What happened to the real Höss family we saw in “The Zone of Interest”?

What you need to know:

The story of the Höss after the Second World War is just as charming as in “The Zone of Interest”. And that’s what happened to them.

There is no doubt that cinema not only transports us to fantastic worlds, but can also reflect some of the grossest situations of historical events of humanity. And lately is the perfect example of the latter The zone of interesta film that gives us another shocking vision of the Second World War.

Directed by Jonathan Glazer, loosely based on the novel of the same name by British writer Martin Amis and nominated for Best International Film at the 2024 Oscars, this film tells us the story of the Höss family, who lived next to one of the cruelest places of the Holocaust. However, apart from the patriarch, no one knew what was happening around them.

The spooky story of Höss, the protagonist of “The Zone of Interest”

The zone of interest in the main role: Rudolf Höss, Who was the commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp?one of the extermination centers where, unfortunately, millions of innocent people died, including people of Jewish and Polish origin, prisoners of war, communists and dissidents of the Nazi regime.

Together with his wife Hedwig and their four children (Klaus, Heidetraud, Inge-Brigitt, Hans-Jürgen and Annegret) Rudolf He settled in a comfortable house with a garden and pool, just 200 meters from the gas chambers.. In fact, only a wall separated the tragedy from the wonderful life of the Hösses, a rather macabre reality.

And what happened to the real Höss family we saw in “The Zone of Interest”?
The real Höss family, the protagonist of “The Zone of Interest”/Photo via X: @AuschwitzMuseum

After the war and the fall of Hitler’s Nazi Germany Rudolf Höss changed his name to Franz Lang and fledtakes a different route and sends his family to another city to prevent the Allied forces from harming them. He now worked as a gardener and led a “quiet” life.

However, Hedwig was arrested by the British on March 8, 1946. while working in a sugar factory, who threatened to be deported to Siberia with her children if she did not cooperate with them. In the end, after negotiating his freedom and that of his family, revealed her husband’s whereabouts and on March 11 of the same year Rudolf was capturedaccused of murdering almost three million people.

And what happened to the real Höss family we saw in “The Zone of Interest”?
Rudolf Höss during his trial in Poland for the crimes he committed in Auschwitz/Photo: Getty Images

Finally, after the Nuremberg trials (where the Allies tried key figures in Nazi Germany) and later appear before the Supreme National Court of Poland, Rudolf Höss was sentenced to death.

He He was executed by hanging on April 16, 1947, very close to the crematorium of the Auschwitz camp and the house where he lived with his family Over the years he ran this terrible place. As if that wasn’t enough, Around 100 witnesses attended the execution, including former prisoners whose lives he ruined.

The path of the Höss family after Rudolf’s death

After Rudolf’s death The Hösses decided not to talk about it again and turn the page to start a new life.. However, they had to endure difficult situations such as starvation, stealing coal to keep warm, and they simply had no shoes. From there, Hedwig, Klaus, Heidetraud, Inge-Brigitt, Hans-Jürgen and Annegret were never the same again.

From the beginning everyone went their own way. Hedwig attempted to rebuild her life in Germany, where she remarried and later moved to the United States with her new husband.. There are few details There is no doubt about what happened to her, but it is known that she lived quietly in Washington until her death (it is not clear whether she died at age 81 or 90)..

And what happened to the real Höss family we saw in “The Zone of Interest”?
Hedwig Höss moved to the USA and married again after the end of the Second World War/Photo: Special

Höss’ eldest son, for his part, Klaus was the one who helped raise his family until he emigrated to Australia with his German wife Lisolet (better known as Lilo).. Klaus and Lilo stayed in Sydney, where they raised their only daughter, Christine, although they later divorced. Mid 80s Klaus died of liver cirrhosis caused by excessive alcohol abuse..

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One of the Höss daughters became a Balenciaga model

Perhaps the most famous story of the Höss family is that of Inge-Brigitt. To avoid any reminders of your past, She changed her name to Brigitte and moved to Spain after the war.where he entered the world of fashion until she became a model for the designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, the founder of the Balenciaga fashion house.…just like you read it.

Later, Brigitte Höss met and married an Irish-American engineer in 1961, with whom she had two children.. Her husband knew her story, but after confessing the truth, they never spoke about it. It is more, by telling them that their children and grandchildren knew nothing about their past.

And what happened to the real Höss family we saw in “The Zone of Interest”?
After moving to Spain, Brigitte became a Balenciaga model/Photo: Special

It remained hidden for years, until 2013 Thomas HardingAuthor of the book Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the hunt for the commandant of Auschwitz (and nephew of Hanns Alexander, who captured Rudolf Höss), He managed to locate her in Virginia, USA. During your interview Inge-Birgitte tried to justify her father by suggesting that he treated his family differently, but when he returned from work she noticed that he was sad.

In the same lecture Brigitte revealed that they traveled to different parts of the world due to her husband’s commitmentsbetween Liberia, Greece, Iran and Vietnam until they settled in Washington in 1972. There she worked in a boutique and later hired a Jewish business couple who had immigrated from Nazi Germany to work in their luxury fashion salon, where she worked for 35 years.

And what happened to the real Höss family we saw in “The Zone of Interest”?
Almost at the end of her days, Brigitte decided to talk more about her childhood and her years in Auschwitz/Photo: Special

There the Höss daughter looked after numerous wives of congressmen and senators. But on vacation and with a few drinks on top, Brigitte revealed her secret to her superiors, which led them to believe that they would fire her immediately.. But despite all odds, The owner told Harding that he didn’t fire her because she had nothing to do with what her father did..

In 2015, Rudolf Höss’ daughter was diagnosed with cancer and decided to talk more about her childhood. He claimed he didn’t know that millions of innocent people were being murdered next to his house. And once again she reiterated that her father, along with her, her siblings and her mother, was a completely different person who did not show the dark side for which he has become infamous in history. She has not been heard from since, but due to her illness she most likely died.

And what then happened to the other family members?

The remaining siblings of the Höss family, Annegret, Hans-Jürgen and Heidetraud, seem to have disappeared from the earth.. The only information we have about her is this They continued to live in Germany after World War II, although it is unclear whether they are still alive..

However, Hans-Jürgen’s descendants have been a topic of conversation. It turns out that His son Rainer Höss decided to become an “investigator” to uncover his grandfather’s crimes.. But They have accused him several times of using his last name to get money and benefits. By telling them that has been criminally convicted 13 times, most recently for fraud in August 2020.

And what happened to the real Höss family we saw in “The Zone of Interest”?
Raine Höss was criticized by his own brother for using his family’s history for profit/Photo: Special

On his part Hans-Jürgen’s eldest son, Kai-Uwea Protestant pastor who had not been in the spotlight until then, He confronted his brother by saying that everything he was doing was sensational and wrong.. It is more, called on Rainer to stop deceiving people by using the names and ashes of millions of Holocaust victimseither.

In such a situation, Brigitte also joined the discussion when she explained that her nephew was neither born nor experienced World War II, so he could not know or understand what happened.. That’s why he mentioned that this was certainly the case “an evil, lying, drug addict, fame-hungry, money-hungry young man”…Ouch. It’s the same with the Höss family, the same ones The zone of interest.

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