Nazi woman behind Winslet’s award winning role is revealed

The identity of the real Nazi woman,who inspired the character of Hanna Schmitz has been revealed.

Written by Agencies | London | Published: January 19, 2009 10:47 am

The identity of the real Nazi woman camp guard,who inspired the character of Hanna Schmitz in the film ‘The Reader’ which won British actress Kate Winslet a Golden Globe has finally been revealed.

The woman Kate Winslet plays in the film was one of Germany’s most notorious war criminals,concentration camp guard Ilse Koch,the ‘Guardian’ reported.

Bernhard Schlink,whose controversial book was adapted for the film,had refused to reveal the basis of Schmitz’s character.

But Professor Bill Niven of Nottingham Trent University,who specialises in literary studies related to Schlink and his works,believes the parallels between Schmitz and Koch are unmistakable.

The Professor said that there were numerous similarities between the Ilse Koch and Hanna Schmitz. The most prominent being the fact that Ilse Koch was sentenced to life imprisonment and committed suicide a day before release,just like Hanna Schmitz,the character played by Winslet in the holocaust film.

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