Indiana State University Newsroom

Grandson of Nazi commandant to speak at Indiana State

September 17, 2014

CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center will launch its 2014-15 "Be the Change" film and speaker series by collaborating with Indiana State University to screen the film "Hitler's Children."

The presentation is set for 6 p.m. Oct.1 in the University Hall theater, located at Seventh and Chestnut streets on the Indiana State campus. A discussion and question and answer session will follow with Rainer Hoess, grandson of Rudolf Hoess, who served as commandant of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp in occupied Poland during World War II. Rainer Hoess is among several family members of Nazi offers who are devoting their lives to ending the rise of neo-Nazism in Europe.

Hitler had no children, but what about Rudolf Hoess; Herman Goering, the Nazi leader who ordered German Security Police to carry out a "total solution" to the "Jewish Question," and Hans Frank, governor-general of occupied Poland?

"Hitler's Children" reveals how descendants of officers from Hitler's inner circle deal with the burden of carrying a surname equated with terror and genocide. Niklas Frank, Hitler's godson, has spent his adult life vehemently speaking out against his father and the Nazi regime. Bettina Goering, great-niece of Hitler's second in command, lives in voluntary exile in Santa Fe. Together with her brother, Bettina chose to get sterilized so as not to pass on the Goering name or blood.

In the documentary, these, and many others, discuss how they have coped with their family name raising images of murder; and how they have reached a balance between the natural admiration and affection children feel toward their parents, and their innate revulsion of their crimes.

Admission to the film, as well as campus parking for the presentation, is free.

Media contact: Dorothy Chambers, CANDLES program director, at 812-234-7881 or After 4 pm, call 812-878-1272.