METROPOLIS

SUN 24.04.

06:30 P.M.

GUEST: MARTIN GRESSMANN

Q&A: GERMAN

Nicht ­verrecken

Martin Gressmann, D 2015-2021, 110 min, Original with German Subtitles

Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the surface of the camp road changes from stone to asphalt, from shingle to gravel. Prisoners are made to walk over it for hours, first 32, then 48 kilometers a day. Heinrich Himmler’s SS collected six Reichsmarks per “runner” a day from shoe manufacturers such as Salamander, Bata and Co., who then had their products inspected by two master shoemakers for abrasion, strength and the like. Later, as the Red Army approaches the camps, the prisoners have to walk again. In columns of 500, they are forced on the death marches, passing through Brandenburg and Mecklenburg, through villages where the residents stand furtively behind the windows, watching the shooting of those left behind. If you look closely, the fate of the tortured can still be seen in the terrain, in the earth, in the bark of the trees. And history also marks the people, the survivors and the »bystanders«: everything that has happened and has been seen is burned into everyone … Martin Gressman researched for six years on this dense film which as a result of his deep excavation work brings before our eyes the horror of the last days of the war. (tg)