Catalog presentation and showing of the film "Das Mahnmal von Nandor Glid in Dachau"

Helmut Meewes recounted the story behind his film in detail with Dr Andrea Riedle. He spoke of his childhood in the Second World War and his experiences as a forced laborer in a Czech mine. These were formative for his interest in the history of the concentration camps.

Helmut Meewes
Helmut Meewes ...

In the 1960s Helmut Meewes shot several films in Yugoslavia. He met Nandor Glid at Belgrade’s Press Club, which he describes as a “haven for freedom of expression” at the time. The sculptor, who had lost his parents in Auschwitz, invited Meewes to his studio where he showed him a model of the sculpture for the International Monument. Helmut Meewes was so impressed that the idea to make a film about the Monument struck him right there and then while in the studio.

Although unable to find any financial backing, he nevertheless decided to go ahead with the project, funding it privately.

Helmut Meewes on the set in 1970
... on the set in 1970

Helmut Meewes filmed at both the Dachau Memorial Site and Nandor Glid’s studio. The director characterized Nandor Glid as an impressive artist who was “obsessed” with his work. For him, Glid was international in his orientation and a cosmopolite in his views but at the same time a down-to-earth man who needed the private sphere of his family for his work.

 

Unfortunately, not only the lack of financial support but also the low number of screenings reflected the lack of interest in coming to terms with the Nazi past that was so prevalent in the 1970s. The film was shown only once on public Bavarian television and then again at the Cracow Film Festival. And at that time – unlike today – there were very few films about concentration camps, memorial sites, and monuments. Helmut Meewes very much regretted the lack of attention paid to his film, and for this reason he was all the more delighted that it could be shown once again, 46 years after its making.