Reality versus fiction – eXtra.cz
Source: With the consent of Bontonfilm / Photo: KN Filmcompany – Larry Horricks
reality vs. fiction
The film Habermann’s Mill opens one of the most controversial chapters in our history, which was undoubtedly the post-war expulsion of the Germans. Not only historians, but also the inhabitants of Bludov, where the plot of the film by director Juraj Herz takes place, criticized the script for a large number of untruths. What was different in the film than it really was?
The war historical film Habermann’s Mill you can remember tonight from 20:00 on the Nova Cinema program. But to what extent can you believe in the authenticity of the events depicted in it? Sometimes there are intentional adjustments to the script compared to reality, other times it may be a tendency to a different version of the narrated story.
Where is the truth?
It has not been known for a long time what actually happened to the Bludov miller Habermann. He was taken away by armed men, but never brought to the headquarters of the district national committee. No one had any idea what had happened to him. It remained speculative and several versions of events arose. The filmmakers leaned towards a version that did not prove to be the best.
What will happen to Habermann in the film and how was it (most likely) actually? In film adaptation from 2010 the millers beat the locals and put them on the mill wheel. If you read a book by Josef Urban from 2001 on this topic, you would learn that Habermann was beaten by the locals, he quartered his body and then burned it in the Bludov spa. So much fiction.
And in fact? The events described took place on the last day of the war, May 8, 1945, when Habermann was arrested by the post-revolutionary guard. The taken miller was met by a barber Jiří Pazour, who pulled out a gun and shot Habermann. He then had to throw the body into the nearby Morava River. It was supposed to be about settling bills for lost money in cards. The investigation file contains the confession of Jiří Pazour, who was identified as the perpetrator. In 1946, she helped Pazour to freedom of amnesty.
There are other differences from reality. For example, Habermann’s wife was not Jewish, but came from a Czech-German family. And the village of Bludov did not (nor could it have) a Czech mayor during the war.
Herz colored the story
Director Juraj Herz He said to the critics that he had not shot a documentary, that he was only slightly inspired by the story. When Habermann is lynched by the crowd he protected from it is not true, but it is very touching.
The names of the characters do not match the reality either, which was the intention. All names have been changed. Only Habermann remained, but his name was not actually August, but Hubert.