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Film shows the life of priest killed in a Nazi concentration camp


The Vatican Film Library screened “Otto Neururer: Hope through Darkness,” a new film depicting the life of this priest who died as a martyr and was beatified by John Paul II. He was a Catholic Austrian priest killed in a Nazi concentration camp in 1940. 

Otto Neururer lived during the Second World War. He frequently spoke out against the Nazi Regime calling for the respect of Jews. He was ultimately executed for baptizing a fellow prisoner. 

Lucas Zolgar plays the priest in the film. He believes it is important young people know about this man who is a symbol of hope for Europe. 

LUCAS ZOLGER
Actor, Otto Neururer

“Otto Neururer is a signal, a symbol, a message, a figure of light for all the young people of this continent, that we can never allow this to happen again.” FLASH “We live in a time where the destructive nationalism of people is being talked about and there is really a need to push back against it. Traditionalism and love of one’s country is not bad per se. However, it should be connected in context to a big open heart and a multicultural awareness, that doesn't exclude anyone. Namely that people are welcome. The important thing is that we live together and not against each other.”

“Otto Neururer: Hope through Darkness” was produced by AVG production company. It focuses mainly on making films about the unsung heroes who suffered under Nazism. 

The studio had previously only produced films centered around Jewish people, until they came across Otto Neururer. 

HERMANN WEISKOPF
Director

“After four or five films like 'Shattered Night' about Kristallnacht in Innsbruck. It is a story about engineer Richard Berger, who was someone who really helped his community during National Socialism. We discovered this priest and I really thought and talked to Peter Mair who is the screenwriter and we agreed immediately this is even a great story.”

In the film they cross cut between Otto Nuerurer's time to the present day showing the impact this priest still has on people today.  

They hope to continue in making films that remind people of the past in order for one to be better prepared for the future.