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  • Lotan Diker

Documentary Film Review: Final verdict, Director: Luke Holland, 2022

The Third Reich was made up of millions of young men and women who served in the government apparatus with blind loyalty. They did not question, resist, or rebel against the adults who committed the most serious crimes of the past centuries. They were educated on the knees of the anti-Semitic racism of the Nazi race theory.

Today they are already in the last stage of their lives, old but clear and remembering. Director Luke Holland devoted an entire decade to interviewing dozens of Germans born in the mid-twenties and thirties who were soldiers and young youth movement members, who went through all the years of the war.

Some of them committed crimes, some of them served in Dachau and even in the Waffen SS. But towards old age they are honest, ready to tell everything they know with impressive honesty. They are asked about the lessons in the classroom, their parents and the magnificent parades that swept them away as boys and children. However, one subject still arouses emotions in them and that is the Jewish question, what they knew and what they did.

Most of them openly admit that it was no secret. They fully witnessed the fate of the Jews, but most of them were not interested or lifted a finger. Despite their young age, some of them served in units that massacred Jews and carried out the orders of their commanders. Although the murder of the Jews was a secret, the prisoners who roamed all over Germany and the soldiers who told the family members about the fate of the Jews left no doubt.

What is particularly disturbing is the fact that none of them expressed remorse. They don't seem to be sorry for their actions and the actions of their parents, they talk wistfully even with longing for those days. They don't even try to justify the murder of the Jews, they speak with complete indifference about the crimes that were committed and longingly about the people they were.

Evil flourished not because the majority were evil, but because the crimes did not touch the hearts of the masses who lacked care and motivation to help the unfortunate Jews in their time of need. They enjoyed too much the feeling of importance that the race theory gave them and did not give much thought to the damage it caused, even many decades later.

This is a hard and poignant documentary, not because of the dramatic peaks it contains, but mainly because it seems that even towards the end of their lives, the murderers and their accomplices do not yet show true empathy for their relatives.


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