Director Holland’s movie depicts the regret and guilt that some of his elderly subjects feel as they recall memories as children and young adults during the Holocaust and Hitler’s murderous reign over Germany. Holland wanted to capture the memories of those still alive who lived through the darkest period in Germany’s history. He wanted to tell the story of their memories, present feelings, and perceptions of what they thought then and think now about Hitler’s murder of 6 million Jews in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Birkenau, Dachau, and others. They tell Holland of their memories of the smell of smoke from the gas chambers and the random gunshots they heard as Jews were being killed beyond the barbed wire surrounding the camps.
The human story from his subjects involves the telling of their shame as Germans, their regret about not speaking out against what was being done to the Jews, and how they still struggle with feelings of loyalty to Hitler vs the rejection of the murders and atrocities he caused. Several of the subjects served as SS guards in the camps and remain both conflicted about the group and defensive of it. Struggling with palpable sadness as they answered Holland’s questions, most of the subjects admitted the murder of the Jews in concentration camps was wrong and those inhumane acts damaged the honor of their beloved Germany.
The millions of Americans who are ashamed of this country due to the disgraceful policies and attitudes of former president Donald Trump will undoubtedly relate to the feelings and conflicts experienced by the German subjects in Hollands’s movie. Trump’s inhumane policies and unpatriotic treatment of our Constitution have caused the majority of Americans to feel embarrassed of our country. Like the German subjects in “Final Account”, Americans have internalized the shame Trump has inflicted on the country by his:
- Embracing white supremacist groups and calling them “good people”
- Separating immigrant children from their parents at the Southern Border
- Lying to the American people about the danger of COVID-19 which contributed to the spread of the virus and the subsequent preventable deaths of thousands of Americans
- Inciting extremist rioters to attack the Capitol Bldg. and to stop the certification of the legitimate election of President Joe Biden
- Asking a state official in Georgia to alter votes to illegally steal the election in his favor
- Declaring he won the presidential election that he lost, started the ” big lie” movement and continued his autocratic takeover of the Republican Party
- Disregarded the racial injustices towards blacks, Asians, transgenders, and immigrants from Hispanic countries
- Sided with enemies and autocrats over our allies
- Aligned himself with criminal traitors to the rule of law, and then pardoned them
- Spread propaganda, lies, and psychologically strange conspiracy theories
- Sends surrogates to make public speeches declaring he is still the president and the military should organize a coup to remove Joe Biden from office and put Trump back in power
Americans, like the German people’s personalization of Hitler’s shameless inhumanity, are ashamed of the dishonest, aggressive Trump and his racism, misogyny, criminal behaviors like his attempt to transform American democracy into an autocratic nation with him as the mad king. World leaders saw him as a joke, a bully, and an incompetent. They seem relieved and pleased by Joe Biden’s win. As President Biden assures the country and the world;
AMERICA IS BACK, AND WE ARE BUILDING BACK BETTER!