Wannsee Conference, new TV production

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Lindele, Jan 21, 2022.

  1. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    compared to the 2001 production "Conspiracy" which was criticized by some for the missing detail accuracy, this new production can be seen on ZDF German TV next week 24th January at 8.15 pm.
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  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    I wasn't really aware that the 2001 production "Conspiracy" was much criticised for lacking accuracy or details... was this mainly a criticism in Germany and was it dubbed or subtitled and/or both versions perhaps?

    Conspiracy (HBO/BBC).

    One inevitability expects though such criticism with anything that is essentially a dramatisation and contains additional dialogue for which there can have been no record, and will have been edited for time.


    I expect that the ZDF German TV version will perhaps make it to BBC4, eventually or maybe some other means of viewing it will be available. Is it also dramatised? Or rather more documentary? And how long does it run for?

    All the best,


    ----- x ---- x -----

    Also - "Rotten tomatoes" - review(s) - Conspiracy
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2022
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  3. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Good Evening Rm,
    I was quoting from the German TV Newsletter "Prisma"
    They just said:"many people
    Thank you for the 2001 production. Very interesting indeed.
    I was quoting from a German TV Newsflash, no details of the critics were mentioned.
    Following next Monday we can compare both productions.
    It looks like a mix of drama/documentation in German. And, I fear no subtitles. Timing: about two hours.

    If you send me a PM, we can talk about both productions over the phone sometime later next week.
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  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks Lindele / Stefan,

    I think I was thinking of the (largely positive) reviews such as IMDb and rotten tomatoes etc.

    I found that there is an article, online... it's a short pdf but can be googled for online....

    "Review of Conspiracy (BBC/HBO Films), directed by Frank Pierson
    from a script by Loring Mandel
    Alan E. Steinweis
    University of Nebraska - Lincoln, asteinweis1@unl.edu

    Conspiracy is a docudrama about the infamous
    Wannsee Conference of January 20, 1942, at which
    Nazi officials discussed implementation of the "Final
    Solution." Chaired by Reinhard Heydrich, head of the
    Reich Security Main Office (RSHA), the meeting
    brought together a dozen representatives from state
    and party agencies involved in the genocide of Eu-
    rope's Jews. The notoriety of the meeting stems in
    large part from the fact that a summary of the pro-
    ceedings-the so-called Wannsee Protokoll authored
    by Adolf Eichmann, who was also present-survived
    the war. Historians have used the document to impli-
    cate a broad spectrum of German bureaucracies in the
    mass murder, to demonstrate the leading role played
    by the SS, and to underscore the cold premeditation
    with which the killing was conceived and planned.
    The significance of the meeting, however, remains a
    matter of some disagreement among scholars of Nazi
    Germany who have been involved in a broader debate
    about the origins of the "Final Solution." Christian
    Gerlach, for example, has recently suggested that the
    prevailing interpretation of the conference as a discus-
    sion of logistical details actually underestimates the
    importance of the event. Gerlach argues instead that
    the conference must be understood as having been
    closely connected with Adolf Hitler's decision to ex-
    tend the genocide from Eastern European Jews to
    Jews throughout Europe, a decision that Gerlach dates
    to just a few weeks before the conference (see Chris-
    tian Gerlach, Krieg, Ernahrung, Volkermord: Deutsche
    Vernichtungspolitik im Zweiten Weltkrieg [1998], chap-
    ter 2).
    One reason historians disagree over such issues is
    that the Protokoll itself is a deliberately vague sum-
    mary of the conference rather than a precise transcript
    of the discussions. Eichmann drafted the document to
    privilege the interests of the SS, and specifically the
    RSHA, for which he worked; he referred to the mass
    murder of the Jews only euphemistically. For the
    purposes of making a film, then, the Protokoll provides
    a plot summary but not a script.
    In translating the document into a film, therefore,
    the makers of Conspiracy took certain liberties. Cine-
    matic license is most conspicuous when the film pre-
    sents conversations that are mentioned neither in the
    Protokoll itself nor in related documentation. One
    tendency of these embellishments is to overstate the
    degree of disagreement and dissent at the conference,
    elevating what were most likely technical concerns into
    moral objections. For example, Friedrich Wilhelm
    Kritzinger, representative of the Reich Chancellery, is
    depicted as a bold dissenter, protesting to the meeting
    that Hitler had personally assured him that killing of
    Jews would not be the state's policy. There is no
    documented instance, however, of Kritzinger actually
    having said this. It is likely that this fictitious comment
    was inserted into the script to reinforce the dramatic
    function assigned to Kritzinger in the film, namely that
    of moral dissenter, a role which he, in actuality, did not
    play at the conference.
    Similarly, the film shows Heydrich working behind
    the scenes, pressuring and cajoling Kritzinger and
    Wilhelm Stuckart of the Interior Ministry, ultimately
    securing the assent of both men to his point of view.
    We do not know whether these private conversations
    really occurred. Heydrich is also depicted asserting to
    his listeners that the labor mobilization of Jews would
    merely serve as a cover for their liquidation. But both
    the Protokoll and the reality of Nazi measures at the
    time suggest a more complicated relationship between
    forced labor and extermination.
    Conspiracy will naturally be compared to the Ger-
    man film Die Wannseekonferenz (dir. Heinz Schirk;
    1984), a similarly conceived docudrama based on the
    Protokoll. The earlier German film conforms to the
    text of the Protokoll more closely, but this does not
    necessarily mean that it is more historically accurate.
    For example, Conspiracy's most dramatic deviation
    from the Protokoll is its presentation of a discussion of
    the murder process, including the nascent technology
    for mass gassing and cremation. This addition, how-
    ever, is justified. In his interrogation by the Israelis in
    1960, Eichmann admitted that such a discussion had
    indeed taken place, but he had deleted it from the
    official summary.
    Jointly underwritten by HBO and BBC, Conspiracy
    features high production values and well-known ac-
    tors. Kenneth Branagh dominates the film with his
    characterization of Heydrich. Branagh evokes the cul-
    tured yet swashbuckling image that Heydrich culti-
    vated, so much so that I wonder whether the film
    makes Heydrich into a more compelling figure than he
    actually was. Moreover, Branagh comes off as seeming
    a good deal older than Heydrich, who was thirty-seven
    years old when he presided at Wannsee. Stanley
    Tucci's interpretation of Adolf Eichmann as a proac-
    tive anti-Semite represents a refreshing departure
    from the old, and inaccurate, cliche of the "banal"
    "This film," we are informed in the closing credits,
    "is based on a true story, with some scenes, events, and
    characters created or changed for dramatic purposes."
    Although academic specialists will doubtlessly be per-
    turbed by inaccuracies and interpolations, Conspiracy,
    to its credit, does not stray very far from what is
    factually plausible. The main danger with this kind of
    film is that most viewers will not be able to tell the
    difference between plausible speculation and docu-
    mented fact.
    University of Nebraska,
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  5. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Apart from these two productions, there was a third one in 1984.
    In the Suedeutsche Zeitung Magazin of 21 January they added interviwes of the three actors playing Reinhard Hydrich. asking them how they felt about playing this man. If of interest I can translate and post it. Stefan.
  6. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Thanks for the offer, not sure, really.

    I only quite recently saw this...
    The Man with the Iron Heart (film) - Wikipedia

    And I saw the 1984 version a few years back.

    Ref. see - Conspiracy (HBO/BBC).

    Not a particular priority at the mo. but it might be interesting, albeit in terms of research it's good to see it being covered in contemporary news, especially with all else that occurs.

    All the best,

  7. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    selected parts of the interviews of actors playing Reinhard Heydrich 1984 – 2001 – 2021

    Rough translation from Sueddeutsche Zeitung Magazin

    Dietrich Mattusch 1984

    Heydrich’s wife knew Himmler. She was a convinced Nazi.

    When Himmler and Hydrich met the first time, Himmler was thrilled to meet someone that was not interested in the NSDAP, but wanted to have a good life and go for a carrier. An intelligent, with a musical talent, yet very arrogant, but with assertiveness and a good organizer. Heydrich was a man thought to be following Adolf Hitler eventually. All very speculative, but he was also power-hungry.

    All pure male conferences, with only one woman, alcohol and cigars – a classic - How could have any man move to the other side?

    Kenneth Branagh 2001

    How effective and fast the meeting was, factual and rational as if they were discussing a campaign how to best sell a product. What Heydrich did was very clear to me: He wanted an agreement for his plan as well as for the actions following.

    Beyond all moral concerns a huge challenge. One could not surprise him. He was already there where the others also eventually arrived. He was extremely well prepared.

    I was so deeply involved in my role. I just could not be other than acting melancholic. At times I thought about how the other actors felt about the immensity and severity of this appalling plan.

    I came to the conclusion: that another talent of Heydrich was not to be effected.

    Philipp Hochmayer 2021

    I will have a go at it this week.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
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  8. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    In May 1942, Heydrich is attacked by Czech resistance fighters.

    These Czechs I believe were trained up in Scotland at a beautiful place I was lucky to visit some years back. Stefan.

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