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You are in: Home > 2012. 60th Edition  > Festival Diary > Coming to terms with the sins of Nazi grandparents
Coming to terms with the sins of Nazi grandparents
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Die Lebenden, the film that the prestigious Austrian director, Barbara Albert, brought to the Festival yesterday, deals with the sense of guilt that younger Germans and Austrians feel for the crimes committed by their ancestors.

According to its director, the story about a young woman who starts to investigate her own family’s past after discovering that her grandfather worked in Auschwitz “is a mixture of personal and fictional elements.” She said that what she had tried to achieve with this film was to find a kind of peace about what had happened in her own family where the question of guilt had remained latent. “For many years I didn’t know what my grandfather had done until I discovered some videos that an uncle of mine had who had always been considered the black sheep of the family.” In this sense the main character serves as the director’s alter

Anna Fischer, the star of the film, thinks that her generation “has always been torn between being sick to death of the subject of Nazism and a sense of guilt that means that we want to know what happened and why it happened, so that things like that never happen again.” The director feels that two generations have had to go by before it was possible to demolish taboos about this subject, as the children of people in positions of responsibility in the Nazi period always had problems facing up to what their parents had done, whereas for their grandchildren it is easier to accept as there is a certain distance between them and these events.


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