In 1944, as the Nazis started deporting Jews from Hungary, Rudolf Kastner, a Zionist leader of the Aid and Rescue Committee, negotiated a costly payment to Adolf Eichmann that enabled 1684 Jews to board a train and leave for a neutral country. Hanna Marton was one of the passengers. Her relentlessly painful account explores how one can be part of a convoy that saved so many Hungarian Jews while at the same time some 450,000 of their kin were either dying in the gas chambers of Birkenau or burned alive in the open air to keep up with the pace the Nazis demanded.
Shoah: Four Sisters
“The stories are as harrowing, complicated, and rife with imponderables as any Lanzmann filmed. And together, collected in a form that is much less labyrinthine than Shoah, they represent an ideal introduction (and capstone) to Lanzmann’s project.” (New York Times)
Toward the end of his long life, Claude Lanzmann (who died last year) made several films comprised of interviews conducted in the 1970s that didn’t make it into his monumental Shoah (1985). Shoah: Four Sisters consists of four short features, each showcasing the testimony of a different female Holocaust survivor. “What they have in common,” wrote Lanzmann, “apart from the specific horrors each one of them was subjected to, is their intelligence, an incisive, sharp and carnal intelligence that rejects all pretense and false reasons—in a word—idealism.” We’ll show each of these films separately but recommend you see them all.