top of page
a Swedish tiger poster.jpg


Before it is too late, Birgitta von Otter must find out about the event that came to affect her father, the diplomat Göran von Otter, for the rest of his life. The film depicts World War II from a female perspective. About how you can be affected by an event that took place over 70 years ago.


Official Selection

St. Louis

International Film Festival




93 min / 59 min


SFI, Film i Väst, Claims Conference, MDR, SVT



Rhode Island

International Film Festival


Official Selection


International Film Festival

Director : Carl Svensson

Producer : Daniella Prah, HP Lundh

Photographer : Charlotta Tengroth

Editors : Kristofer Nordin, Sofia Lindgren, Rasmus Ohlander


Official Selection


International Film Festival

Hynek Pallas

Göteborgs Posten

A Swedish Tiger Haaretz_edited.jpg


Birgitta von Otter, Swedish journalist and author, must find out the truth about her father, embassy secretary Göran von Otter. The father was one of the first in the world to receive testimony about the Holocaust. On an overcrowded train in the middle of World War II, SS officer Kurt Gerstein entrusts his horrific story. This meeting tormented Göran von Otter throughout his life, although he rarely talked about it.

The film follows Birgitta's search for understanding and forgiveness for what has been. Birgitta finally realizes that she must visit SS officer Kurt Gerstein's daughter, Adelheid von Platen. At Adelheid's home, Birgitta sees that her father's silence has caused pain for the Gerstein family. The two women are connected through this random encounter - and about their fathers' different role in the Holocaust. A short meeting that seventy years later continues to have consequences for the daughters' lives.


"A Swedish tiger" therefore becomes a unique story about the Holocaust told through two women and their respective relationship to their fathers. Two families who in some way represent their country. One dysfunctional and with an open wound - and the other with a culture of silence that still numbs. An emotionally strong film about guilt. A film about Sweden and the guilt from the Second World War.



Birgitta von Otter

Adelheid von Platen

Erik Hörstadius

Maximilian von Platen


Kjell-Olof Feldt

Christian von Platen

Arne Ruth, journalist

Jens Murken, archivist (LkwA Bielefeld)


I want to tell the story of Kurt Gerstein and Göran von Otter that I did not know before. I think it is remarkable that I have never heard of history and that Sweden was one of the first to have an eyewitness account of the Holocaust. Somehow I think this shard of World War II contained so many strong stories on several levels - the essence of World War II. Great politics at the same time as human destinies.


Secondly, I want to tell you about the daughters of these two men. They are the main characters and it gives a new, unique perspective on the Holocaust. It is thus not the "actors" of the Holocaust but rather its "observers"; witnesses to the witnesses. Somehow the families become symbols of their countries. The Swedish where everything is beautiful on the surface - but there is a secret that you have not really dealt with; the German - dysfunctional, where everything is out and "hanging in front". These are the wounds of a father who was never there and where guilt and shame continue to affect even today. Adelheid is captured by these memories.


With the film I wanted to create an awareness about von Otter / Gerstein. I both wanted to create an emotionally strong story. To follow Birgitta's journey and also get to take part in Adelheid's memories from her upbringing. What was it like growing up as a child of an SS man after the war? I thought it was strange that history did not even exist as a footnote in historical descriptions of Sweden and the Second World War and I wanted to have a discussion about Sweden's actions during the war.


I also want to tell you about how the wounds of war affect people for generations. It is a complex and complicated picture. I wanted to tell you that Sweden is part of European history - and if we can not acknowledge our role, we can not face similar problems that we may be confronted with.


The pilot filming for the film began with an interview by Birgitta von Otter on November 15, 2013, and then continued in February 2015. The meeting between the daughters is in September 2015. And the last filming of clips is in the summer of 2017. The editing is finished in the spring of 2017 (with a correction of archive material and additions in autumn 2017). The film premieres at Bio Capitol on October 17, 2018. It has also been broadcast on SVT and MDR.

G. von Otter_1967_SR
Faurisson trial


Other photo: Johan Palmgren, Carl Svensson

Actors : Ulf Pilov, Carl Svensson

Graphic props : Cecilia Ohlsson

Voice coach : Per Melander

Interviewer (German) : Axel Rüth

Translator post production : Anna-Lu Franz

Composer : Niko Röhlcke

Musicians : Jonas Wall (clarinet), Malin-My Wall (viola and violin), Niko Röhlcke (other instruments)

Sound Mixer : Boris Laible

Graphic design : Jonas Wagner

Historical advisers : Johan Östling, Paul Levine, Klas Åmark

WATCH THE MOVIE (English subtitles):


bottom of page