Der lachende Mann – Bekenntnisse eines Mörders  

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"This jovial man who never stops smiling is a real, "live" former Nazi in action, talking freely about his "adventures" as German mercenary during the Congo civil war (tortures, executions, killings) because he -- mistakenly -- believes himself to be talking to friends. But the interviewers para- ding as a West German TV crew are really the East's most clever political filmmakers." Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Der lachende Mann – Bekenntnisse eines Mörders (“The Laughing Man - Confessions of a Murderer”) is an East German film directed by Walter Heynowski and Gerhard Scheumann. It was released in 1966. The film is listed in Film as a Subversive Art.


Posing as West German journalists, East German documentary filmmakers Heynowski and Scheumann pay a visit to the notorious Nazi-turned-mercenary Siegfried “Kongo” Müller, pump him with booze, and get him to talk. Müller fought in Congo’s civil war in the 1960s, and the more Pernod he imbibes, the more fascinating this interview becomes. He asserts that blacks are no better than animals and shares his dream of enlisting in the U.S. Army to fight communism in Vietnam and beyond. He flaunts his military paraphernalia, including the Iron Cross he was awarded in Germany in 1945, and proceeds to deny his earlier statements about civil killings, the ethics of war, and the defense of Western libertarian values. This documentary tour-de-force is interspersed with pictures of Müller and his comrades proudly posing with severed skulls, and it touches on other Nazis who are active in Africa as well as American world dominance.

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