“Paroles d'archives” documentary collection
The documentaries in the “Paroles d'archives” [Words from the Archives] series are an element of the Remembrance of Auschwitz project to recognize the memories of victims of the Shoah and of Nazi terror. We know that memory of the past is reconstructed through the traces left by those who lived it: letters, diaries, photographs, but also – and especially – through the narratives of those who share their memories with us. That is why one of the principal objectives of the Auschwitz Foundation has been to gather together the testimony of survivors of the Nazi concentration and extermination camps, an activity that was launched in 1992 and has allowed for the collection of 228 recordings (1,250 hours).
The archive is a place for preserving the data and the bearings we need to rebuild – though it can only ever be approximate – the life and events of an historical period. Nonetheless, the particularity of a visual archive is to put us in a more intimate relationship with the witnesses: their images on the screen, their gestures, their voices, each with its own cadence and silences, the smiles and, sometimes, the rage and sadness, add a contemporary dimension to the past that is being recounted.
This project was driven by the desire to keep the archive in movement, to revive individual accounts by connecting them to a present that knows little or nothing of their existence.
Sarah Timperman, Stéphanie Perrin, 1942-1944. La caserne Dossin à Malines. Des témoins racontent..., 2013. (no. 2) [1942-1944: The Dossin Barracks in Mechlin. Witnesses Speak..]
The documentary 1942-1944: The Dossin Barracks in Mechlin. Witnesses Speak... is the second volume in the “Words from the Archives” collection produced by Remembrance of Auschwitz from audiovisual accounts collected by the Auschwitz Foundation.
The Dossin barracks in Mechlin, often seen as an antechamber of death, was the point of departure in the process of deporting and exterminating the Jews living in Belgium. Seven witnesses recount their different experiences of the Dossin barracks: Natan Ramet and Félix Gutmacher, deported during the very first weeks the camp existed; Léon Leit and Dounia Sadowski, who stayed there several months as they waited to discover what their fate would be; Régine Krochmal, arrested as a Jewish resistance member; Bénita Hirschfeld and Hélène Rajzner, who were part of the Jewish staff of the barracks. Each of these witnesses tells a unique and subjective story, but, at the same time, together they tell of a shared ordeal.
This film, directed by Sarah Timperman and Stéphanie Perrin of Remembrance of Auschwitz, will go on sale soon (March).
The film is in French, subtitled in English and Dutch.
Marta Marín-Dòmine, 1930-1942. Mémoire juive du quartier Marolles-Midi, Brussels, 2012. (no. 1) [1930-1942: Jewish Memories of the Marolles-Midi District of Brussels]
1930-1942: Jewish Memories of the Marolles-Midi District of Brussels is a French-language documentary based on a selection of interviews that the Auschwitz Foundation recorded during the 1990s with six survivors of the Nazi camps.
These six adopted “Marollians” are Joseph Berman, David Blum, Hélène Gangarska, Baron Maurice Goldstein, Henri Kichka and Maurice Pioro.
We follow them as they settle into the district. They they recount the fateful period from the entry into force of the first anti-Jewish measures in Belgium to the roundups which, beginning in 1942, led to their deportation to Auschwitz, where almost half of Belgium’s Jews were murdered.
Photos of the first showing of the documentary at the Botanique in February 2012
This DVD, directed by Marta Marín-Dòmine and produced under the aegis of Remembrance of Auschwitz, is on sale from June 2012 at the price of €12.50.
It is in French, with Dutch and English subtitles.
pdf of the booklet that comes with the DVD (in French and Dutch)