Iris Berben on Israel: “Where is the outcry in Germany?”  |  Entertainment

Iris Berben on Israel: “Where is the outcry in Germany?” | Entertainment

For a long time after World War II, the horrific Nazi crimes were not discussed in Germany. It was almost a taboo topic. It was only the Auschwitz Trials in Frankfurt in 1963 that caused many people to break their silence.

Now, 60 years later, the series “Deutsches Haus” (Disney+) by Annette Hess (56, “Kudamm 56”, “Weissensee”) also deals with the topic. The who’s who of the German acting scene came together for this: Heiner Lauterbach (70), Anke Engelke (57), Hans-Jochen Wagner (54), Henry Hübchen (76) – and Iris Berben (73).

She herself cannot remember the Auschwitz trials. “I was 13. This wasn’t school supplies in 1963 – and it wasn’t school supplies in the years that followed. “No because most of my teachers were former Nazis,” she tells BILD.

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Iris Berben with author Annette Hess (56)

Iris Berben (left) with author Annette Hess

Photo: alliance image/dpa

She only became aware of this much later and visited the former Auschwitz concentration camp 25 years ago.

“It is very difficult for me to describe what this visit did to me. Every step was difficult for me. Because you automatically look down and think, ‘Everyone has walked this ground that I’m walking on right now.’ This bothered me for a long time. Of all the perversions of destruction I had seen before, this thought particularly hurt me.”

Even during the filming of “Deutsches Haus”, the responsibility of being German was felt by the entire team. “We wanted to be as truthful as possible. But as an actress, I know I’m just a means of transportation. I will never be able to portray the pain the victims experienced, mentally and physically.”

Anke Engelke (57) is the innkeeper of the series and mother of the interpreter Eva

Anke Engelke is the innkeeper of the series and mother of the interpreter Eva

Photo: Krzysztof Wiktor/Disney/Gaumont

After the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel Iris Berben outraged by the reactions of some people in Germany.

“What irritates me right now is that people in our country have to protect themselves from other people again. And again people look away.And again only a small group marches – and everyone else makes much more noise. I don’t mean this primarily politically, but rather in a very human way. Why don’t more people show empathy? No, there is again a lot of silence in our country.”

Katharina Stark (25, with Thomas Prenn, 29) plays the lead role as Eva Bruhn's interpreter in the Auschwitz trials

Katharina Stark (25, with Thomas Prenn, 29) plays the lead role as Eva Bruhn’s interpreter in the Auschwitz trials

Photo: Krzysztof Wiktor/Disney/Gaumont

For the actress, what is currently happening in Germany and around the world is scary. “All attempts at political explanations have nothing to do with the fact that people are stigmatized again and that people have to be afraid again.” She regularly calls friends in Israel.

“They say we are packing our bags again, but this time in Israel. And we don’t know where to go. You have to realize this in our country! We also have a moral responsibility. Where is the outcry in Germany? There really is a cruel silence here.”

Heiner Lauterbach (70) plays the main defendant in “Deutsches Haus”.

Heiner Lauterbach plays the main defendant in “Deutsches Haus”.

Photo: Krzysztof Wiktor/Disney/Gaumont

She is also concerned about the reluctance of the younger generation. “I was at the demonstration at the Brandenburg Gate. I almost only saw people with gray hair. There were maybe 100 people there half an hour before the event started. I was shocked”, says Iris Berben.

“I often get the impression that the younger generation is unaware of the extent of what is currently happening. We have had years of carelessness during which many things have arisen that are now falling at our feet.”

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“This article comes from BILD. The ePaper of the entire edition is available here.

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