“The Nazis were all in the West” – this was (and is still) a popular opinion on the whereabouts of Nazi perpetrators and followers after the Second World War. But – were really all Nazis of the GDR and the Soviet Occupation Zone brought to justice or left early for the West? Or can we find brown shades in the biographies of some East Germans, too?
Why, of all places, was it in the antifascist GDR that some men did not have to fear persecution? The Stasi played an important role in the repression and concealment of brown pasts. A special division, located in a villa in Hohenschönhausen, Berlin, stored the so-called “Nazi Archive” – more than ten kilometers of filing shelves with materials for the propaganda campaigns against the West, but also with information about their own former Nazis.
Why were some publicly persecuted and others deliberately not? Ironically, the state-imposed antifascism in retrospect turns out to be a crucial obstacle of the historical reappraisal and prosecution.
Christian Schulz`s and Claudia Gründer’s film takes a critical look back at the “only antifascist German state” and its actual dealing with former Nazis, NSDAP members, followers and war criminals, in short: with the brown heritage of the GDR.