The Brandenburg police call “Hermann” tells a story of guilt and reparation.
Just a first name as a title, “Hermann”, that is a first clue that it is about a special fate. And then this Brandenburg “Polizeiruf 110”, which has established itself as a German-Polish one, begins with a dialogue that is conducted neither in Polish nor in German, but in Ivrit – apart from “on the ass”, two words that the old man who was tormented as a child in the concentration camp in the car in conversation with his daughter remembers. The Spielmanns came to Germany because of a legal proceeding about a house in Cottbus that belonged to the family and is now said to be worth millions.
The last police call with Maria Simon as Olga Lenski was in January; But Adam Raczek, Lucas Gregorowicz, is not alone in this case, he meets an old friend at the Cottbus police force: Gisa Flake plays Alexandra Luschke, who, unlike her boss (Bernd Hölscher), has good memories of Raczek. One does not find out the reason for his enormous aversion; but that could still be an issue.
“Hermann” is about guilt, coming to terms with and reparation, but also about the again or still festering anti-Semitism. The Spielmanns are called “a couple of Jews”, the real estate shark, of all people! Who is already planning the lucrative renovation of the house, insults Zvi, who was once called Hermann, saying that he “smelled money”. Raczek and Alex Luschke are not always role models with a sure instinct.
The murdered woman, a young civil engineer, was supposed to be discreetly disposed of with asbestos waste (in case you are wondering about the elaborate air filters), but the truck has an accident. She had promised help and documents to both the minstrel and mother and son Behrend (Monika Lennartz, Heiko Raulin), who also assume that they own the house.
So the question is, what kind of documents are these, and did the Behrends like the Spielmanns have a motive? Alibis are checked, traffic cameras are evaluated, and fabric samples are examined.
“Hermann”, based on a book by Mike Bäuml and directed by Dror Zahavi, goes into the details of police work again and again, but it does so quickly. The murder is also solved quickly at the end. You need space for Hermann’s story and also a little bit for Elisabeth Behrend’s story. Once the children played together.
Of course, the Israeli Zahavi is by no means coincidentally directing this sensitive topic, and it was not by chance that they went to Cottbus, where in the Cottbus-owned Groß Gaglow there are arguments about such restitution issues (reported on Friday by the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”). At the same time, one bypasses Polish sensitivities in that the anti-Semites are simply all Germans.
Orit Nahmias, an Israeli who has lived in Berlin since 2012, plays Hermann’s daughter Maya, the well-known Israeli film and theater actor Dov Glickman, the traumatized old man whose family hid for a long time, then betrayed and murdered by the Nazis. Only little Hermann survived. So many years later, Spielmann wants nothing more than justice, he wants the money for his daughter. It shows how the German judiciary treats the case like everything else, despite the old age of the person concerned: businesslike, indifferent in tone.
“You’ll see, dad, Germany has changed,” Maya says to her father at first. He looks skeptical. The film tries to show that on the one hand this is true (here logically above all as far as the police are concerned), on the other hand, that the mills of the judiciary are turning damn slow and that the anti-Semites are not dying out.
“Polizeiruf 110: Hermann”, ARD, Sun., 8:15 pm.