Stealing the Fire (2002)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Politics & Government, Military & War  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - United States   |  
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Stealing the Fire documents German involvement in the Iraqi nuclear arms program. Filmmakers John S. Friedman (producer of the acclaimed Marcel Ophüls documentary, Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie) and Eric Nadler (a journalist who has worked on many installments of the PBS series P.O.V.) begin their story with the espionage trial of Karl-Heinz Schaab, a German native charged with selling nuclear secrets to Iraq. Friedman and Nadler interview principals involved in the case and investigative journalists as they track Schaab from Germany to Brazil, where he flees temporarily to escape prosecution. Eventually, they link Schaab and his centrifuge technology to Degussa, a German corporation. They then uncover Degussa's dark past as the company the SS contracted to process gold and silver from their victims' teeth. Degussa was also involved in developing the gas Zyklon-B, used in the concentration camp gas chambers. Along the way, they interview the last living member of the Nazi regime's nuclear weapons team. The story continues back in the present day, as Schaab returns to face trial, threatening to name names and expose higher-ups in the chain of command. That threat apparently accounted for the surprising results of his trial.




black-market, deception, Germany, investigation, Iraq, Nazi, nuclear-scientist, nuclear-weapon, secret-plan, Third-Reich, weapons-of-mass-destruction