Directed by Ronald Neame (The Poseidon Adventure) from a story by Frederick Forsyth, The Odessa File takes us back to Hamburg, Germany in 1963.
An elderly Jewish man commits suicide, leaving a diary that falls into the hands of freelance German journalist Peter Miller (Jon Voight). The diary documents the unspeakable crimes of cruelty, torture and mass murder perpetrated by SS Captain Eduard Roschmann (Maximilian Schell), commandant of the notorious wartime death camp at Riga, Latvia.
Miller launches a personal manhunt to track down Roschmann, makes contact with Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal (Shmuel Rodensky), and is eventually “captured” by some Israeli Mossad agents who want to get Roschmann as well.
His investigation leads him into the very heart of ODESSA, a powerful secret organisation formed by the SS to protect and re-establish its fugitive members throughout the world.
When Miller finds Roschmann, he learns that the former Nazi is now the leader of a weaponry complex of international, strategic consequence and is perfecting a missile guidance system to allow Egypt to target Israeli cities.
Filmed on location in Germany, The Odessa File examines many of the key issues involved with the fall-out after the Second World War . . . all with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The real Eduard Roschmann was still at large in 1974 but the publicity around this movie caused his arrest in Argentina. The Argentine authorities subsequently released him on bail, allowing him to flee to Paraguay, where he remained until his death in August 1977.
Dr. Ferdinand Schultz