Jacques Samuel, a French Alsatian Jew, spent the war in a family that was part of the Jewish Resistance. The pious, music-loving young man recorded what they all went through in a journal: the exodus, the refuge, the collective life on a farm school run by the Éclaireurs israélites de France (EIF), and the trek over the Pyrenees towards Spain in a desperate bid to reach Palestine, which ended in tragedy.
Marie Rafalovitch was 14 years old gwhen her world came crashing down on July 24, 1944, in Toulouse. Denounced by a neighbor, she was arrested alone and deported to Germany to the women’s camp of Ravensbrück. Too young for forced labor, she suffered from hunger and abuse, and discovered with horror the terrifying fate awaiting the camp prisoners. (Only available in French)
In 1940, like all the Jews in Lodz, lzabela and her family were forced to move to the ghetto set up by the Nazis. Unable to leave, they suffered from hunger and illness; Izabela’s father did not survive. The young girl, just 11 years old, and her mother managed to escape the roundups, until the ghetto was eradicated in August 1944. (Only available in French)
The Fondation for the Memory of the Shoah and the Fondation pour l’innovation politique wished to identify the memories of the major events of the 20th century from which our present century will be formed. Over 31 000 young people from 31 countries were interviewed.
Jacob Alsztejn was arrested in Paris on July 24, 1942 for fighting back during an identity check. Carrying forged ID, he was not identified as a Jew. At his trial, Jacob requested the harshest prison sentence rather than the Gestapo. Yet he was handed over to it once he had served his sentence, and interned in the Jewish camp of Drancy.
Ce film mène une enquête inédite sur les oeuvres réalisées clandestinement dans les camps nazis. Il dialogue avec les rares artistes déportés encore vivants et avec les conservateurs de leurs oeuvres : des émotions qu’elles suscitent, de leur marginalisation, leur signature ou leur anonymat, de leur style, ainsi que de la représentation de l’horreur et de l’extermination.
April 1942, Hélène Berr, a 21-year-old student and a brilliant violonist, begins keeping a journal. She tells with great accuracy about the noose tightening: having to wear the yellow star, the Vel d’Hiv roundup, the daily consequences of the anti-Jewish law passed by the Vichy Government.
One of the few survivors of Ozarow, Hillel Adler, born in 1920, sketches a loving, emotional portrait of life in his native village. He realistically but humorously depicts Jewish life in a Polish shtetl wiped out by the Nazis, breathing life into its people, their customs, their celebrations and the events that marked the passage of time.
Claude Lanzmann filmed Benjamin Murmelstein, the last President of the Jewish Council in the Theresienstadt ghetto, the only “Elder of the Jews” not to have been killed during the war. A rabbi in Vienna in 1938, he fought bitterly with Adolf Eichmann, managing to help around 121,000 Jews leave the country, and preventing the liquidation of the ghetto.
Isidore Rosenbaum was born in Paris into a family of very modest Polish immigrants. He was denied the love of his mother, who beat him, and ran away from home very young and repeatedly. As a delinquent, he was imprisoned before being subjected to the discipline and violence of a penal colony for minors.