Letter: The legal action Riefenstahl lost

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The Independent Online
DESPITE her claim that 'I have fought 50 libel suits and won every one' ('Loving Hitler', Sunday Review, 13 September), Leni Riefenstahl has lost at least one legal action. The upshot of this case in 1987 was finally to nail her complicity in the Holocaust.

A West German documentary about the making of her 'gypsy' feature film Tiefland contained interviews with Romany concentration camp survivors involved in the production. For this film, Riefenstahl cast 60 Romany extras in 1941 and 1942. She found these people in a small holding concentration camp near Salzburg. After being used without pay, they were returned to the camp system and all but two families exterminated.

Riefenstahl's passionate denials of this were rejected by the German legal system.

Brian Winston

University of Wales, Cardiff

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