An unusual group of elderly women offer unique and humorous viewpoints on German history in this interesting documentary by Eberhard Fechner. The women are all of the German nobility, have never married, and are Catholics -- the three requirements for entrance into the Schloss Ehreshoven, their retirement home. This home for German noblewomen was established by a wealthy donor in 1920, and as of the mid-80s when Im Damenstift was filmed, had a total of 16 qualified residents. Fechner questions the women about the World Wars, about their lives during the Kaiser Wilhelm era, and about the rebuilding periods after each war. The result is unexpected, partly because these countesses and baronesses came of age in the small elite circle of the court, and their lives, it is clear, never extended much beyond the court's limited perimeter.
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