Claude Lanzmann: French journalist, film director, writer and screenwriter (1925-) | Biography
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Claude Lanzmann
French journalist, film director, writer and screenwriter

Claude Lanzmann

Claude Lanzmann
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro French journalist, film director, writer and screenwriter
Is Journalist Writer Film director Screenwriter
From France
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio Journalism Literature
Gender male
Birth 27 November 1925, Bois-Colombes
Age 97 years
Spouse: Angelika Schrobsdorff
The details (from wikipedia)


Claude Lanzmann (French: [lanzman]; born 27 November 1925) is a French filmmaker known for the Holocaust documentary film Shoah (1985).

Life and work

Lanzmann was born in Paris, to a Jewish family that immigrated to France from Eastern Europe. He is the brother of writer Jacques Lanzmann. He attended the Lycée Blaise-Pascal (fr) in Clermont-Ferrand. His family went into hiding during World War II. He joined the French resistance at the age of 17 and fought in the Auvergne. Lanzmann opposed the French war in Algeria and signed the 1960 antiwar petition Manifesto of the 121.

From 1952 to 1959 he lived with Simone de Beauvoir. In 1963 he married French actress Judith Magre. They divorced in 1971, and he next married Angelika Schrobsdorff, a German-Jewish writer. He divorced a second time and married Dominique Petithory in 1995. He is the father of Angélique Lanzmann, born in 1950 and Félix Lanzmann, born in 1993.

Lanzmann's most renowned work, Shoah, is a nine-and-a-half-hour oral history of the Holocaust, broadly considered to be the foremost film on the subject. Shoah is made without the use of any historical footage, and uses only first-person testimony from Jewish, Polish, and German individuals, and contemporary footage of several Holocaust-related sites. Lanzmann persuaded Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski to be a witness in Shoah by calling forth—once again—his historical responsibility. When the film was released, the director also published the complete text, including in English translation, with introductions by Lanzmann and Simone de Beauvoir. It provides multiple keys to the philosophical and linguistic preoccupations of the producers. Through Shoah many viewers were first introduced to the work of Raul Hilberg, an American Holocaust historian.

Lanzmann has disagreed, sometimes angrily, with attempts to understand the why of Hitler, stating that the evil of Hitler cannot or should not be explained and that to do so is immoral and an obscenity.

He is chief editor of the journal Les Temps Modernes, which was founded by Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. In 2009, Lanzmann published his memoirs under the title Le lièvre de Patagonie (The Patagonian Hare).

He is currently a lecturer at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

Legacy and honors

  • On July 14, 2011, he received the French Legion of Honor.
  • At the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival in February 2013, Lanzmann was awarded with the Honorary Golden Bear.
  • 2010 Welt-Literaturpreis

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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