Poland-Germany | 91 minutes | 2021
The Female Guard
Southeast US Premiere
The story of Johanna Langefeld is the only known case of an SS guard being saved from a death sentence after the war by her own victims. In 1946, the former SS guard at Auschwitz and Ravensbrück concentration camps escaped from a Kraków prison where she was awaiting trial and a death sentence. Langefeld’s escape was organized by some of her former victims — Polish inmates of the Ravensbrück camp — who not only helped her avoid the death penalty, but also hid her from the Polish authorities for ten years and in 1957, smuggled her back to Germany. The story was kept secret because its disclosure would have meant punishment both for the former German SS guard and her Polish helpers. This riveting documentary, based on archival materials and interviews with witnesses, tries to understand who Johanna Langefeld was and why Polish Ravensbrück survivors tried to save her from punishment.
Accompanying the film premiere is a discussion with directors Władek Jurkow & Gerburg Rohde-Dahl, historian Johannes Schwartz, and moderator Judge Scott Bernstein. To view the conversation please click here.
Directed by Władek Jurkow, Gerburg Rohde-Dahl