Hostages of the SS

April 1945. In a dramatic operation the SS transports 139 special prisoners and prisoners of kin into the Alps. The plan: to use the prisoners as bargaining chips in possible negotiations with the Allies. During the journey a number of prisoners plan their escape and experience six days between liberty and death, their fates in the hands of ruthless and increasingly nervous criminals. But the hostages band together and turn the tables with a clever ploy: they call in the Wehrmacht to aid them…

News

  • 02/2015 - "Hostages of the SS" - Premiere in April

    Our two-part docu-drama “Hostages of the SS” celebrates its German TV-premiere on April 7th at 8:15 pm on ARTE. 70 years [...]

    Our two-part docu-drama "Hostages of the SS" celebrates its German TV-premiere on April 7th at 8:15 pm on ARTE. 70 years after the end of World War II, the film tells the unknown story of the so-called "special and clan prisoners" of the SS - featuring a top-class cast and high production value. Among the hostages: Princes, politicians and prominent prisoners as lieutenant "Jimmy" James of the Royal Air Force.
    Additional Screenings: April 10th on ORF and April 14th on ZDF



Hostages of the SS

The last weeks of the Second World War are unforgettable for everyone, but particularly for those who were involved in this traumatic story. It is a story that covers all: heroes and villains, hopes and fears, friendship and perfidy, great names, dramatic twists, and eventually, a happy ending. 2015 marks its 70th anniversary. This two-part documentary with its high-caliber cast of characters and elaborate TV drama elements will perfectly fit the demands of a TV event of liberation.

All in all, the illustrious circle of “special prisoners” locked up by the Nazi regime counts 135 celebrities from 17 European countries, including their family members. Amongst them the French Prime Minister Léon Blum, the Austrian Chancelor Kurt v. Schuschnigg, the British secret service member Sigismund Payne Best and his compatriot Bertram “Jimmy” James. Family members of resistance fighters as Goerdeler or Stauffenberg, like the 15-year-old Benigna, are also part of the group. The Nazis make them atone for their fathers’ and husbands’ deeds.

These special war prisoners are exceptionally valuable to the SS and supposed to function as a bargaining chip for negotiations. By moving the group to a camp in the Alps just before the final defeat, the SS blackmails the Allies and threatens to kill the prisoners. The extraordinary protagonists try to fight their fear and put all hope in the fact that dead celebreties are no use for the SS. The film will include unknown footage of concentration camp liberations as well as interviews with the last remaining eyewitnesses of the dramas that have taken place.

Fey von Hassel: Henriette Schmidt
Lieutenant Jimmy James: Marc Benjamin
Colonel Bogislaw von Bonin: Tim Bergmann
First lieutenant of the SS Edgar Stiller: Gerhard Wittmann
Second lieutenant of the SS Bader: Uwe Bohm
Harry Wings Day: Tomas Sinclair Spencer
and many more.

script and director documental: Christian Frey
director scenic: Carsten Gutschmidt
1. assistant director: Birgitta Nübel
2. assistant director: Bettina Kinski
1. set manager: Christian Doll, Bernd Schwaner
sirector of Photography: Frank van Vught
lighting technician: Günter Berghaus
set designer: Dennis Duis
location Scout: Petra Bock, Lucia von Mörl
costume designer: Barbara Schwarz
make up artist: Anett Pohl, Birger Laube
sound-editor: Udo Steinhauser
film editor: Christoph Senn
VFX / CGI: Holger Neuhäuser
production assistant: Viktoria Sardarian
film Accountant: Sandra Zentgraf
production Manager: Christian Kaps, Stefanie Nowak
dramaturgical consulting: Onno Ehlers
executive producer: Reinhardt Beetz
commissioning editor: Martin Pieper (ZDF/arte), Stefan Brauburger, Stefan Mausbach (ZDF)

Koproduktion

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Kooperation

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Förderer

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  • Premiere – Hostages of the SS (Part 1)

    arte
    07 April 2015 at 8:15 pm

  • Premiere – Hostages of the SS (Part 2)

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    07 April 2015 at 9:10 pm

  • Hostages of the SS

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    10 April 2015 at 10:45 pm

  • Hostages of the SS

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    14 April 2015 at 8:15 pm

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    24 April 2015 at 8:55 am

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    22 November 2015 at 12:45 am

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    29 November 2015 at 6:00 pm

  • Hostages of the SS (Part 1)

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    06 February 2016 at 4:00 pm

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    06 February 2016 at 4:00 pm

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    06 February 2016 at 5:00 pm

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    06 February 2016 at 5:00 pm

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    07 February 2016 at 12:05 am

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    07 February 2016 at 12:05 am

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    07 February 2016 at 1:00 am

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    07 February 2016 at 1:00 am

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    07 February 2016 at 8:05 am

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    07 February 2016 at 8:05 am

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    07 February 2016 at 9:00 am

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    07 February 2016 at 9:00 am

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    01 April 2016 at 12:45 pm

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    06 April 2016 at 9:00 pm

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    07 April 2016 at 1:30 am

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    07 April 2016 at 8:15 am

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    07 April 2016 at 7:15 pm

  • Hostages of the SS (Part 2)

    History Channel
    09 April 2016 at 8:55 am

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    09 April 2016 at 8:55 am

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    03 May 2016 at 9:10 pm

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    03 May 2016 at 10:05 pm

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    08 May 2016 at 4:00 pm

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    08 May 2016 at 4:00 pm

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    08 May 2016 at 4:55 pm

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    09 May 2016 at 12:00 am

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    09 May 2016 at 12:00 am

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    09 May 2016 at 12:55 am

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    09 May 2016 at 12:55 am

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    09 May 2016 at 8:00 am

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    09 May 2016 at 8:00 am

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    15 May 2016 at 4:55 pm

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    17 July 2016 at 11:35 pm

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    23 July 2016 at 4:00 pm

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    23 July 2016 at 4:00 pm

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    23 July 2016 at 4:55 pm

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    23 July 2016 at 4:55 pm

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    24 July 2016 at 12:40 am

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    24 July 2016 at 12:40 am

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    24 July 2016 at 1:40 am

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    24 July 2016 at 1:40 am

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    24 July 2016 at 8:40 am

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    24 July 2016 at 8:40 am

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    24 July 2016 at 9:40 am

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    24 July 2016 at 9:40 am

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    03 December 2016 at 3:45 pm

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    03 December 2016 at 4:50 pm

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    03 December 2016 at 5:55 pm

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    04 December 2016 at 12:50 am

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    04 December 2016 at 12:50 am