One Survivor Remembers (1995)





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In this Academy Award-winning documentary, Gerda Weissmann Klein takes us on a journey of survival. At age 16, Klein's comfortable life was shattered by the Nazi invasion of Poland. She and her family were sent to a series of concentration camps, but she was the only one to survive. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, HBO and The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum produced this moving and eloquent film. Footage shot on location in contemporary Europe is presented along with a series of interviews and personal photographs. Klein's story is gracefully told as an example of the strength of the human spirit in the face of one of the most devastating events in human memory.
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Gerda Weissmann Klein shares her memories of the horrific period in her young life where she was in concentration camps during the Holocaust. The short documentary is effective, and uses very few fancy techniques or snappy editing. It is mostly just Weissmann, telling the story in her own words, with a close up of her face, along with stock footage from the time, as well as some newer footage shot specifically for the documentary in the locations mentioned today. The simplicity of the editing and the style probably helped make the story all the more powerful.

Ken Scheck
Ken Scheck

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