional meeting unearths terrible truths and lingering questions about how the actions of our parents can continue to ripple through generations.
Inheritance airs on select PBS stations next Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 9 PM. (Schedules vary, so check your local listings.) The film will also be available in its entirety online from December 11, 2008 to January 4, 2009 on the POV website.
Watch the trailer:
On Monday, December 1, filmmaker James Moll, Monika Hertwig and Helen Jonas reunited for a special screening of Inheritance at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, where they answered questions from audience members. We will have video from the event on the POV website for the film next week. In the meantime, you can read more about the film, hear from filmmaker James Moll on the making of the film, read an interview with Helen Jonas’ daughter Vivian Delman about her experiences growing up as a child of a Holocaust survivor and see a slideshow of images from Plaszow, the site of the concentration camp where Helen Jonas and Monika Hertwig both lived during World War II.
We hope you get a chance to watch this provocative and powerful film. Be sure to come back to the POV Blog after you’ve seen it to share your thoughts and reactions with us.