Auschwitz Commandant: Rudolf Höß's daughter about her childhood and the curse of the family name

The film "The Zone of Interest" tells about the everyday life of the Höß family.

Auschwitz Commandant: Rudolf Höß's daughter about her childhood and the curse of the family name

The film "The Zone of Interest" tells about the everyday life of the Höß family. Rudolf Höß is the commandant of the Auschwitz extermination camp, Hedwig Höß gardens next to the crematorium. On the occasion of the film's release, we are re-publishing an archive text from 2015 here. The then 81-year-old daughter of the Auschwitz commandant told stern about her childhood.

A childhood memory, three quarters of a century ago: the turquoise water of the Sola, a tributary of the Vistula. The girl plays with her siblings on the bank and watches the frogs. The river is just a few meters away from the parents' house. On weekends, when Dad is free, the ten-year-old can ride with him along the water into the city.

Suddenly the memory stops. The picture changes as soon as the name of the city appears. It stands like a prohibition sign in front of childhood: Auschwitz.

Then the water of the Sola turns black from the ashes of the murdered people that Vati's subordinates shoveled into the river, and Ingebrigitt Höß (note: the editors use the birth names of Rudolf Höß's five children), the daughter of the Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höß , gets a headache again.

It's a cool spring day in Arlington, Virginia. The old lady wears a black dress, gold earrings and a leopard print scarf. She is 81 years old and has lived in the house with garden and swimming pool for half a century. Back when she went to neighborhood parties, she met Bill Clinton and Al Gore, who lived a few doors down. It's a good area, far from Germany and certainly far from Auschwitz. Nobody here knows which family she comes from.

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