Sarah Timperman, Stéphanie Perrin, Des marches de la mort au retour à la vie. Des rescapés des camps nazis racontent, 2020. (no. 5) [From death marches to the return to life: Survivors of the Nazi camps tell their stories]
On 27 January 1945, Soviet scouts stumbled upon the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps, which seemed almost deserted. There they discovered several thousand starving and sick prisoners left behind by the SS; the others had been evacuated ten days earlier to other camps.
This documentary, based on interviews conducted by the Auschwitz Foundation, traces the journey of five deportees from the evacuation of Auschwitz to their return to Belgium.
Maria Mehler, Itta Wiernik, Henri Kichka, Maurice Pioro et Haïm Vidal Sephiha tell us about the ‘death marches’ in extremely harsh conditions and their arrival in overcrowded camps where chaos, famine and disease reign..
They also tell us about the circumstances of their liberation by the Allies: Maria Mehler andt Itta Wiernik were liberated by the British in Bergen-Belsen; Henri Kichka by the American army in Buchenwald; Maurice Pioro was on the ‘death train’ from Buchenwald to Dachau where he was liberated; while Haïm Vidal Sephiha was released in the vicinity of Bergen-Belsen.
Finally, the documentary deals with the conditions of repatriation to Belgium and the difficulty of testifying in the post-war years.
This film, directed by Sarah Timperman and Stéphanie Perrin of Remembrance of Auschwitz, is on sale at the price of €12.50.
Duration of the documentary: 45 min.
The film is in French, subtitled in Dutch.