Monika Hertwig, daughter of Nazi commandant Amon Goeth, stands near the villa at the Plaszow Concentration Camp, where her parents lived during WWII.
Inheritance is an extraordinary, gut-wrenching account of the continuing effects of Nazi horrors on human souls. The “Schindler’s List” portrayal of the Plaszow Concentration Camp and its brutal commander, Amon Goeth, set in motion the events recounted by this new documentary. Inheritance is a Holocaust film like no other. It tells the stories of two women with very different scars from the WWII genocide of Europe’s Jews — whose sorrows and angers intersect in the haunting memory of one man.
Now in her sixties, Monika Hertwig has struggled a lifetime with what she learned at age 11 — that her father, Amon Goeth, had not been killed in World War II like other soldiers, but was hanged as a war criminal when she was a baby. Over the years she forced herself to learn more about “Amon,” but when Spielberg’s movie came out in 1993, Monica became, in her own words, “sick with the truth.” Helen Jonas was 15 years old when she arrived with other Jews at the Plaszow Camp in Poland, which was both a work camp and a death camp. In one of those strange twists of fate that exposed her to daily humiliations and beatings but which probably saved her life, an imposing SS officer one day pointed at her and ordered, “I want her in my house.” It was Amon Goeth.
Academy Award-winning director James Moll’s Inheritance has its national broadcast premiere in a special presentation on PBS-HD on Wednesday, Dec. 10th at 9 p.m., concluding the 21st season of P.O.V.