The film describes World War Two from a Russian perspective and recalls the fate of Red Army soldiers, three million of whom died in German prisoner-of-war camps.
On 22 June 1941, the German Armed Forces invaded the Soviet Union. It was the start of a brutal war. Ten of altogether 17 million German soldiers fought on the Eastern Front. From the Soviet perspective, it was an existential war. The battle against the invaders was seen by the entire population as a national duty. It was the “Great Patriotic War”. The Soviet Union lost 27 million civilians. But the huge concrete monuments to the Great Patriotic War in Brest or Volgograd were not only meant to commemorate the dead. They celebrated heroism at its best, and thus the Soviet State celebrated itself. Although this war brought forth numerous real heroes, Soviet propaganda preferred to honour invented characters. Part Two describes how three million Red Army soldiers perished in German prisoner-of-war camps – as a result of physical violence, starvation and disease. These crimes are documented from the beginning on photos and film. We are not dependent only on the memories of survivors. The perpetrators themselves documented their actions. As though unaware of any wrongdoing.
Length 2×45’ HD
Films by Artem Demenok, Andreas Christoph Schmidt
Co-Production Schmidt & Paetzel Fernsehfilme with RBB and NDR, 2016
Original title Schatten des Krieges – Teil 1 Das sowjetische Erbe, Teil 2 Das vergessene Verbrechen
Festivals & Awards
Grimme Award, Germany 2017