Journey to Justice

Journey to Justice

Edition Filmmuseum 42

Journey to Justice tells the story of Howard Triest, a German Jew who fled Nazi Germany in 1939 when he was 16-years old, returned as an American soldier and then served as an interpreter during the Nuremberg Trial. He came face-to-face with imprisoned Nazi leaders who were co-responsible for the death of six million Jews, including Howard's parents at Auschwitz. In 1947 he bought a 16mm camera and filmed the ruins of Munich. This unique document is as bonus material on the DVD in its complete version. Parts of it are embedded in the actual film which tells the story from the viewpoint of 83 year old Howard Triest who is returning to Germany with his son Brent to visit the places of his past.

The films

Journey to Justice - USA 2006 - Directed, written and photographed by: Steve Palackdharry - Music by: Terry Herald - Still photography by: Glenn Triest - Narrated by: Brent S. Triest - With Howard H. Triest, Margot E. Coville, Brent S. Triest, Ursula Jung - Produced by: Palackdharry Productions, Royal Oaks / The Coville Photographic Art Foundation, Southfield - Premiere: March 25, 2006 (Palm Beach International Film Festival)

Munich - Capital of Bavaria - USA 1947 - Directed, written and photographed by: Howard H. Triest, George Greger - Produced by: Howard H. Triest - Premiere: July 16, 2006 (Filmmuseum München)

About Journey to Justice

The film uses never-before-seen documents, photos, and archival footage, much of it taken from Howard Triest's own files, to recount his harrowing journey from Munich to America, where, just a few years later, he joined the Army and served as an interpreter at the Nuremberg trials. He recalled the equanimity with which Nazi officials described, "like bureaucrats," the inhuman torture and degradation inflicted on the camps' inmates, taking pride in having "exceeded their quotas." Recalling how he somehow managed to maintain his composure before Rudolf Hoess, the commandant at Auschwitz, where his parents were murdered, Triest acknowledged that he believed the sentence Hoess and others received--hanging--was "too easy for them."

Effectively mixing past and present--at times Triest becomes a photograph, observing the interviews or silently commenting on a still--Palackdharry's cinematic achievement is ably abetted by the photographic skill of Howard's son Glenn, who admits that he cannot completely relax in Germany, unlike his father, who now can. But his father has more than earned that ease, which was felt by all during the shoot, thanks in large part to the director; Margot told the audience that his open, honest, and relaxed manner enabled her to feel free to say things she had not even told her children, who were astonished and moved when they saw the film.

But children are the next generation, and Howard and Margot's meeting with the young couple who now live in their former Munich home is illuminating and heartwarming, as they exhibit a friendliness, openness and curiosity, and a willingness to question "accepted truths," that contrasts sharply with what the Triests experienced seventy years before. Their hopeful optimism remained with us, as did the film's indelible images, as we exited the theater.

Leslie Weisman, DC Film Society

DVD features

  • Journey to Justice 2006, 106'
  • Howard Triest beim Filmfest München 2006 2008, 14'
  • Munich, Capital of Bavaria 1947, 37'
  • 4page booklet with essays by Hans Messias and Steve Palackdharry

DVD edited by: Filmmuseum München
DVD authoring: Ralph Schermbach
DVD supervision: Claudia Engelhardt

First edition June 2008


TV Format Original format Audio format Language Subtitles Region code
16:9 (PAL)
Dolby Digital 2.0 (Stereo)
All Regions


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