• The Making of an SS Killer - The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert - 7
    #Alfred_Filbert #Einsatzgruppen #génocide #shoa #Thomas_Harlan #Wundkanal

    Notes part 2

    36. The corresponding passage can be found in UniA GI, ‘Urteil Landgericht Berlin vom 22. Juni 1962’, fols. 91–92.
    37. Wundkanal, 00:57:09 – 00:57:40: ʻJa, was sage ich denn dazu? Da wäre ja allerhand zu sagen dazu.ʼ
    38. See Schmiedecker, ʻFassungslose Geschichtsschreibungʼ, p. 75. Schmiedecker correctly points out that the name ‘Albert Filbert’ is not used at all during the film, but incorrectly claims that this is the name of the ‘real person’ (see Schmiedecker, ʻFassungslose Geschichtsschreibungʼ, pp. 74–75 and 81).
    39. Internationales Forum des jungen Films / Freunde der deutschen Kinemathek, ed., 15. internationales Forum des jungen Films, Berlin 1985, p. 1.
    40. Ibid., p. 8.
    41. Interview with Robert Kramer’s widow, Erika Kramer, Paris, 6 April 2013. I am very grateful to Erika for her time and her candour.
    42. Notre Nazi, 00:03:26 – 00:03:35; Ulrich Greiner, ʻÜber den Tod hinaus: Liebe und Haß. Die 41. Filmfestspiele von Venedigʼ, Die Zeit, 14 September 1984, p. 52; Jonas Engelmann, ʻSauvater, du Land, du Un, du Tierʼ, Jungle World, 18 February 2010; Bert Rebhandl, ʻAus der Generation der Unbedingtenʼ, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 26 October 2010.
    43. Thomas Harlan – Extrasplitter, 01:18:50 – 01:19:29. See also Christoph Schneider, ʻTäterarbeitʼ, Einsicht 03. Bulletin des Fritz Bauer Instituts, Vol. 2 (spring 2010), p. 82.
    44. Thomas Harlan – Extrasplitter, 01:20:38 – 01:23:43 and 01:29:25 – 01:30:17 (quote 01:23:29 – 01:23:31). See also Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 172.
    45. Thomas Harlan – Extrasplitter, 01:22:58 – 01:23:03: ʻEr wartete fiebernd dar- auf, am nächsten Tag wieder geschminkt zu werden.ʼ
    46. Written notification from Ursula Langmann, Paris, 4 September 2013. Harlan later referred erroneously to a ‘Mercedes with a uniformed chauffeur’ (Mercedes mit einem Chauffeur in Uniform). See Thomas Harlan – Extrasplitter, 01:22:45 – 01:22:47.
    47. See Notre Nazi, 00:55:49 – 00:59:31.
    48. Interview with Robert Kramer’s widow, Erika Kramer, Paris, 6 April 2013.
    49. See Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 173.
    50. Ekkehard Knörrer [sic], ‘Der Täter im Spiegelkabinett’, Die Tageszeitung, 10 December 2009.
    51. Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 179. The moment it happens can be seen in Notre Nazi, 01:42:51–01:43:00.
    52. Written notification from Ursula Langmann, Paris, 12 March 2013.
    53. Interview with Ursula Langmann, Paris, 25 June 2013. I am very grateful to Ursula for generously giving of her time and for the effort she took to recall the events of thirty years before.
    54. See Chapter 5.
    55. Thomas Harlan in Notre Nazi, 01:34:41 – 01:35:04: ‘[. . .] ce barbare, qui est resté un barbare. Il n’est pas que vous trouvez [sic] devant un homme. C’est le reste, la dépouille mortelle de quelqu’un qui n’existe plus, et qui n’a jamais existé, qui n’a même pas existé comme enfant. C’est un des pires des [sic] individus que la terre a vu, qui a le malheur de ne pas le savoir.’ I am grateful to Ursula Langmann and Martin Holler for their assistance in transcribing this passage from the film.
    56. See Notre Nazi, 01:35:06–01:45:05: ʻMein Bruder war in Buchenwald und er ist totʼ (quote 01:42:05–01:42:09). According to Robert Kramer’s widow, Erika, the six men were in fact spontaneously ‘scooped up and brought in’ that same day, in order that Harlan could shoot this scene with the Jewish men (interview with Erika Kramer, Paris, 6 April 2013). Ursula Langmann confirms that Thomas Harlan had the spontaneous idea during the shoot, though she insists that – whatever the recruitment process may have been – the men were genuine Holocaust survivors (interview with Ursula Langmann, Paris, 25 June 2013).
    57. Notre Nazi, 01:31:09–01:31:29: ʻIch habe durch meinen Bruder, durch diese Aussage, musste ich 18 [sic] Jahre sitzen. Ich habe meine Augen dabei verloren, verlorene Ehre, Nervenbelastung. Ja, danke schön!ʼ
    58. Ibid., 01:33:46–01:33:52.
    59. Ibid., 01:33:14–01:33:27: ‘[. . .] schuldig sind an einem der größten Verbrechen, die gegen die Menschheit möglich sind.’ According to his widow Erika, Robert Kramer was ‘playing himself’ here (interview with Erika Kramer, Paris, 6 April 2013).
    60. Notre Nazi, 01:18:58–01:23:16 (quote 01:20:03–01:20:09): ‘Ich habe natürlich schwer darunter gelitten.’
    61. M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled, 25th Anniversary Edition (Rider: London, 2003 [1978]), pp. 163–167 (quote: p. 165).
    62. Dicks, Licensed Mass Murder, p. 251.
    63. Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 179.
    64. Interview with Erika Kramer, Paris, 6 April 2013.
    65. ʻInterview mit Thomas Harlan. Von Noël Simsoloʼ, p. 3.
    66. Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 178: ʻEin Film, der Wundkanal die Maske abreißt. Wundkanal ist ein Film über die Schuld, und Nôtre Nazi ist ein zweiter Film über die Schuld. Der Film über die Schuld geht in den Film über die Entstehung der Schuld über. Diese neu entstandene Schuld, von der Nôtre Nazi handelt, war unsere Schuld. Es war kein Wunder, daß diese Selbstentblößung durch das Publikum bestraft werden mußte über kurz oder lang.ʼ
    67. Stephan, Thomas Harlan, pp. 178 and 180.
    68. Thomas Harlan, ʻDas Gesicht des Feindesʼ, in Stefan Drössler and Michael Farin, eds., Thomas Harlan. Wundkanal (Munich: Filmmuseum München/ Goethe-Institut München, 2009) [12-page booklet accompanying the DVD].
    69. ʻInterview mit Thomas Harlan. Von Noël Simsoloʼ, p. 3: ʻHier wird ein Großvater entführt, nicht ein Vater, und verhört und gequält. Und der Großvater ist sympathisch; die Enkel können nicht leiden, daß ein gestandener Ahne – auch wenn er viel auf dem Kerbholz hat – in diesem Alter zum zweiten Mal Verfolgungen ausgesetzt wird; ihnen schaudert bei der Einkreisung eines Familienoberhauptes und seiner Ausfragung nach 40-Jahre alten Morden und Selbstmorden; ganz besonders, wenn sie dann Robert Kramers Unser Nazi, sehen, den Spiegelfilm von WUNDKANAL: hier legen wir uns selbst bloß und zeigen, wie Verfolger rasch die Eigenschaften des Verfolgten annehmen, wir werden ekelhaft, vor allem ich selbst. [. . .] Unser Nazi, das bin dann ich selbst.ʼ
    70. Written notification from Manfred Hobsch, Zitty, Berlin, 8 June 2013.
    71. Written notification from Danièle Brey, Paris, 9 April 2013.
    72. Greiner, ʻÜber den Tod hinausʼ; ʻImmensee in Wilnaʼ.
    73. See ʻInterview mit Thomas Harlan. Von Noël Simsoloʼ, p. 4.
    74. Notre Nazi, 01:45:56–01:46:35.
    75. Standesamt Wilmersdorf von Berlin, Sterbeeintrag 1391/1990, Sterbeurkunde Alfred Filbert, Beglaubigte Abschrift aus dem Sterbebuch, 3 August 1990. I am grateful to Dieter Filbert for providing me with a copy of this document. Incorrect date of death (30 July) in Klee, Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich, p. 150; ‘Biografie Alfred (Albert) Filbert’, in Drössler and Farin, eds., Thomas Harlan. Wundkanal.

  • The Making of an SS Killer - The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert - 6
    #Alfred_Filbert #Einsatzgruppen #génocide #shoa #Thomas_Harlan #Wundkanal

    Notes part 1

    1. Written notification from Dieter Filbert, Berlin, 17 March 2013.
    . See the correspondence in BStU, MfS, HA IX/11, AK 3101/83, ‘Überprüfung zur Person Fillbert [sic], wohnhaft: Westberlin [sic]’, Bezirksverwaltung für Staatssicherheit Rostock, Abteilung II, II/1138/83 A, 2 June 1983, fol. 3, and ‘Auskunftsersuchen vom 02.06.1983, 1138/83 A, eck-sto’, Ministerrat der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, Hauptabteilung IX/11, gei-br/3377/83, 28 July 1983, fols. 1–2.
    3. BStU, MfS, HA IX/11, AK 3101/83, ‘Überprüfung zur Person Fillbert [sic], wohnhaft: Westberlin [sic]’, Bezirksverwaltung für Staatssicherheit Rostock, Abteilung II, 2 June 1983, fol. 3.
    4. BStU, MfS, HA IX/11, AK 3101/83, fol. 5, Memorandum, 28 July 1983.
    5. Hachmeister, Der Gegnerforscher, pp. 224 (with photo) and 372, n. 69.
    6. Wundkanal, 01:38:34. The film was viewed by the author on the DVD released jointly in 2009 by the Filmmuseum München and the Goethe- Institut München as volume 49 in the series Edition Filmmuseum.
    7. Jean-Pierre Stephan, ʻFritz Bauers Briefe an Thomas Harlan. Eine deutsche Freundschaftʼ, Einsicht 09. Bulletin des Fritz Bauer Instituts, Vol. 5 (spring 2013), pp. 36–44, here p. 36.
    8. ʻInterview mit Thomas Harlan. Von Noël Simsoloʼ, in Internationales Forum des jungen Films / Freunde der deutschen Kinemathek, ed., 15. internationales Forum des jungen Films, Berlin 1985. 35. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin. Nr. 9: Wundkanal (Execution a Quatre Voix):Notes to pages 111–113 205 Hinrichtung für Vier Stimmen (Berlin: Internationales Forum des jungen Films, 1985), pp. 2–4, here p. 3: ʻDer Film ist eine Arbeit über den Plural, ich fange lediglich mit meinem Vater an [. . .].ʼ See also Notre Nazi, 00:06:45 – 00:07:50. The film was viewed by the author on the DVD released jointly in 2009 by the Filmmuseum München and the Goethe-Institut München as volume 49 in the series Edition Filmmuseum.
    9. Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 170. On Geschonneck see F.-B. Habel, ed., Lexikon Schauspieler in der DDR (Berlin: Neues Leben, 2009), pp. 117–119.
    10. Written notification from Ulrich Adomat, Berlin, 18 September 2013. Adomat was the accountant of the production firm Quasar Film at the time Wundkanal was made and was present during the entire shoot.
    11. Thomas Heise, ‘Das Projekt “Wundkanal”’, Der Freitag, 23 February 2010.
    12. See the closing credits of Wundkanal, 01:42:06.
    13. Written notification from Heike Geschonneck, Berlin, 11 April 2013. On the Zentrale Stelle see Weinke, Eine Gesellschaft ermittelt gegen sich selbst.
    14. See LArch Berlin, B Rep. 058, Nr. 7189, fol. 49, Letter from Thomas Harlan, c/o Smolinska, Smolna 13, Warszawa, POLSKA, to the Generalstaatsanwalt beim Landgericht Berlin, AZ: 3 P (K) Js 45/60, 26 April 1961.
    15. Stephan, Thomas Harlan, pp. 171–172: ‘[. . .] er war gerührt über den Besuch eines Harlan-Sohns, eines Sohnes des großen Trösters, und es war an dem ersten Tag unserer Bekanntschaft schon klar, daß er bereit war zu sprechen; ob zu spielen, das konnte niemand wissen. Und später auch dauerte es zwei Wochen, bevor wir merkten, daß er angebissen hatte und Schauspieler werden wollte; es war an dem Tag, an dem wir in der Wüste stehen mit ihm und er bereit ist, die Pistole zu halten, wie sie Andreas Baader gehalten haben soll an seinen Nacken, aber nicht gehalten haben konnte.’ Parts of Veit Harlan’s wartime film Immensee (1943) are shown in Wundkanal and Dr S. watches it with a captivated smile on his face. His kidnappers also briefly question Dr S. about the film.
    16. Stefan Aust, Der Baader-Meinhof-Komplex, exp. and rev. ed. (Hoffmann und Campe: Hamburg, 1997 [1985]), pp. 651–652; Stephan, Thomas Harlan, pp. 166 and 174–175.
    17. Wundkanal, 00:05:28.
    18. Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 166.
    19. Ibid., pp. 174–175 (quote: p. 175); Thomas Harlan – Extrasplitter, 01:16:12 – 01:16:34. See also Robert Kramer’s questions as one of the interrogators in Wundkanal, 00:24:51 – 00:24:59: ‘Why did the prisoners then kill themselves? Why? Answer: to prove that they had been murdered, right?’.
    20. See Thomas Harlan – Extrasplitter, 01:32:39 – 01:32:44.
    21. Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 170.
    22. See the closing credits of Wundkanal, 01:42:06. See also Stephan, Thomas Harlan, p. 170.
    23. Written notification from Ursula Langmann, Paris, 15 May 2013; written notification from Danièle Brey, Paris, 9 April 2013; written notification from Heike Geschonneck, Berlin, 11 April 2013.
    24. Written notification from Ursula Langmann, Paris, 15 May 2013. The duration of the shoot is incorrectly given as three weeks in ‘Immensee in Wilna’, p. 210.
    25. Pierre Joffroy, ‘Les faussaires de la mort’, Libération, 30 November 1983. Pierre Joffroy receives special thanks in the closing credits of Wundkanal (01:41:50).
    26. Written notification from Ursula Langmann, Paris, 12 March 2013.
    27. Written notification from Ursula Langmann, Paris, 14 April 2013: ʻKein Unwohlsein, nicht das geringste Schuldgefühl . . . Das hatte in seinen Augen mit ihm und seiner Geschichte überhaupt nichts zu tun.ʼ
    28. On Feltrinelli see Stephan, Thomas Harlan, pp. 123–125.
    29. Ibid., pp. 96–97: ʻDie Wahrheit, die man nicht mehr verbergen muß, hat die größte Wuchtʼ (quote: p. 96).
    30. Wundkanal, 00:04:16.
    31. See Mitteilungen der Forschungs–und Arbeitsgruppe ‘Geschichte des BND’, ed. Bundesnachrichtendienst, special issue ‘Kassationen von Personalakten im Bestand des BND-Archivs’, 22 December 2011.
    32. According to the BND, there is no record of Filbert in the BND Archives (written notification from Dr Andreas Elbach, Leiter der Arbeitsgruppe Archiv, Bundesnachrichtendiesnt, Pullach, 4 January 2013; written notification from Ulrich Utis, Leiter der Arbeitsgruppe Archiv, Bundesnachrichtendienst, Berlin, 19 April 2012). According to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, or BfV), there is no record of Filbert in the BfV Archives (written notifications from Laura Kempers, Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, Cologne, 9 January 2013 and 10 April 2012).
    33. See Wundkanal, 00:04:27. See also Andreas Schmiedecker, ʻFassungslose Geschichtsschreibung. Geschichtliche und biografische (De) Konstruktionen bei Thomas Harlanʼ, in Thomas Marchart, Stefanie Schmitt and Stefan Suppanschitz, eds., reflexiv. Geschichte denken, SYN. Magazin für Theater-, Film–und Medienwissenschaft, Vol. 2 (Berlin/ Münster/Vienna/Zürich/London: LIT, 2011), pp. 69–83, here p. 74. It is tempting to speculate that the character of ‘Colonel Humphrey Ian Donald Calleigh’ may be a reference to Second Lieutenant William Laws Calley, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the My Lai massacre of 16 March 1968 during the Vietnam War (though the sentence was subse- quently commuted to 20 and then 10 years imprisonment, and Calley was in fact released after only three-and-a-half years under house arrest).
    34. Paul Werner was head of Group A in the Reich Criminal Police Office (Office V of the RSHA) and Nebe’s deputy. After the war he held a senior position in the Interior Ministry of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. The city of Stuttgart is located in Baden-Württemberg. In Wundkanal he is referred to as being responsible for the construction of the secure wing of Stammheim Prison that housed the RAF leadership. On Werner see Wildt, Generation des Unbedingten, pp. 314–316.
    35. Wundkanal, 00:04:57.

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    In spite of the commotion that took place on the final day of the shoot and the resulting alleged injury to his ribs, Filbert stated his willingness to return and continue shooting. Some months later, a member of the crew happened to see Filbert in Berlin. Filbert confided in him that his experience of the movies had been the single greatest moment of his life.(74) Karl Wilhelm Alfred Filbert died in Berlin’s Saint Gertrude Hospital at 11:30 on the morning of Wednesday, 1 August 1990, five-and-a-half weeks short of his 85th birthday.(75) Although Filbert had been stripped of his doctor of laws title more than twenty-six years previously, he was still adorned with the qualification on his death certificate.

    Sankt Gertrauden-Krankenhaus
    https://sankt-gertrauden.de
    #Paretzer_Straße 12
    10713 #Berlin #Wilmersdorf
    https://www.openstreetmap.org/way/119398219

  • The Making of an SS Killer - The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert - 4
    #Alfred_Filbert #Einsatzgruppen #génocide #shoa #Thomas_Harlan #Wundkanal

    It was not the first time during the shooting of Wundkanal that Filbert had presented himself as a victim on account of the fate of his brother. On another occasion he explains his imprisonment not as a result of the atrocities he had committed in Lithuania and Belarus but instead as a result of his brother expressing regret at the failure of the attempt on Hitler’s life in November 1939: ‘I had to as a result of my brother, as a result of this statement [following the attempt on Hitler’s life], I had to sit in prison for 18 [sic] years. I lost my eyesight in the process, I lost my honour, the nervous strain. Yes, thanks a lot!’(57) In Filbert’s eyes, it was ‘a crime under constraint’ ( ein erzwungenes Verbrechen ).(58) This response was aimed at Robert Kramer, who described Filbert as ‘guilty of one of the greatest crimes against humanity possible’.(59) On another occasion, Filbert weeps whilst talking about the fate of his brother. It initially appears to the viewer that Filbert’s show of emotion is on account of the suffering and death of his brother, before it becomes clear that he is in fact weeping – at least in part – for himself and his damaged career in the SS: ‘I naturally suffered a lot from this.’(60) In his bestselling book The Road Less Travelled , psychiatrist M. Scott Peck describes a not dissimilar situation he encountered during an interview with the parents of a schizophrenic patient, Susan. Describing to them Susan’s great progress in therapy, Peck was surprised to find Susan’s mother crying. It soon became clear that these were not tears of joy but tears of sadness. He eventually realised that Susan’s mother ‘was not crying for Susan but for herself’. Peck defined this failure to perceive the separateness of another person on an emotional level and the use of the other as a vehicle to express one’s own needs as narcissism.(61) Henry V. Dicks also characterised Filbert as a ‘narcissistic prig’.(62) In Filbert’s case, it was his brother Otto whom he was using as a vehicle to express his own needs.

    The two films, Wundkanal and Notre Nazi , should be watched consecutively,(63) and Harlan indeed drew up a legal contract to prevent Notre Nazi from being shown without Wundkanal.(64) Harlan, who also produced Notre Nazi,(65) later explained the film’s purpose:

    A film that unmasks Wundkanal . Wundkanal is a film about guilt, and Nôtre Nazi is a second film about guilt. The film about guilt merges into the film about the origins of guilt. This newly formed guilt, which Nôtre Nazi deals with, was our guilt. It was no wonder that this self-exposure had to be punished by the audience sooner or later.(66)

    Harlan was referring here to the public reaction when the two films were premiered at the Venice International Film Festival ( Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia ) at the end of August 1984. The film provoked anger, uproar, fits of dizziness and shattered glass doors.(67) Harlan was beaten at the exit to the cinema.68 As Harlan himself well knew, the shock provoked by the film was because of the perceived hounding of an old man:

    Here, a grandfather is kidnapped, not a father, and interrogated and tormented. And the grandfather is likeable; the grandchildren cannot stand to see how a seasoned forebear – even if he has much to answer for – is persecuted for a second time at his age; they shudder to see the patriarch encircled and questioned about 40-year-old murders and suicides, especially when they then watch Robert Kramer’s Our Nazi , the mirror image of WUNDKANAL: here, we expose ourselves and show how the persecutors quickly assume the attributes of the persecuted; we become revolting, above all myself. [. . .] Our Nazi , that is then myself.(69)

    It was a similar story at the Berlin International Film Festival ( Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin ) in February 1985, though the two films did share the Prize of the Readers’ Jury of the alternative Berlin magazine Zitty.(70) The films were also shown at the Strasbourg International Film Festival on Human Rights ( Festival International du Film des Droits de l’Homme de Strasbourg ) in 1984.(71) Lengthy articles appeared in the national weekly newspaper Die Zeit and the weekly news magazine Der Spiegel following the premiere in Venice.(72) Hans-Dieter Seidel from the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung found the juxtaposition of Auschwitz and Stammheim to be scandalous and ‘com- pletely obscene’ ( vollends widerwärtig ). This in turn provoked a response by the Hamburg-based, left-wing monthly magazine konkret in its October 1984 issue.(73)

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    Wundkanal thus offers the viewer a total of six different identities for Filbert: 1. The name ‘Dr Alfred Selbert’, as used in the opening credits; 2. ‘Paulssen’, a pseudonym for ‘Dr Alfred Selbert’; 3. ‘Grodnow’, like- wise a pseudonym for ‘Dr Alfred Selbert’; 4. The name ‘Alfred Filbert’, also used in the opening credits; 5. ‘Dr S.’, who – as the closing credits make clear – is the name of the character we see on the screen, and who is also referred to during the reading of the (real) judgement against Filbert and seen written on various sketches laid out on the floor; and 6. ‘Alfred F.’, the name of the actor playing ‘Dr S.’, according to the closing credits.(38) So many identities evidently confused the organisers of the Berlin International Film Festival, at which the film was shown in February 1985, as in a data sheet containing crew, cast and plot they listed the actor playing the part of ‘Dr S.’ as ‘Alfred Selbert’ and even added that the role of ‘Dr S. II’ was played by ‘Aldred [sic] Selbert’.(39) Or was this merely a ploy on the part of Thomas Harlan to further confuse his audience? It was he, after all, who was cited as the editor of the data sheet.(40)

    As soon as Harlan decided to replace Erwin Geschonneck with Filbert, that is, an actor with a real perpetrator, Wundkanal ceased to be a fictional film. Instead, it became an experiment. From this point on, the entire crew was only concerned with Filbert the person, with his crimes and with the question of his guilt. The making of the film became the actual event, rather than the film itself. For this reason, the documentary Notre Nazi (‘Our Nazi’), which was shot at Harlan’s request by the American film- maker Robert Kramer parallel to the shooting of Wundkanal and designed to document the whole process, became just as important as Wundkanal and considerably more interesting. Harlan and Kramer had met each other during the mid-1970s in Portugal, where both men were making films about the Carnation Revolution of 1974, Torre Bela (1975) and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Portugal (1977), respectively. Harlan subsequently visited Kramer at his home in San Francisco in the late 1970s, but it was only later, after Kramer and his family had moved to France, that Harlan invited him to document the filming of Wundkanal . Kramer accepted the offer, though he remained very independent from Harlan and shot less a companion piece to Wundkanal than a film of his own, which can be watched in its own right.(41)

    Why did Filbert agree to star in a film in which he not only played himself as a recognised mass murderer but in which he was also subjected to an intensive interrogation over twenty years after his trial in Berlin? First of all, Filbert was paid a fee of 150,000 French francs (or 50,000 German marks) for his involvement in the film.(42) Above and beyond that, however, there are several indications to the effect that Filbert did not realise what he was getting himself into. Towards the end of Wundkanal , when asked to make a confession, Dr S. refuses, adding ‘I’ve had enough’ ( Mir hat’s genügt ). The viewer has the feeling that it is not (just) Dr S. who has had enough but in fact the actor Filbert himself. Before shooting began, Harlan – by his own admission – had deceived Filbert into believ- ing that he wanted to make a film about him. By means of this tactic, Harlan succeeded in persuading Filbert to take part in the film Harlan actually wanted to make, which was not in fact about Filbert as such.(43) Harlan and his crew treated Filbert so well, paid him so much attention and gave him a feeling of importance that he had not enjoyed for decades, that Filbert was soon prepared to become an actor (see Figure 25). Harlan later said that ‘little pressure and a whole lot of seduction’ had brought this about.(44) ‘He feverishly waited to be made up again the next day.’(45) Ursula Langmann was effectively Filbert’s ‘chauffeur’, among other things, and she drove him around every day in a mid-range rental car.(46) On Filbert’s birthday, which fell during the shoot, Harlan arranged flowers and a cake for him.(47) Erika Kramer, Robert Kramer’s widow, spent a great deal of time on set and later described the interaction between Harlan and Filbert as ‘a chess game of egos’. She cites three things as the principal motivations for Filbert agreeing to take part in the film: money, his identification with whom Harlan was (i.e. the son of Veit Harlan) and a belief on Filbert’s part that any guilt had been expiated because he had served his time in prison.(48) In an interview that he gave Pierre Joffroy from the French daily newspaper Libération at the time, Filbert stated that he had obeyed Harlan like he had once obeyed Heydrich.(49) This, in the words of the film critic Ekkehard Knörer, demonstrated the willingness of an authoritarian character to do as he is told.(50)

    Although Dr S. is released at the end of Wundkanal without any physical harm being done to him, the film shoot did not conclude quite so peacefully. On the final day of shooting, Harlan’s Algerian assistant director, Aziz Bel Milloud, allegedly broke five of Filbert’s ribs. This incident cost Harlan and his crew 5,000 German marks, 1,000 for each rib.(51) Filbert did not require inpatient treatment,(52) however, and Ursula Langmann suspected that Filbert obtained a falsified medical certificate attesting to the five broken ribs in order to be freed from his contract.(53) How the injury came about can be seen in Notre Nazi . The backdrop to the injury was a discussion initiated by Harlan about a massacre of 100 Jewish men in Belarus in August 1941. Filbert had personally com- manded the shooters.(54) Harlan also notes that two prisoners had mana- ged to flee the execution and escape. The viewer sees Harlan briefing a group of six Jewish men, telling them about Filbert: ‘[T]his barbarian, who has remained a barbarian. You are not facing a man here. It is the remnant, the mortal remains of somebody who does not exist anymore, and who existed forever as a child. It is one of the worst individuals that the earth has seen, which has the misfortune not to know it.’(55) Filbert does not want to talk about the massacre in question, which he in any case denies being involved in, instead making Tunnat responsible. He stands up and attempts to leave the set; a physical confrontation ensues. Filbert is confronted by the men briefed by Harlan, Holocaust survivors, one of whom may or may not be one of those who fled the massacre. One of the men then rolls up his sleeve and shows Filbert a tattoo on his arm, which he says came from Auschwitz, where his entire family was murdered. Filbert responds by saying, ‘My brother was in Buchenwald and he is dead.’(56)

  • The Making of an SS Killer - The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert - 2
    #Alfred_Filbert #Einsatzgruppen #génocide #shoa #Thomas_Harlan #Wundkanal

    Following his return from Hungary, Harlan wanted to resume shooting in the Peruvian jungle, though the state of Filbert’s health did not permit this.(21) Instead, shooting took place at Exposure Studios in Charenton outside Paris.(22) The shoot began on 22 August 1983(23) and lasted for eight weeks.(24) According to the French journalist Pierre Joffroy, during his Parisian outings, Filbert carefully avoided certain quarters, where there were surviving witnesses to the Holocaust, and he insisted that the production car that took him from his hotel to the studio and back stick to the same route every day; otherwise, he panicked and was afraid the driver might be attempting to abduct him.(25) The interpreter on set, Ursula Langmann, relates a very different and telling story. She was responsible not only for translating between Filbert and the largely French crew (only Thomas Harlan and Heike Geschonneck spoke German) but also for taking care of Filbert on and off the set, including picking him up from his hotel on the Rue Kepler in the morning, driving him back to the hotel in the evening, eating with him, attending costume fittings, etc.(26) One Saturday, Langmann had to accompany Filbert to a costume fitting at a tailors in the 9th arrondissement in Paris, where the costume designer had ordered a couple of suits for the film shoot. Afterwards, around lunch- time, Filbert was hungry and wanted to eat something. Langmann suggested various restaurants at more conventional tourist locations in Paris in order that they could leave that particular quarter of the city as soon as possible. The reason for her desire to go elsewhere was that at the time around the cabaret music hall Folies Bergère there were predominantly restaurants belonging to Tunisian or Moroccan Jews and Langmann wanted to reach what she termed ‘neutral ground’ with Filbert. As Filbert was a little hard of hearing and therefore spoke very loudly, the thought was anathema to Langmann that Filbert might trumpet some- thing about his past in one of the restaurants. Yet Filbert, ‘stubborn’ as he was, could not be persuaded to eat elsewhere. The two of them ended up in a Jewish couscous restaurant, where the food was admittedly very tasty but where Langmann soon lost her appetite at the site of the large families gathered there on the Sabbath, unaware of who was sitting at the neighbouring table. Eventually, Langmann asked Filbert if he knew where they had ended up: he, of course, knew that the restaurant was run by North African Jews and that he was surrounded first and foremost by Jewish families, eating their lunch. Yet this did not bother Filbert in the slightest: ‘No qualms, not the least sense of guilt . . . In his eyes, it had nothing whatsoever to do with him or his past.(27)

    In the film Wundkanal itself, ‘Dr S.’, a war criminal, is kidnapped by a group of four young people, heirs to Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof, and imprisoned in a room filled with mirrors and monitors, where he is constantly confronted with his own image. The four voices, belonging to the unseen kidnappers, one of whom speaks English (the American film- maker Robert Kramer) and one of whom is a woman (Heike Geschonneck), interrogate him in a mock trial scenario, force him to pass judgement on himself and attempt to elicit a confession of guilt. Ultimately, whereas the prisoner is released, the film ends with the four kidnappers lying dead on the floor, evidently in reference to the fate of the four RAF members in Stammheim: Baader, Meinhof (or, alternatively, Irmgard Möller, who survived the night of 18 October 1977), Gudrun Ensslin and Jan-Carl Rasspe. Harlan dedicated the film to the memory of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli,(28) the Italian publisher and left-wing revolution- ary who had financed his research on Nazi perpetrators and their post-war careers. The release of Dr S. also prefigures Harlan’s advocacy of and admiration for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission created by Nelson Mandela and established in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid. Harlan later noted, ‘The truth that must no longer be con- cealed has the greatest power.’ He contemplated what might have hap- pened, had the National Socialists testified before a truth commission: it would have created in German society an awareness of the crimes com- mitted. A truth commission would have contrasted significantly with the criminal courts, before which the perpetrators felt compelled to deny their complicity.(29) Historical scholarship on National Socialist crimes would surely have benefitted immeasurably from a conception of justice that prioritised truth over guilt.

    The film Wundkanal mixes fact and fiction to such an extent that it is unclear to the viewer which is which. Filbert is mentioned for the first time during the opening credits, which include the following text (in English):

    DR ALFRED SELBERT ALIAS PAULSSEN ALIAS GRODNOW
    BORN SEPT. 8, 1906 AT HEIDELBERG (W. GERMANY)
    FORMER CHIEF SS INTELLIGENCE DEPT. 6.
    NOW IN LA PAZ, BOLIVIA, DIRECTOR SINCE 1971
    FEDERAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY B.N.D. (W. GERMANY)
    LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE.(30)

    Filbert had, of course, lived for the first six years after the war under the name ‘Dr Alfred Selbert’ and this was the man – thus, in effect, himself – whom he was now playing in Wundkanal. He was indeed born on 8 September, though in the year 1905, not 1906. Later in the film, however, Filbert – as Selbert – correctly states that he was born on 8 September 1905. Though his mother had been born in Heidelberg, Filbert himself was born in Darmstadt. Filbert was not the former chief of SS intelligence, department 6, but rather the former deputy chief of Office VI of the RSHA. The Bolivian connection was potentially also not far from the truth, depending on whether one believes Harlan’s afore- mentioned claim that Filbert had worked for the CIA in Bolivia after the war. Without any hard evidence to this effect, however, his assertion must be regarded as tenuous. Although Filbert was still in Berlin’s Tegel Prison in 1971, the holding of a function in the BND either prior to or subse- quent to his imprisonment is not in itself entirely unlikely in light of the high number of former Nazis in the BND(31) and also the close working relationship between the CIA and the BND (including its forerunner, the Gehlen Organisation).(32)

    The slight inconsistencies contained in the information given are not accidental, they are not errors. They are, on the contrary, intentional and have the purpose of disorientating the viewer, of persuading the viewer to accept the possibility that everything he/she sees is factual or, conversely, that nothing is factual at all. The very real continuity of Nazi biographies in the Federal Republic of Germany is merged with the possibility of foul play in the Stammheim deaths but also with clearly fictitious elements such as the figure of Colonel Humphrey Ian Donald Calleigh, director of the ‘Office of Peace Planning & Security’ of British Military Intelligence in Hertfordshire, England.(33) This approach allows Harlan to play with the accepted conventions of documentary filmmaking and to straddle the boundary between fact and fiction.

    When Filbert is mentioned for a second time during the opening credits, it is his real name that is used:

    PAUL WERNER(34) ALFRED FILBERT PAUL WERNER THE AUTHORS OF THE 1939–1945 GENOCIDE NOW STILL ACTIVE & INVOLVED IN THE GERMAN PRISON KILLINGS (1977 . . .)(35)

    The 1977 ‘German prison killings’ were, of course, the aforementioned deaths of the RAF leadership in Stuttgart’s Stammheim Prison. Just over halfway through the film, Dr S. is instructed to read an abridged but verbatim passage on the liquidation of the Vitebsk ghetto from the actual judgement against Filbert from 1962.(36) The only alteration made to the passage is that the words ‘Dr Filbert’ are replaced with ‘Dr S.’, though Filbert is on the verge of saying ‘Dr Selbert’ (!) and only at the last moment corrects himself. Even Greiffenberger is mentioned by name during the reading of the passage. Confronted with his own image on another monitor, Dr S. concludes the passage by removing his spectacles and saying: ‘Yes, what can I say to that? All sorts of things could be said to that.’(37)

  • The Making of an SS Killer - The Life of Colonel Alfred Filbert 1905–1990 - 1
    #Alfred_Filbert #Einsatzgruppen #génocide #shoa #Thomas_Harlan #Wundkanal

    Alex J. Kay,
    Institute of Contemporary History, Berlin
    Chapter 10 - ‘A chess game of egos’
    Wundkanal and aftermath, 1975–1990

    Following his release from prison for health reasons in June 1975, Filbert lived for another fifteen years. He returned to 49 #Bamberger_Straße in West #Berlin (#Schöneberg), where he would remain until his death in 1990.(1) In 1983, Filbert’s pre-1945 biography was the subject of a request for information submitted by the District Administration for State Security in Rostock in East Germany to the Main Department IX/11 within the Ministry of State Security, commonly known as the Stasi, in East Berlin.(2) The request was made in the context of the ‘processing of operative material’ ( Bearbeitung eines operativen Materials ).(3) The backdrop to the request appears to have been the fact that the District Administration for State Security in Rostock had become aware ‘that in the FRG a film is being made with the professional advice of Fillbert ( sic )’ ( daß in der BRD ein Film unter Fachberatung des Fillbert gefertigt wird ).(4) In fact, Filbert was providing much more than specialist advice: he was acting in the lead role.

    The former SD officer, RSHA member and Italy specialist Karl Haß – whose wife had officially declared him dead in 1953 – had played small supporting roles in various feature films during the 1960s, including a bit part in Luchino Visconti’s La caduta degli dei (‘The Damned’, 1969), generally as a member of the SA or the SS.(5) The only time a convicted Nazi mass murderer has played a mass murderer in a feature film, how- ever, was in 1984 in the film Wundkanal – Hinrichtung für vier Stimmen (‘Gun Wound – Execution for Four Voices’). According to the film’s closing credits, it stars ‘Alfred F.’ in the lead role of ‘Dr S.’.(6) This was Alfred Filbert, wearing a toupee and, intermittently, a false moustache. The character’s name was no coincidence. Filbert had once before been known under the name ‘Dr S.’: Dr Selbert, the name he had used for the first six years after the war. In Wundkanal , Filbert was in many ways playing himself. The director and producer was Thomas Harlan, son of Veit Harlan, director of the notorious Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda film Jud Süß (‘The Jew Süss’). Harlan junior devoted his life, initially in the Polish archives, later in films and novels, to tracking down and uncovering mid-level Nazi perpetrators and their post-war careers; men like his father, men like Filbert. He ultimately brought criminal charges against more than 2,000 Nazi perpetrators who were still alive. As Harlan stated in an interview after the release of Wundkanal : ‘The film is a work about the plural; I merely start with my [own] father’.(8)

    The shooting of the film Wundkanal began in 1981, initially in Hungary with the actor Erwin Geschonneck, a former concentration camp prisoner and one of East Germany’s most celebrated actors. According to Harlan, the West German embassy managed to have the film shoot stopped, however, on the grounds that Harlan and his crew were allegedly engaging in propaganda for terrorism.(9) The abrupt ter- mination of the shoot led to a legal dispute between the production firm Quasar Film and Hungarofilm.(10) After returning to East Berlin, Harlan decided to shoot Wundkanal with a real perpetrator in the lead role: Alfred Filbert.(11) Harlan and Heike Geschonneck, the fourth wife of the aforementioned Erwin Geschonneck and executive producer(12) of Wundkanal , came across Filbert’s name whilst at the Central Office of the Judicial Authorities of the Federal States for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes ( Zentrale Stelle der Landesjustizverwaltungen zur Aufklärung nationalsozialistischer Verbrechen ) in the German city of Ludwigsburg.(13) This, however, was not the first time that Harlan had been acquainted with the name Alfred Filbert: two decades earlier, Harlan had corresponded with the Chief Public Prosecutor attached to the Regional Court in Berlin, regarding the trial against Filbert. The Public Prosecutor’s Office had been at the time in the process of pre- paring the indictment against Filbert and his co-defendants.(14) Harlan met with Filbert over coffee and cake in the latter’s West Berlin apartment at 49 Bamberger Straße. According to Harlan, Filbert

    [. . .] was touched by a visit from the son of Harlan, the son of the great consoler, and it was already clear on this first day of our acquaintance that he was prepared to speak; whether [he was also prepared] to act, this no-one could know. And later it lasted two weeks before we noticed that he had taken the bait and wanted to become an actor; it was on the day when we are standing in the desert with him and he is prepared to hold the pistol how Andreas Baader is supposed to have held it to his neck, but could not have held it. (15)

    This comment (see Figure 24) was a reference to Harlan’s theory that the leadership of the radical left-wing RAF had not in fact committed suicide in Stuttgart’s Stammheim Prison on the night of 18 October 1977 but instead had been murdered. Baader, for example, was supposed to have shot himself in cell 719 in the base of the neck so that the bullet exited through his forehead. Tests indicated, however, that it was virtually impossible for a person to hold and fire a pistol in such a way at the distance necessary to cause the powder burns found on the skin of Baader’s neck. Harlan concluded that one’s own arm is too short.(16) His conclusions are reflected in the opening credits of Wundkanal : ‘IN THE NECK AT A DISTANCE LONGER THAN A MAN’S ARM / AT A DISTANCE OF 30.5 CENTIMETERS FROM THE WOUND / THE BULLET BEING FIRED INTO THE NECK BY STRANGERS’.(17) In Wundkanal , Dr S. compels another man, whom he has just finished interrogating, to shoot himself in precisely the same way in which Baader was supposed to have killed himself. The title of the film, Wundkanal , is based on this idea: the ‘Wundkanal’, or wound channel, is the trajectory taken by a bullet in a body (in this case, a skull) between the point of entry and the point of exit.(18) On other occasions, Harlan argued that the RAF leadership had indeed killed themselves, though only ‘in order to prove that they were to be murdered’.(19) One of the principal concerns of the RAF was also Harlan’s principal concern and the real subject of the film: the continuity of Nazi biographies in the Federal Republic of Germany and of murder in the name of the state. Harlan was, by his own admission, less concerned with the murder of Jews than with the murderers of Jews.(20)

  • Arno Klarsfeld : « L’Ukraine ne doit plus glorifier les nationalistes qui ont collaboré » Le Point - Arno Klarsfeld

    Si les Ukrainiens veulent faire partie de la famille de l’Union européenne, ils doivent cesser de glorifier les nationalistes ukrainiens présentés comme des héros, et qui ont collaboré avec les nazis et les ont assistés dans l’extermination de dizaines de milliers de familles juives en Ukraine. Une des premières mesures de la municipalité de Kiev après la révolution de 2014 a été de débaptiser la longue avenue qui mène au site de Babi Yar, et qui portait le nom d’avenue de Moscou, pour l’appeler avenue Bandera, dont les fidèles ont assisté les nazis dans l’extermination de plus de 30 000 juifs, hommes, femmes et enfants dans le ravin de Babi Yar, les 29 et 30 septembre 1941, lorsque les troupes allemandes accompagnées des Einsatzgruppen sont entrées à Kiev.


    Le tribunal administratif du district de Kiev avait ordonné à la municipalité d’annuler le changement de nom de deux rues principales au profit de Stepan Bandera et Roman Shukhevych, qui lui aussi était un massacreur de Juifs, et dont un stade porte le nom dans la grande ville de Ternopil. Mais le maire de Kiev, Vitaly Klitschko, a fait appel de la décision et la cour d’appel lui a donné raison.

    Collaborateurs ukrainiens
    À Lviv, il y a encore deux ans, des centaines d’hommes ont défilé en uniforme SS de collaborateurs ukrainiens lors d’un événement approuvé par la ville. Ces dernières années, au moins trois municipalités ukrainiennes ont dévoilé des statues pour l’adjoint de Bandera, Yaroslav Stetsko, qui, pendant la Shoah, approuvait « l’extermination des Juifs ». La devise des nationalistes ukrainiens collaborateurs de nazis de Bandera affichée dans les rues de Kiev en 1941 était : « Tes ennemis sont la Russie, la Pologne et les Youpins. »

    Voici ce qu’écrivait Irina Khorochounova, dans son journal, à la date du 2 octobre sur ces massacres qui se déroulaient en plein jour par les nazis et leurs supplétifs ukrainiens : « Tout le monde dit qu’on tue les Juifs. Non, on ne les tue pas, on les a déjà tous tués. Tous sans distinction, les vieux comme les jeunes, les femmes et les enfants. Ceux qui ont été ramenés chez eux lundi ont également été exécutés les jours suivants… J’écris parce qu’il est indispensable que le monde sache qu’un crime horrible est en train d’être commis et qu’il faudra le venger… On continue d’assassiner en masse des enfants innocents et sans défense, des femmes et des vieillards dont beaucoup sont enterrés encore vivants. »

    Monstres
    Il est tout à fait inapproprié que les grandes artères qui mènent au site des massacres et qu’empruntent les dirigeants européens venus apporter leur soutien à l’Ukraine portent le nom de tels monstres. Il est tout à fait immoral que de tels hommes soient glorifiés. Il est tout à fait anormal que personne n’en parle dans les instances européennes alors que l’Ukraine a demandé son adhésion et que le processus (long, peut-être) a été approuvé.

    Laisser sans s’y opposer l’Ukraine continuer à glorifier ces nationalistes ukrainiens qui ont collaboré avec les nazis contre les Soviétiques et massacré de manière si horrible tant de familles juives signifierait en fin de compte que Hitler avait raison de voir les Russes comme les véritables ennemis de l’Occident, et que son attaque préventive était justifiée. Quant aux Juifs, ils seraient des victimes collatérales des soubresauts de l’Histoire. L’Europe et l’Union européenne se sont bâties sur la victoire sur le nazisme. Elle doit s’en souvenir.
    Source : https://www.lepoint.fr/debats/arno-klarsfeld-l-ukraine-ne-doit-plus-encenser-les-nationalistes-qui-ont-col

    #Serge_Klarsfeld à propos du #nazisme en#Ukraine et de la #Shoa #nazis #extermination #Babi_Yar #Einsatzgruppen #Kiev #ue #union_européenne

    • Les médias » occidentaux » continuent de dénazifier l’Ukraine en prétendant que les formations nazies de ce pays, qu’ils ont longtemps décriées, sont désormais une collection inoffensive de célébrités.

      On peut suivre ces changements en lisant cette série d’articles du New York Times :

      15 mars 2019 :

      Sur son gilet pare-balles figurait un symbole couramment utilisé par le bataillon Azov, une organisation paramilitaire néo-nazie ukrainienne.

      11 février 2020 :

      Les défenseurs du Bataillon Azov ukrainien, que le F.B.I. appelle « une unité paramilitaire » notoirement connue pour son « association avec l’idéologie néonazie« , nous accusent de faire partie d’une campagne du Kremlin visant à « diaboliser » le groupe.

      17 mars 2022 :

      La semaine dernière, Facebook a déclaré qu’il faisait une exception à ses politiques de lutte contre l’extrémisme pour autoriser les éloges de l’unité militaire d’extrême droite ukrainienne du bataillon Azov, « strictement dans le contexte de la défense de l’Ukraine, ou dans leur rôle en tant que partie de la Garde nationale ukrainienne. »

      29 avril 2022 :

      Ces scènes proviennent de vidéos partagées en ligne ces derniers jours par le régiment Azov, une unité de l’armée ukrainienne, qui affirme qu’elles ont été prises dans les bunkers en forme de labyrinthe situés sous la tentaculaire aciérie Azovstal à Mariupol, en Ukraine.

      Comme je l’ai écrit précédemment :

      Ce qui était autrefois « une organisation paramilitaire néo-nazie ukrainienne« , dont le FBI a dit qu’elle était connue pour son « association avec l’idéologie néo-nazie« , a d’abord été qualifiée d’ »extrême droite » avant de devenir une « unité de l’armée ukrainienne » normale.

      Aujourd’hui, le New York Times a rajouté un niveau à cette évolution en transformant un communiqué de presse du gouvernement ukrainien en un récit larmoyant sur les retrouvailles des libérés du bataillon Azov libérés avec leurs familles :

      Les commandants libérés de l’opération Azov ont retrouvé avec émotion les membres de leur famille en Turquie . . . .