The Schmooze

Their Parents Were Nazis

Monika Hertwig remembers leaving a screening of Schindler’s List suffering from shock. “I kept thinking this has to stop, at some point they have to stop shooting, because if it doesn’t stop I’ll go crazy right here in this theatre,” she told the BBC this week.

Hertwig’s not a daughter of Holocaust survivors. She’s not even Jewish. Her connection to the film’s more insidious: The notorious Plaszow commander Amon Goeth, played by Ralph Fiennes in the film, was her father.

She’s just one haunted Nazi offspring profiled by the BBC; many of them also carry their forebears’ reviled surnames. “The names of Himmler, Goering, Goeth and Hoess still have the power to evoke the horrors of Nazi Germany, but what is it like to live with the legacy of those surnames, and is it ever possible to move on from the terrible crimes committed by your ancestors?” the BBC asks.

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Their Parents Were Nazis

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