Steal a Pencil for Me Reviews
I viewed their story with sympathy mainly because Jack's marriage to his wife was already in trouble before he met Ina - his wife was a jealous woman yet treated him almost with indifference, and the contrast between Ina and Jack's first wife was rather startling. The story moves back and forth between the past and the present - the past is often portrayed through the use of old photographs and archival film footage, and in the present we see Jack (at 93, still quite alert with a knowing gleam in his eyes) and Ina still as in love as when they were younger. It was heartening to see Jack still active in Holocaust education, and to know that this couple weathered the most unimaginable horrors and yet were strengthened by their love for each other, makes this a truly moving account.
For someone who doesn't know much at all about the Holocaust, it might be tough to sit through and appreciate.
It was hard hearing Jaap recount saving a portion of bread for an emergency and denying his sister and a close friend's sick son any of it. You could really feel his regret and even tell that he still struggles with the right and wrong of it all.
This documentary was tough to sit through. It took me 6 months and almost 5 attempts to complete. Not everything about the holocaust is emotionally touching.
[font=Century Gothic]The two had met in Amsterdam before the Nazis invaded, coming from different ends of the social spectrum in the Jewish community. Jaap was an accountant, unhappily married and ten years older than Ina who came from a wealthy family. All of which is important to remember when Jaap notes the poor were forcibly relocated to the camps before the rich were. Despite their differences, they both ended up in the same camps, Westerbork(which was originally built for German refugees) and Bergen-Belsen. Jaap makes a distinction between concentration and extermination camps which is the difference between Bergen-Belsen and Auschwitz. Even though being in Bergen-Belsen gave them a chance for survival, it was still no picnic as food was scarce, while typhus was rampant.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]By having two people detailing what they had to endure to survive the Holocaust against huge odds, "Steal a Pencil for Me" excels in its recollection of the genocide(The scenes at Westerbork were shot by the camp commander to show off). And today, Jaap and Ina talk to people from Los Angeles to Holland about the Holocaust, so that it is never forgotten.[/font]