Der Diplomat (1995)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Politics & Government  |   Run Time - 80 min.  |   Countries - Germany  |  
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This offbeat documentary presents an unusual biography of a most unusual man, highly-ranked ambassador Stephane Hessel who has been designated a life-time diplomat. This soft-spoken, genuinely modest man, has had a series of amazing adventures and has been influential in many important historical events during the 20th century. Hessel basically tells his own story, in his own way which is alternately dramatic and gently humorous. He was born in Berlin to bohemian parents whom Truffaut used as models for his Jules and Jim, a book he based on a book by Hessel's father. Hessel spent most of his childhood in France and at the beginning of WW II fled to England. Eventually returning to France, he became one of the masterminds of the French Resistance. The Nazis caught him, but in his unassuming way, he managed to convince the Gestapo that they had the wrong way; after all he was far too young. They placed him in several concentration camps, but he kept escaping. After the war, De Gaulle appointed Hessel the first ambassador to the United Nations, where he has spent his life trying to make a difference.

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Keywords

concentration-camp, diplomat, escape, Nazism, resistance