The Decent One (2014)

  • Documentary, Drama, History, JIFF
  • 1h 34m

In 1945 a young soldier comes into the possession of a suitcase filled with private letters, documents, journals and photographs belonging to Heinrich Himmler. The Decent One uses these extraordinary, never-before-seen materials to access the deluded, unwavering and unnerving life and mind of the merciless “architect of the Final Solution”. The film divulges the contents of letters to and from Himmler’s wife, daughter and mistress, and uses archival footage of Himmler’s time growing up in the 1920s with Adolf Hitler. The film describes Himmler’s ironic detachment (“In life one must always be decent, courageous and kind-hearted,” he writes), and how he was perceived by those closest to him. This is a chilling insight into how the ideologies of a once lower-middle-class man turned him into a notorious war criminal.

Awarded Best Documentary at the Jerusalem Film Festival, 2014, screened at the prestigious Berlinale Panorma, 2014, nominated for Best Documentary, Ophir Award (Israeli Oscars), 2014 and an early tip for an Academy award nomination in 2015.


Vanessa Lapa




Israel, Austria, Germany