In this chilling and timely documentary, award-winning director Ruth Beckermann revisits the curious case of Kurt Waldheim, the former United Nations Secretary-General who faced serious allegations surrounding his Nazi military exploits during WWII. When Waldheim announced his bid for President of Austria in 1986, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) came forward with a shocking denouncement accusing Waldheim of having intelligence about the deportation of thousands of Greek Jews from Thessaloniki during the Holocaust. Despite being condemned by other countries’ governments and social justice organizations, Waldheim’s career was largely unaffected by the stains of his past. In refuting the veracity of these claims, Waldheim galvanized Austrian citizens on both sides of the political spectrum, inspiring protesters to take to the streets and the international media to turn their attention to Austria.
In light of America’s ever-widening political divide, THE WALDHEIM WALTZ is more relevant than ever. Edited entirely from archival footage (some of which was shot by the director herself), Beckermann’s film emphasizes the societal factors that contributed to Waldheim’s political influence and demonstrates the need for transparency and the collective accountability of nations.