Directed by Rosario Cervio, Martin Liji • Documentary • With Antonella Saldicco • 2017 • 94 minutes
Integrating impressive archive material, The German Neighbor follows the steps of Adolf Eichmann’s awkward and unusual life in Argentina and his remarkable defense at the trial in Jerusalem. Roberto Klement was a gentle and respectful neighbor in Buenos Aires. But Klement was actually Adolf Eichmann, the executioner of “the Final Solution to the Jewish Question” in WWII. In 1960, Adolf Eichmann was kidnapped illegally and taken to Jerusalem for the Nuremberg trial. Fifty years later, Renate Liebeskind, a young German translator living in Argentina, is hired to translate that trial into Spanish. Eichmann’s vulnerable image and matter of fact testimony puzzle Renate. Entangled by certainty and ambiguity, she starts looking for answers in conversations with historians, reporters, philosophers, and family members. Not completely satisfied, she embarks on a journey that follows the one traveled by Eichmann after his arrival in Argentina. The film combines the exploration of Eichmann’s daily life during his exile in Argentina with images of the trial in which he was sentenced to death by hanging in 1961. “Long live Germany! Long live Austria! Long live Argentina! These are the countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I had to obey the rules of war and my flag. I am ready.” – Last words of Adolf Eichmann, Thursday evening on May 31, 1962, at the gallows of Ramla prison.