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Shadows of Silence (Schatten des Schweigens)

Shadows of Silence
Scene from "Shadows of Silence" (photo © DOKfilm)

Shadows of Silence tells the story of Ken Kipperman, 58, an American Jew of Eastern European origins. As a child in Coney Island, he sees images from the Buchenwald Concentration Camp on TV: shrunken heads, tattooed pieces of human skin and a horrible lampshade. Ken does not understand what he sees. His parents, who fled from the Nazis and lost relatives in concentration camps, remain silent. Thus, the horrible images traumatize Ken deeply. As an adult, he dedicates himself to the search for these human relics. After years of private investigation, Ken actually discovers pieces of tattooed human skin from Buchenwald – in Washington. Preserved as evidence for Nazi war-crimes trials in US archives, they had long been forgotten and are only brought back into public light by Ken's obsessive search. But the whereabouts of the human skin lampshade, missing since the end of the war and always doubted by Holocaust deniers, remain a mystery to Ken. In Buchenwald he finally finds a lampshade exhibit – made of plastic. Is the human skin lampshade nothing more than a myth, a dubious instrument of post-war re-education? Ken’s search for the truth finally casts new light on a dark family secret. The survival of Ken's parents had a terrible price.
Genre Drama
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2004
Director Martina Dase
Screenplay Martina Dase
Cinematography Wolfgang Lindig
Gabriele Eglau
Andreas Koslik
Producer Enrico Demurray
Production Company DOKfilm/Potsdam, in co-production with RBB
Runtime 90 min
Format color
Dubbed Versions German, English
Sound Technology Dolby SR

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