Bad Mondorf, Palace hotel. May 1945. The US Army has strictly blocked off the Palace Hotel and converted it into a so-called Interrogation Center. It shouldn’t lack NS celebrity and extravagance: Hermann Göring arrives with 16 suitcases, valet and 20,000 Paracodin pills. Göring, as well as the other important Nazi figures, from Dönitz to Speer, Frank or Streicher, are frisked out of principal—after all they are not here to enjoy the spa but as prisoners of war.
But what could you really do with them? Especially since the young officers who were supposed to conduct the interrogations—amongst whom John Dolibois, who later became the American ambassador to Luxembourg—were still greenhorns.
Codename Ashcan shows a bizarre chamber drama that draws a picture of the daily craze between a exasperated attempt to maintain the belief in the old system and the disintegration into various crowds. Through the vanity, the smug arrogance and the rehearsed mentality of innocence the frequently mentioned “banality of evil” surfaces to the fullest.
The young American officers have differing opinions on this charade: torn between disgust and fascination with the figures and roles that the Nazis are continuously perfecting, they cautiously and keeping their respectful distance put out their feelers. But then the tone and especially the objective of the interrogations abruptly becomes more aggravated: the political grotesque intensifies when there’s an announcement of an indictment. While some are slowly realizing the possible consequences of their actions, Goering—recovering from addiction—downright goes into ecstasy after finding out about the upcoming trial.
Criminals of War in a spa hotel.
By Ouri Wesloy, adapted by Anne Simon
Based on the research by Willy Perelsztejn
Directed by Anne Simon
In German and English. With German and English surtitles.
A co-production between the Théâtre National du Luxembourg and the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern
With the support of Oeuvre Grande Duchesse Charlotte, United States Embassy in Luxembourg, Stadt Mondorf, Ministère de la Culture, Luxembourg, Film Fund Luxembourg, Centre National de l’Audiovisuel, Miami University