Into the Arms of Strangers
Title: Into the Arms of Strangers
Author: Academy Award (2000)
Chronicles the mass exodus of Jewish children from pre-World War II Germany into neutral countries, where they were adopted by new families. Narrated by Dame Judi Dench.
This Academy Award®-winning documentary (produced with the cooperation of the United States Holocaust Museum) chronicles one of the lesser-known stories of the Holocaust: that of the kindertransport, which saved the lives of 10,000 Jewish children. In the late 1930s, England agreed to accept these children seeking refuge from Nazi oppression. They were placed in foster homes and hostels. Narrated by Dame Judi Dench and directed by Mark Jonathan Harris (who received an Oscar® for his 1997 Holocaust documentary The Long Way Home), this devastating and deeply moving film bears witness to the kindness of these “simply wonderful people” and to the resilience of the kinder, now elderly, who recall in haunting stories the unimaginable grief of being suddenly torn from their parents, the trauma of not knowing whether they would ever see them again, and the difficulties some faced in their new homes. Recalls one, “None of the foster parents with whom I stayed could stand me for very long. But all of them had the grace to take in a Jewish child.” But despite having their youth uprooted, many possess an indomitable spirit. One woman speaks of devoting her adult life to human rights and social justice causes. “I can’t pay back or thank some of the people who helped me,” she states, “But I can do something for other people.”—Donald Liebenson