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A Nazi in the Family

My Grandfather wasn't a brute. He was mind-numbingly mediocre. He was an ordinary man, who moved from one bad thing; to the next, to the next, to the next.


The Holocaust was one of the darkest moments of the twentieth century. Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party's highly organised and brazen attempt at obliterating the Jewish population, as well as countless other minority and ethnic groups he deemed as untermensch. Undesirables. 

I can barely comprehend how I would feel if I was in Derek Niemann or Noemie Lopian's shoes. But together, they have bridged a divide. A divide that would have been so different if we were in the middle of the ferocious Second World War.


On the run up to Holocaust memorial day, I was honoured to be given the opportunity to interview both Derek and Noemie at one of the many talks they host. Touring the UK, both Derek and Noemie share their family stories of survival, genocide, racism and complicity to modern audiences. It's an eye-opening, heartfelt account of the time when over six million were murdered and countless more persecuted.

Copyright Notice

Images are reproduced with permission and are the Copyright of the Niemann family and Noemie Lopian. They should not be reproduced, re-published or altered without the written permission of the owner.



Whilst on a trip to Berlin, Derek found some documents relating to his grand-father, Karl Niemann. These papers would undercover a dark secret. Karl, was a Captain in the SS. Hitler's notorious paramilitary organisation. Further to this Derek found that his grand-father had been convicted for crimes against humanity and the use of slave labour. He was also known to visit concentration camps, including Dachau, for his work.


Surviving one of the Nazi's death camps was a horror itself. But, Ernst, Noemie's father - survived seven. At one point of his ordeal, Ernst even worked in one of the crematoria, where the bodies of those brutally murdered, were burned. Ernst recorded his experience in a book that was published soon after the end of the war. This was translated into English by Noemie and is now available for general sale.

Awards & Nominations

Awards & Nominations

The Cat Awards, 2019 

Winner of  Best Documentary

as judged by Ged Clarke (producer/director)

'Short and to the point. One beautiful interview shot with one outstanding interviewee who tells a powerful story so well. Wonderful archive photographs and film. My only complaint was that it was too short! Derek Niemann is incredibly eloquent and realistic about his grandfather's role. The use of music is subtle and very effective - a lesson to others! Technically, is felt finished. Certainly benefits from being short. Sometimes less is more.'

Ged Clarke
Documentary Producer/Director

A Nazi in the Family

Derek Niemann

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"A great book."


The Long Night

Ernst Israel Bornstein

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"A rare and honest eyewitness account of the Holocaust."