About Judges And Other Sympathizers
director   Axel Engstfeld
camera Bernd Mosblech
sound Michael Loeken
editor   Lijane Lübcke
length   62 min
format 16mm
theatrical release Premier: Berlin Festival, theatrical release arthouse cinemas throughout Germany, participation 15 international festivals
broadcasted 1982 ARD
awards German Academy Award, Man Award Festival "Figueira da Foz" Portugal/ Film Of The Month, Honorable Mention at Leipzig and Florence Festivals
September 1943 - The Special Court of Oldenburg pronounces a verdict against an office courier. The man was found guilty of absconding two bars of soap and a tin of shoe polish. As a dangerous public enemy, he is sentenced to death.

More than 16,000 death sentences were passed by the Special Court and the People's Court during the Nazi era. And the judges and state prosecutors who perpetrated these injustices were back on the bench after 1945.

In one German state the so-called "piggyback method" was responsible for an entanglement of the past with the present: for each new, unblemished judge sworn into office, a 'politically contaminated' one was placed at his side. Class snobbery and esprit de corps ensured that the contaminated colleagues were protected. Charges against these judges and state prosecutors were not followed up and investigations were quietly dropped.

Peggy Parnass, a Jewish journalist and a relative of victims of Nazi injustices, experienced this continuity and described many of its ramifications in more than 10 years as a court reporter. The film follows her radical, subjective viewpoint and her incredible encounters with Nazi jurists in today's courts of law.

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