Adam & Ida – Almost a Fairytale

Adam & Ida – Almost a Fairytale about Jewish twins separated at the age of three, Adam and Ida Paluch, who survived the Holocaust knowing almost nothing about their family roots. Half a century later, two strangers miraculously find each other. Will this become a fairytale ending? A story about identity and the universal need to belong.


For the first time in their life, Adam and Ida Paluch tell their story to a German film crew. It is an incredible tale about a lifelong quest about identity, loss and the search for belonging – told through interviews and animations illustrating the Jewish twin’s only vague memories. Adam and Ida were three years old when they were separated during the Holocaust. Adam survived a concentration camp and was later adopted. Ida survived the war hidden by a Polish couple. Both children were baptized, issued a fake birth certificate with new names and grew up Catholic. It seemed all but impossible that they would ever reunite. However, the twins always felt “something missing”. Following a 53-year long journey that took them around the globe, one day Ida believes to recognize her brother on a newspaper photo resembling her grandfather. When the two strangers meet, they are convinced to have found each other at last. “We know it is us”, says Ida. Is it a happy end? Can history be overcome?

About the Director

Jan Tenhaven is an award-winning writer and director of documentaries and non-fiction television programs. He has a passion for exploring the stories of the most fascinating people in our society and telling their personal stories in a respectful and unique way. Jan learned his craft through roles at a number of television stations as a writer, reporter, and short documentary filmmaker. With his very first theatrical, feature-length documentary, Autumn Gold, Jan received a number of awards, including the Filmmakers Award at the Hot Docs Film Festival 2010 in Toronto, the IDFA Youth Jury Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam 2010, and the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Guangzhou International Documentary Festival 2010 in China, and numerous Audience Awards around the world. Outside of his job, he is involved as a parent representative at the Jewish high school Moses Mendelssohn in Berlin.

Artist Statement

Six years ago I first heard the story of Adam and Ida Paluch through Tilman Müller, my co-writer who had interviewed them for a magazine, and I was instantly intrigued. However, they never intended to be part of a documentary film, especially a German one. It took me countless emails, phone calls and a long visit to explainmy strong desire to make this film. Asa German who only recently learnt of my own grandfather’sNazi history–and with anti-Semitism on the risein Germany–I see Adam and Ida’s story as a perfect example of why our recent history, the inconceivable crime of the Holocaust, is not over yet.I am eternally thankful and honored to have been trusted to tell the story of the these “last witnesses” as they call themselves. Especially in these times, the call for “Never again!” is more important than ever.

Festivals, Screenings, & Awards

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Denver Jewish Film Festival

Durban International Film Festival

Edmonton International Film Festival

Jewish Film Festival Berlin & Brandenburg

Jewish International Film Festival  

Miami Jewish Film Festival

Poland International Film Festival  


Production Country

Production Company
Hoferichter & Jacobs

Autentic Distribution

Subject Region

60 minutes

Jan Tenhaven

Olaf Jacobs

Tilman Müller and Jan Tenhaven