Browse Archive

Unworthy, The (Unwertigen, Die)

Unworthy, The
Scene from "The Unworthy" (photo © Kalmenhof Idstein)

The Unworthy addresses a previously neglected aspect of the Nazi era. The Nazis categorized children on the basis of their value system. Worthy children were nurtured, unworthy children were culled and annihilated.

Waltraud’s mother was taken to a concentration camp for calling Hitler a pig, while Waltraud and her three siblings were put into homes. They got separated and did not see each other again until 1949.

Günter was sent to a youth concentration camp for listening to swing music at 16. Along with other young people between the ages of 8 and 20, he was forced to work in a munitions factory. Many of them did not survive.

Elfriede was told she was retarded and found out that children were being euthanized for being “mentally deficient”. She survived that nightmare but remained imprisoned in a children’s home until 1970.

Richard, born out of wedlock, was wrested from his mother and forced into slave labor at the age of two. He never saw his mother again.

The film also explores the consequences which continue to affect those concerned to this day and the willingness of the German government to finally acknowledge the suffering of the victims.
Genre History
Category Documentary
Year of Production 2009
Director Renate Günther-Greene
Cinematography Justyna Feicht
Margit Bauer
Cast Heinz Schreyer, Dr. Elisabeth Schaub, Elfriede Rybak, Waltraud Richard, Günter Discher, Almut Christ, Richard Sucker
Producer Christian Schalthöfer
Production Company menschentaucher Film & Kommunikation/Düsseldorf for 3sat, WDR
Runtime 86 min
Format DigiBeta PAL, color, 16:9
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Stereo
Festivals Bradford 2009
With backing from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW

World Sales
menschentaucher Film & Kommunikation