Beste Korte Documentaire Joost Seelen
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In WW II, some 25,000 Dutch young men voluntarily joined the German Waffen SS. In this candid, at times shocking documentary, six of them explain why they chose to do so at the time.
An alluring advertisement in Volk & Vaderland, camaraderie, or a better life - the reasons why some 25,000 Dutch young men voluntarily joined the German Waffen SS in World War II are diverse. For the first time, some of them talk about their experiences. ‘I was in a fix. Stupid, stupid!’ As a naive young man, one of them was looking for adventure, but realised too late what he signed up for. Another one knowingly joined the armed wing of the Schutzstaffel. As an underprivileged Amsterdam boy, he finally obtained that much-desired status: ‘It inspires awe when you walk around in that uniform and a German soldier greets you. You float through the air.’ He realised at the time that the Jews had to be removed. ‘Yes, they went to Buchenwald. I always say: what’s gone is gone.’
Seelen interview six ‘Black soldiers’ who are very frank about their past. Their shocking, emotional stories are accompanied by archive footage from the period.