Director: Aleksandar Reljić, Executive Producer: Vanja Kranjac, Production/Copyright: RTV-Radio Television of Vojvodina, Serbia, Language: German and English, 53′ and longer version of 74′, 2019, Rights: World
Rainer Hess is the grandson of an Auschwitz commander, who becomes ‘adopted’ by Eva Mozes Kor (1934 – 2019) the world-famous Holocaust survivor, in 2014 on the grounds of Auschwitz. Enkel is a moving account of two very different people united by their past. An inspiration that it is possible to lead a dialogue and create a change in our society after the Holocaust. You’re not born as a victim or a perpetrator, you’re born as a human being!
When he realized the role of his grandfather Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Hess, commander of the Auschwitz death camp, in World War II, Hans Rainer Hess, 49, fled the home and severed his relations with his family. Rainer was 15 at the time but was completely broken by the knowledge that his grandfather had been hanged for killing two and a half million people, mostly civilians, women, children and the elderly. When he turned 39, Rainer survived a severe heart attack and decided to finally confront the dark legacy of his grandfather, family, as well as the horrors of the Holocaust, and move to deny that most horrific crime in history.
As soon as he went public, he became the greatest enemy and traitor to his father, Hans Jurgen, and the entire family. His father, three aunts and an uncle, as children, lived “normally” in the camp commander’s villa during the Second World War, just 100 meters from the crematorium, in which the victims of their father and Reiner’s grandfather were burned. The courtyard of the mansion was shared only by the wall of the camp, in which over one million people were killed.
On the other side of the wall, Eva Mozes Kor was ten years old when she was deported to Auschwitz and, along with her twin sister Miriam, underwent Nazi deadly laboratory experiments by Dr. Joseph Mengele. The two lost their parents and two older sisters, just half an hour after leaving the livestock wagon on the “selection ramp” in Auschwitz. After Miriam’s death in 1993, Eva publicly forgave Dr. Mengele for what he had done to her. She explains her forgiving the Nazis by saying that she “does not want to be the victim of Auschwitz for the rest of her life.”
Eva explains her relationship with Rainer in the words: “The fact that he is his grandson is an act of great revenge for me! He can’t enjoy his grandson, but I can! ”.
Awarded Al Jazeera’s 2018 program prize
Nominated for the official competition on PRIX EUROPA 2018 in Berlin
Writer and director: Aleksandar Reljic,
Artistic Director: Milica Stojanov,
Executive producer: Vanja Kranjac,
Cinematographers: Viktor Prell and Goran Velemir,
Editing: Uroš Jandrić,
Music Composers: Milan Kerezovic and Mihajlo Obrenov,
Sound Recorder: Damir Paluška,
Light Master: Ivan Zivkovic,
Production Assistant: Danijel Cicic.