The Darmstadt documentary-film director Wolfgang Richter has always been interested in researching modern German history. In their recent cinema documentary "Nazi Doctors" (2009) Richter and his partner Hannes Karnick created a daring film based on interviews with the American author and psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton. During these meetings Lifton talks about his experiences with doctors who killed prisoners in concentration camps.

After the film premiere in New York American producers asked Wolfgang Richter if he would like to take part in a new film on the Holocaust. From his previous experience it was clear to him that a traditional documentary, with archive footage and a few remaining witnesses that had difficulty talking in front of the camera, was not a promising way to approach the topic. In contrast to his previous films, Wolfgang Richter decided to limit himself to the role of producer and give the project into the hands of an engaged feature-film director, who would be able to tell the story in a different film language.

In Spring 2012 he contacted the Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky, who had worked intensively on the generation of Nazi perpetrators for his Oscar-winning feature film „The Counterfeiters“. Ruzowitzky thought it over and began to develop ideas based on a socio-psychological point of view: how do completely normal men turn into mass murderers? Ruzowitzky studied history at university and is a director who can bring out the drama in a story - an excellent basis to write a story on ”Radical Evil“.

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