Snatched from the Source

by Maja Weiss

Zajeti v Izviru – Slovenski otroci Lebensborna, 2023, documentary, digital DCP, 1,77:1 (16:9), 25, c, 79 min

In 1942, approximately thirty Slovenian babies were selected and stolen through a "racial selection" process and included in the notorious Nazi program called Lebensborn (Source of Life). This program was designed to promote the Aryan race and was led by Heinrich Himmler. As part of the program, babies were forcibly taken from their families across Europe and subsequently adopted by German couples who were perceived as loyal to the Nazi regime. The film tells the story of four "children of the Lebensborn“: Ingrid Von Oelhafen from Germany, Haymo Henry Hayder from Costa Rica, Franc Zagožen from Belgium, and Ivan Acman from Slovenia. The protagonists of the documentary serve as the last living witnesses to a horrific racial experiment that never resulted in punishment for those responsible for the Lebensborn program. Each of them shares their unique journey of discovering the truth about their origins, accepting that truth, and ultimately finding inner peace. By offering glimpses into the protagonists' current lives and their ongoing awareness of global events, the film emphasizes that similar atrocities continue to occur, notably in Ukraine at the present moment.

Nataša Konc Lorenzutti, Maja Weiss
Maja Weiss
Ida Weiss
director of photography
Mitja Ličen
music composer
August Adrian Braatz
film editor
Jurij Moškon
Ingrid Von Oelhafen, Haymo Henry Heyder, Franc Zagožen, Ivan Acman, Georg Lilienthal, Dorothee Schmitz Köster, Gisela Heidenreich, Tone Kregar, Nataša Konc Lorenzutti
Bela film
Senca Studio, RTV Slovenija, Zavod Maja Weiss, Zavod Vesnik
Slovenian Film Centre, Creative Europe - MEDIA, Ministrstvo za javno upravo, Veleposlaništvo Zvezne republike Nemčije v Ljubljani, Mestna občina Celje, Slovenian Book Agency, Lebensspuren
Maja Weiss

Maja Weiss graduated from the Ljubljana Film Academy AGRFT. She is the first Slovenian female film director to direct a full-length fiction film for cinema, titled "Guardian of the Frontier." Her film received several awards, including the Manfred Salzgeber Award for the most innovative European film at the 2002 Berlinale (Panorama) and a nomination for European Discovery at the 2002 European Film Awards (EFA). Maja Weiss' extensive filmography includes over 40 films screened at more than 150 festivals worldwide. She is also recognized as one of the most prominent Slovenian documentary filmmakers. Her documentaries have been honoured at various prestigious film festivals, including DOK Leipzig and IDFA (nomination), Durban, Zaragoza, Rotterdam, Krakow, and Telluride. In 2020, she was presented with a lifetime achievement award for her contributions to documentaries at the DocuDok Maribor Documentary Film Festival.

-, You know, poet, your guilt! Slovenian film retrospective program as part of Slovenia's guest appearance at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2023 - Honeycomb of Words, 2023