this evening (saturday 27th), 7.00-8.00pm, on bbc 4 tv (repeated from 27th january 2015) (extended repeat from 15th january 2015, 15th october 2014, and 12th september 2014, on bbc 2, at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01zx5g7)
the children of the holocaust
“Eyewitness accounts from history, brought to life in animation for a young audience”
including live interviews with …
• ruth rogoff (1933), from zwickau
• martin kapel (1930), from leipzig
• trude silman (1929), from bratislava
• heinz skyte (1920), from fuerth
• arek hersh (1928), from sieradz
• suzanne rappaport-ripton (1936), from paris
“Elderly survivors recount their childhood experiences of Nazi atrocities; their escape from occupied mainland Europe to Britain; adapting to life in the UK; and the impact on their lives subsequently.
Heinz, a 13-year-old boy who witnesses the effects of anti-Jewish laws, Nazi demonstrations and pogroms, escapes persecution in Germany only to be arrested as an ‘enemy alien’ in Britain.
Trude, a frightened nine-year-old brought to England without her family on the Kindertransport, struggles to adapt to life in Britain away from her parents.
Resourceful 14-year-old Arek survives against all odds in appalling conditions in the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Suzanne, age six, is violently separated from her parents in Nazi-occupied Paris. Deprived of her family, freedom and education, she is hidden in the countryside and forced to work on a farm.
We also get a chance to meet the real-life survivors today in short, on-camera interviews, which reflect on the effect these experiences have had on their adult lives. They discuss why it is important to keep alive the memory of those who were murdered by the Nazis and the need for Holocaust education, and they appeal for humanity to stay vigilant so that the world may never see these horrific events repeated.
Arek Hersh was a 14-year-old Jewish boy when he arrived, after two days of travel in a sealed waggon, at the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Born in the Polish town of Sieradz he describes the opening of the waggons and being greeted by angry dogs, barb-wire fences and SS Guards. Very quickly the separation of men on one side and women with children on the other, known as ‘Selection’, took place and Arek quickly ran to the line with the men recognising early that he had a better chance of survival.
His selection was being overseen by Mengele, an SS officer and physician in Auschwitz during World War II notorious for the selection of victims to be killed in the gas chambers and for performing unscientific and often deadly human experiments on prisoners.
The line with the women and children was sent straight to the gas chambers and murdered on arrival.
Tattooed with the number B7608, Arek had his only photographs of his family ripped away from him and given an oversized and ill-fitting striped uniform and he relates the constant battle against disease and lice experienced by the prisoners. Arek discusses the cramped and squalid sleeping barracks where upwards of 1000 men were kept together in virtual starvation and how the constant hunger kept him thinking about food.
The war and the Holocaust destroyed 81 members of his immediate family and only his sister survived.”
(if you missed it, available at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05173wp/the-children-of-the-holocaust)
(trailer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p021qj4x)