Biography Dox

The Decent One

Vanessa Lapa
Screening time  
25.02. / Wednesday, 16:00 - 18:00 Theatre 3  
Through previously undiscovered private letters, photos and diaries, 'The Decent One' grants a unique and at times uncomfortable access to the life and mind of the merciless Architect of the Final Solution, Heinrich Himmler.

On May 6th 1945, soldiers of the US Army occupied the Himmler family home in Gmund, Germany where they discovered hundreds of private letters, documents, diaries and photographs. The film makes use of these materials to sketch the biography and expose the inner mind, ideals, plans and secrets of the Architect of the Final Solution, SS Commander in Chief, Heinrich Himmler. How did this Catholic nationalistic middle-class young man become Hitler’s henchman responsible for master minding, developing and executing the strategies that led to the murder of millions of human beings? Where did his ideology originate? How was he perceived by his family? How could the man who often referred to German virtues such as order, decency and goodness also write home in the midst of the war and Holocaust: “Despite of all the hard work I am doing fine and I sleep well”? How can a man become a hero in his own eyes but a mass murderer in the eyes of the world?


Vanessa Lapa

Vanessa Lapa is born and raised in Belgium. She has been living in Israel since 1995. An accomplished journalist, she produced and directed over a hundred factual reportages for Israeli television. Her documentary film Olmert – Concealed Documentary (Israel, 2009) was hailed as a unique cinéma vérite achievement, revealing the behind-the-scenes of the government and the private life of Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. In 2007, she founded independent documentary film production company Realworks Ltd.

General sponsor

Der Anstaendige

Germany, Austria, Israel
2014, 96', DCP

Directed by:
Vanessa Lapa

Screenplay by:
Vanessa Lapa, Ori Weisbrod

Hermann Poelking-Eiken, Archive Image

Edited by:
Sharon Brook, Noam Amit

Jonathan Sheffer, Daniel Salomon, Gil Feldman

Vanessa Lapa

Produced by:

Festivals & Awards:

Israeli Academy Awards 2014 – Nominated for the Ophir Prize; Jerusalem International Film Festival 2014 – Van Leer Group Foundation Award Best Israeli Documentary; Berlin International Film Festival 2014; Telluride Film Festival 2014; DocumentaMadrid – Madrid Documentary Film Festival 2014; Munich International Documentary Film Festival 2014; Planete & Doc Film Festival 2014; Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival; Bergen International Film Festival 2014; Reykjavík International Film Festival 2014; Jameson CineFest – Miskolc International Film Festival