In the six-part series, twelve Jewish witnesses bear testimony. They vary in age, are from different walks of life and have each followed their designated path. However, what they have in common is the burden of war history resting on their shoulders. All of them have somehow had to process the Holocaust in their lifetime. The oldest witness was already sixteen when Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany. She saw anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany spread to the rest of Europe and how the Jewish population was gradually excluded from public life.
When war broke out in Belgium, she was already 23. Like her, the other witnesses also describe how the Jewish population was systematically lured into a trap, until there was no way for them to escape the German persecution machine. Those who saw the approaching danger in time and had the financial means to escape did so, but for most people that was not possible. The witnesses talk about the issues discussed at table: should we flee or not? Go into hiding or not? Place our child with total strangers without knowing how it will be treated, or not? These heart-breaking dilemmas force the viewer to reflect.
Some witnesses and several of their relatives witnessed the razzias in 1942. They describe soldiers knocking on the door at night, Germans and Belgians bursting in, how they or their family members just missed being arrested or were arrested and taken to the Mechelen Dossin barracks. There, in the waiting room of death, preparations were made for their deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The lucky ones were selected to work as slaves for large German enterprises. Anyone who was sick or too old was immediately sent to the gas chamber. These stories still haunt us 75 years later and should never be forgotten.
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