Four Stories from Birkenau

Author & Director:
Rolf Bergmann | Juergen Ast

Commissioning Editor:
Jens Stubenrauch

45' | 60'


Auschwitz has become a symbol for the murder of millions. Killing people not only with industrialist means, but on a industrialist scale - in the death factories of the Nazis. Auschwitz was such a death factory, an extermination camp. What happened here is intangible and not to realize. Eli Wiesel, the later Nobel Peace Prize winner, survived the Death-Camp in Auschwitz and said relating to this problem: "How can you tell a story, that can't be told, but must be told?" Even decades later approximating the story it is very difficult to find the proper words to answer this question, the helplessness remains.

The documentary-film is based on the stories of four survivors: A Hungarian Jewish woman from Budapest. A man from Warsaw, who took part in the Warsaw riot and then was transported to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. A Jewish man from Prague and one from the so called "Sudetenland", both live today in Israel. They all remember the life and death in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the conditions, the cruelty of the guards, the inhumane life they were forced to live, the will to survive and the fear of death, the cold, the hunger and the own brutalization - the "everyday life" in Auschwitz. The stories are added with reflections about the life in this concentration and extermination camp; reflections of people, that tried to "handle" their face to face encounter with one of the darkest sides of mankind in modern history by writing skills - from Paul Celan to Tadeusz Borovski.