Nicholas Winton, an Englishman (today 102 years old) organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 102 years old, did not speak... See full summary »
The Dalai Lama
Five Jewish Hungarians, now U.S. citizens, tell their stories: before March, 1944, when Nazis began to exterminate Hungarian Jews, months in concentration camps, and visiting childhood ... See full summary »
In 1938 and 1939, about 10,000 children, most of them Jews, were sent by their parents from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia to the safety of England where foster families took most of them in for the duration of the war. Years later, eleven kinder, one child's mother, an English foster mother, a survivor of Auschwitz who didn't go to England, and two of the kindertransport organizers remember: the days before the Nazis, the mid-to-late 1930s as Jews were ostracized, saying farewell to family, traveling to England, meeting their foster families, writing home, fearing the worst, coping, and trying to find families after the war ended. 1,500,000 children dead; 10,000 saved. Written by
The Testament of holocaust survivors is always worth hearing, lest we forget the depths to which humanity proved it was capable of sinking. In fact, the scale of the tragedy is almost incomprehensible to a privileged modern mind, hence the appeal of stories like 'Schindler's List', which focus on a few who were luckier than most: they give us an insight into the horror, without totally disconnecting from our own, more fortunate, experience. 'Into the Arms of Strangers' likewise tells a more human story than the bleakest truths, namely that of Jewish children taken in by Britain before the war. It's not a bad film, and yet to me it was not the most powerful account of the holocaust I've seen in spite of its human scale. Perhaps this is because the worst fate suffered by the rescued - the death of the families they left behind - was a burden gradually assumed, not directly witnessed, and the survivor's stories are thus that little bit more polished and analytical than in the most compelling documentary - whereas perceptions of events are static (and thus retain their quality of immediacy), our interpretations of our feelings are influenced by what happens afterwards, and even our own stories become slightly second-hand over time. Or perhaps this impression is merely created by the film-makers' slightly heavy-handed use of background music and images. In spite of the above, this is still a highly poignant and important film. We who live today should count, and guard, our blessings.
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