2 or 3 Things I Know About Him

7.41 h 24 min200613+
Malte Ludin's father was Hitler's ambassador to Slovakia, and was sentenced to death for his role in murdering its Jewish population. Now he has opened up the archives and asked his family to confront the past. This poignant documentary brings alive the enduring human cost of Nazism, and the personal turmoil of those whose heritage lies in the terrible crimes of the holocaust.
Malte Ludin
Hanns LudinMalte Ludin
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Journeyman Pictures
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3.9 out of 5 stars

41 global ratings

  1. 53% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 16% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Gayle E. LovelandReviewed in the United States on October 5, 2017
3.0 out of 5 stars
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---If there is one thing that I know very well, it is Germany---and the German people. Having been born in the US to German parents, I spent a great part of my life living and studying in Germany (my parents sent me back to Germany for studies, from age 8-18, in order that I wouldn't become too "Americanized," and after university, I spent several years working in Munich).....I find this video most interesting --not due to the "Nazi father" revelation---but because of something the filmmaker, himself, can't even seem to see : that he is far closer to his father---both in motivation, complete conviction, and "communal beliefs" ---than he realizes (in fact, the only truly "non-Germans" in this film are the siblings DEFENDING their father)...

----Germans are, by their nature, "group thinkers." Individualism has not, traditionally, been either a common--nor a prized--trait amongst the German people. And so, whereas in Hitler's time, practically all of German society supported the regime, in today's Germany, Political Correctness reigns —and is just as enthusiastically enforced by the "authorities" as thought crimes were by the Gestapo (for example, even VERBALLY denying that the Holocaust occurred is illegal in Germany—and will earn you a jail sentence; a German GRANDMOTHER was recently sentenced to 3 years in Federal Prison in Stuttgart for the crime of “denying the Holocaust”)....And so, rather than a rightward-leaning nationalism, today's Germans--almost universally--embrace a leftward-leaning, ANTI-nationalism...

----The real shock in this film was seeing some German "holdouts" (VERY "un-PC" not to denounce all things "Nazi" in today's Germany)....By the way, I am not saying--at all--that the Nazis SHOULDN'T be "denounced"; of course they should--but they should have been "denounced" much earlier (like, at about the time Hitler came to power)....This “group think" atmosphere--combined with a heavy dose of self-deception — has allowed the German people to perform the mental gymnastics necessary to execute 360 degree changes in “convictions” without missing a beat (thus we saw even YEARS after the war, whole --LEFT-WING --university departments literally stuffed with former high-ranking Nazis---with ALL of their fellow academics aware of it—yet, all telling themselves that none of them ever “really believed in” National Socialism)....Yeah...you’d have to hear it, to believe it—and had I not been considered “one of them,” I NEVER would have heard it in the first place....

---As for the "denying" siblings: anyone can tell that the father worship they profess DIDN'T come from a father these children were far too young to have known or become much attached to---but from the mother, who was a far more ardent Nazi than the father ever was. Listen carefully to her statements (like the time her husband had considered leaving the Party after the Night of the Long Knives--because a close friend of his was murdered on Hitler's orders---and she told him, "When making a good omelette, a few eggs must get broken...".. OR....Her utterly indifferent recitation of her husband's cover-up and involvement in the murder of an elderly Jewish man ....OR...Her obvious disgust with “the foreign Jews” who had "spread lies" about the Party)...It was the MOTHER who inflicted such emotional damage on her children — damage that slowly becomes evident to the viewer, as we are confronted with her deceptions and her own mental gymnastics.....

----My roots and family are 100% German, going back many centuries. There is much I admire about the German character and I am deeply attached to the country and its people...Even so (and though I was born several decades after WWII), I came to the conclusion that these often-brilliant, very industrious people have 3 fatal flaws —flaws that have resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people, via the two World Wars begun by them. They are: Arrogance (the belief in their own superiority, via industriousness and invention) ; Group Think (wherein the entire populace follows the State-sanctioned Pied Piper); and Self-Deception (which allows this same populace to deny whatever actions/deeds/thoughts it once both eagerly engaged in and enforced—but which it now fiound to be unpleasant—and is able to alter its course, without deep reflection)...You see all three of these traits encapsulated, more or less, in those interviewed for this film...

But the character in this documentary that I felt perhaps best represented all three German “flaws” was not the “mother,” .kor siblings—but the filmmaker, himself....I saw little deep reflection on his part as to his family’s true legacy (like his failure to confront his own mother’s obvious culpability in his country’s crimes; or the damage eww she had wrought on his siblings’ mindsets). Even worse — as in Hitler’s time (when the majority of German citizens were lecturing the rest of the world on the “correctness” of their race-based hierarchy) — there is more than a hint of arrogant superiority in this film; a kind of false outrage, combined with a “Look-How-Much-We’ve-Changed” mentality....I’m simply not buying the filmmaker’s premise (that he is doing something “brave” by denouncing his father, by “confronting” his mother/siblings with his father’s guilt)—it takes no great leap of heroics to denounce a father one was far too young to have had any deep emotional ties to ; it felt as though he were following a “Today's-Germany-Approved" quest to damn his Nazi father— a quest, incidentally, that he knew would be as applauded by “today's Germany” as his father’s views were applauded by yesterday’s....And yet, he cannot seem to recognize the mirror image that he, himself, is presenting of his own father....
69 people found this helpful
a reader...Reviewed in the United States on July 3, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Riveting, courageous, revealing, important.
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An intense documentary with excellent photographic and document materials and interviews. A son, and a family attempt to explore and understand and come to some kind of terms with the history of their beloved father who was actually a high ranking Nazi official in the Storm Detachment (SA) and who subsequently becomes the German/Nazi ambassador to Slovakia through the war. Ultimately he is tried and executed. His rank and career trajectory should not be underestimated or equivocated. He had personal contact with Hitler, Goebbels, Goering, Speer, Roehm. He knew plans, processes, had reports, and in his position tracked, monitored, and facilitated movements of eventual victims out of Slovakia to the camps. He received reports of atrocities from various sources.

This is an extremely important documentary. The son is fearless in confronting the past and the family has agreed to be intensively interviewed with each interview building a compelling journey of how each comes to terms, or to various extents, is unable to, with their father's, and parents, past. Additionally, there are brief powerful interviews with their mother, his wife. One riveting interview involves his wife reporting on an encounter that she had on the streets of Bratislava with the Swiss Ambassador's wife. Chilling. Another astonishing aspect of his career was that he continued his career even after the night of the long knives where it is estimated that nearly 100 individuals of the SA were murdered by Hitler and his group. As his wife attests in one interview, he had multiple friends who were murdered. Yet he continued in the organization. Further, the wife dissembles slightly in the few interviews she allowed to be filmed, but in listening to her, I find her just as invested in her husband's and the party's pursuits as he was. They were too educated and aligned as a couple for her to not have some more than basic knowledge. I'm no expert but from my reading by the early thirties Nazism was pervasive in the culture. Hitler becomes Chancellor in 1933. Further in the aftermath of the war and her husbands trial and execution, she withholds substantial information regarding his work and their lives from the children--even as adults for decades, perpetuating a family myth that was all too untrue.

I find this one of the great documentaries of the Nazi era and it's aftermath. The film is thick with the complex psychological dynamics of the era and its legacy.

I am thankful, actually grateful, to the family for their courage in not only confronting the past, to the extent each of them variously can--as the son is fierce and direct in the examination, but in allowing the history and their process to be filmed and shared with the world.
7 people found this helpful
Marvin S.Reviewed in the United States on March 22, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Unimaginable to know your father is a monster
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Malte Ludin’s Documentary “2 or 3 Things I know About Him” is a powerful insight into the family coming to terms or refusing to come to terms with a father that was a Nazi. I’m very surprised by the blatant denial by some, perhaps her mind can’t handle the truth. I lived in Germany as a teenager (fifty years ago) and my German friends held a shame about the Nazi era that didn’t belong on their shoulders and doesn’t belong to the children of parents that were Nazis. If Ludin did save any Jews or “others” he only did so because it benefited him somehow. What courage Ludin takes to put the truth of his father out there. Even if it is true it has to be unimaginable to know your father is a monster, the worst kind of monster.
4 people found this helpful
artgirl123Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
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This is an incredible documentary, which I believe I watched twice. The knowledge to be gained by watching what a child of a Nazi has to say is immense.

It's a good thing I did watch twice, since Amazon is now stealing away most well done, highly informative documentaries about this evil regime and its place in time like this one, which I can no longer access.

If the common people, ones who can't afford extra subscriptions on top of extra subscriptions, or to pay above and beyond to rent videos, are excluded from the knowledge of how evil works, and what the signs may be, we will be doomed to repeat the worst mankind has done, as a result of our common ignorance.

Amazon, stop denying already paying customers the ability to Know. Particularly when it comes to the worst war, worst regime, and worst genocide the world has ever seen.

Thank you.
Valerie M.Reviewed in the United States on April 11, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Still the same germans
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I stopped watching this farce of documentary after 1/2 hour. I couldn’t continue watching these siblings lying, their nazi mother and the film maker real motives behind this farce of documentary. The 4 or 5 stars reviews are originated from the US. I can tell that these reviewers have no understanding of the Germans from Germany. Being from Europe, I have worked with Germans for many years and learned to read their body language and between the lines. Watching the beginning you can sense how superior they feel toward the rest of the world, even today. The arrogance of this Nazi family is disgusting and disturbing.
One person found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on September 1, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
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I found this documentary to be a very honest portrait of a family dealing with the dichotomies of their patriarch. On the one hand, the father was THEIR FATHER whom they loved. They see him through the filtered eyes of children. The wife/mother also struggled with the love she had for her husband and the terrible side that brought shame to the family. The family saw him as human. They loved him, as they should have. However, this is in stark contrast to his dark past. This shows how a family deals with the dichotomy of human nature. It is similar I think to a parent who loves a child who has murdered someone. It is difficult, perhaps impossible, to separate the two sides. I think it shows that people have two sides. There was something good in this man; it is obvious when you see his wife and children. He couldn't have been all bad. It is hard to come to terms with....or accept...the terrible beliefs he had and how he at the very least was silently acquiescent. More troubling for the children seems to be that he was more than a puppet. he actively promoted Nazi ideas and actions.
2 people found this helpful
Jessica Perez-MesaReviewed in the United States on March 16, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Unbelievable Denial
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The family of a Nazi criminal who was clearly responsible for the death of Slovakian Jews struggle to reconcile themselves to the truth about their father. A loving father to them, he was also a Brown Shirt with Hitler from the beginning responsible for covering up a murder of a Jew before the war. One of the younger brothers interviews his older brother and sisters about their father. The older sisters twist themselves into knots asserting that their father couldn't have known about the scope of the holocaust, that many of the Jews killed were partisans or just killed during normal warfare. Tellingly one of the sisters insists on downplaying the crimes as "deportations." Her brother has to keep reminding her that these are "killings." She also describes some of the murders as the killing of Partisans and part the the normal course of war. This family mirrors the avoidance, denial and minimization that many post war Germans practiced after the war. I felt that if the sisters and German society didn't face facts and accept what their father did, and accept the enormity of what happened, history could repeat itself.
One person found this helpful
Jean ElizabethReviewed in the United States on August 30, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
A courageous documentary
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This film shows the impact of the Nazi evil on the children and grandchildren of a Nazi official who was executed for his part in the killing of the Jewish people. I admire the ability of the younger generation to accept his guilt and not make excuses for him. The children of this man have a harder time accepting the evil he did since he was apparently a loving father to them. I imagine most Germans now are appalled at Hitler and the horror that took place when he was in power.
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