Upon their arrival in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, all children under the age of 16 were sent with their mothers to the gas chambers. But in September 1943, the Nazis, who were preparing for the visit of the International Red Cross to the Terezin ghetto, which had been transformed into a model ghetto, came up with a Machiavellian plan: the construction of a model camp for Czech Jews in the very heart of the Birkenau extermination camp, 400 meters from the crematoria.
In this Familienlager “family camp”, men and women were not separated, their children were not exterminated, and they were even allowed to gather under the guidance of their educators in a Kinderblock (unit for children).
The “family camp” remains a real enigma for historians. The film tells this untold story, unknown to the general public, through the prism of original drawings that we have animated.
About the Director
Born in Sfax, Tunisia in 1959, speaking Arabic and Hebrew as a child, Chochana Boukhobza immigrated to France in 1964 with her family as most of the Tunisian Jewish community was uprooted. She moved to Israel as a teen to study mathematics and physics in Jerusalem, a period that has greatly influenced her writing. Upon her return to France she worked in radio, television and press as a journalist, and she has written several screenplays and award-winning documentaries about the lives of Jewish children, women and families as experienced during WWII. Her many novels are critically acclaimed, and although none of her books are announced as autobiographic, they include autobiographical elements that engender searching and a coming to terms with loss, exile and survival in narratives that question the effects of memory in relationships and identity.
Festivals, Screenings, & Awards
Memorial de la Shoah
Broadcast on Toute I’Histoire (FR)
Les Films d’Ici