#Anne Frank Parallel Stories (2019) Movie Script

[owl hoots]
[loudspeaker announcement
in German]
[sombre music]
[men shouting]
[distant gunfire]
[wind howls]
[church bell]
On Saturday, July the 15th,
1944, Anne writes,
"Dearest Kitty,
it is utterly impossible
for me to build my life
on a foundation of chaos,
suffering and death.
I see the world being slowly
transformed into a wilderness.
I hear the approaching thunder
that one day
will destroy us too.
I feel
the suffering of millions.
And yet,
when I look up at the sky,
I somehow feel that everything
will change for the better,
that this cruelty too will end,
that peace and tranquillity
will return once more.
In the meantime,
I must hold on to my ideals.
Perhaps the day will come
when I'll be able
to realize them.
Yours, Anne Marie Frank."
[sombre music]
When this picture was taken,
Anne, a Jewish girl
of almost 13,
was unaware of what
she was going to be faced with.
[gulls calling]
She did not know
that she would be spending
two years of her life in hiding
in this house in Amsterdam,
hardly able to see
the sky or breath the air,
deprived of her freedom.
She will hide here,
together with her family,
to escape from the Nazis.
[men shouting]
Here, she will be scared,
but she will live, grow,
and write a diary
to an imaginary friend
by the name of Kitty.
[soft piano music]
[church bell]
April the 5th, 1944.
"My dearest Kitty,
[sighs] I need to have something
besides a husband and children
to devote myself to.
I don't want to have lived
in vain like most people.
I want to be useful,
or bring enjoyment
to all people,
even those I've never met.
I want to go on living,
even after my death."
On August the 4th, 1944,
she is arrested and deported.
She disappeared,
along with one million
and a half
other kids and teens like her.
[soft piano music]
[orchestral music]
[Helen] Anne knew this evil.
Nobody can ever forget it,
because it keeps
on digging within the survivors.
Even within those children,
who, unlike Anne,
are still alive,
and are now the last
witnesses of the Shoah.
[in Italian]
[woman] I'm visualizing
the gates being fully opened,
the noise of those iron gates,
and endless queues of people
marching in to take a shower,
and never coming out,
which is what happened to us later.
[in French]
[woman] We heard the noise of batons.
We heard the smashing of batons.
They would hit us
and we were told,
"You enter through the door
and exit from the chimney."
[in Czech]
[woman] Cattle wagons remind me
of when we stood in them.
We travelled in them.
Those memories are always with me.
[woman] [in Italian] The colours
I see if I close my eyes
are the white of the snow,
and the white of the corpses.
Flames from the chimney, snow,
and loneliness.
[suspenseful music]
[Helen] An officer of the SS,
together with some
Dutch policemen,
climbed up the shelter's stairs.
They discovered the secret
behind the thin barrier
that for two years
had protected
Anne's underground life,
shared with father Otto,
mother Edith, sister Margot,
Auguste and Hermann van Pels,
their 16 year old son, Peter,
and Fritz Pfeffer.
It is still unknown
whether they had
all been betrayed.
They just had time to grab
what they could in a hurry
before being taken away.
Anne's diary
was left on the floor.
[music continues]
-[bicycle bell]
-[big band music]
[man singing]
She was still free
when on her 13th birthday
Anne had received a diary
as a birthday present,
a light blue shirt, a puzzle,
a pot of cream, some flowers,
and two peonies.
It was June the 12th, 1942.
Anne started to write her diary
and decided to give it a name.
Saturday, June the 20th, 1942.
"To enhance the image
of this long-awaited friend
in my imagination,
I don't want to jot down
the facts in this diary
the way most people would do,
but I want the diary
to be my friend,
and I'm going
to call this friend Kitty."
Kitty is a mirror,
a double, a cure for the soul.
She is her comfort,
outburst and consolation.
A way of saying
that the price you pay
for the evil you went through
won't be too high.
That everything can be told
to an imaginary friend,
the first reader
of the many that Anne dreams
of having one day,
when everything
is going to be over.
[tense music]
In Bergen-Belsen,
there was no time
to say goodbye.
The mark of the camp was typhus,
and the epidemic
was spread by lice,
and ended up making
people dumb and ghastly,
waiting for their end.
At first, Anne and Margot
with their parents were sent
to the Westerbork transit camp
in Eastern Holland.
When they arrived,
more than 100,000 Jews
had already been deported.
The Franks' final destination
was Auschwitz in Poland.
Later on, the two sisters ended
up in Bergen-Belsen in Germany,
where they died of typhus
in February 1945.
Margot first, followed by Anne.
The SS guards in Bergen-Belsen
were just a little older
than the two Frank sisters.
They were young girls
who became torturers,
and the most ferocious
was Irma Grese.
She would later
be sentenced to death
in a trial against
a group of SS officers,
held by the same British forces
who freed the camp
on April the 15th, 1945.
The Germans
who lived near the camps
were forced by the soldiers
who liberated the camps
to enter and watch
what they had always pretended
not to know.
The SS guards in Bergen-Belsen
were forced
by the British soldiers
to pick up
their victims' corpses
with their bare hands,
and throw them
in the common graves.
Here 23,200 people are buried.
No one knows where
the two sisters are buried.
They ended up,
like other victims,
in common graves.
[mournful piano music]
What remains of them
is their names on a black stone.
[train rumbling]
[man] When you went
on the train to Auschwitz,
for six or seven days,
sat in their own
urine and faeces.
No food to eat, in darkness,
and in stink and in smell,
so by the time
they arrived in Auschwitz,
they look like garbage,
and we have
no problem with garbage
with throwing it out.
If they look like shit,
we have no problem
flushing it down the toilet.
[Helen] If Anne had survived,
she would be 90 now.
Maybe her gaze
and her face would be similar
to those of these women,
who are still proud of having
survived and having made it.
[in French]
[Sarah] I do not feel hatred.
Actually, I learned to love people.
But I hate the Nazis.
I shall never forgive them
for what they have done to the children
who were sent to the gas chambers.
[in French] My children are my revenge
against the Nazis,
and my grandchildren
and great-grandchildren
are my way of taking the mickey
out of them.
For many, these memories
were made of secrets,
long silences, or half words
needed to protect
those who came after
from memories
that were perhaps too savage.
And yet those memories
were passed on
to their children,
as if each generation
needed to find a new voice.
It was very difficult
for me, as a little girl,
to understand something
that happened to so many people,
my grandparents included.
And then we were told
the story of Anne Frank,
and suddenly,
there was this little girl
who I could see
myself through her,
and suddenly the story
became too real, I think,
and I just got too scared.
[Helen] Arianna's tragedy,
who survived
four concentration camps,
has now become a permanent
mark on Lorenzo's forearm.
[man] [in Italian] I decided
to get her tattoo on me
after reading her book.
I felt very, very close
to the story,
and also physically connected
to what happened
to my grandmother.
[lively melody]
[Helen] And the voices
of her family members
who disappeared in the camps
are now to be found
in Francesca's music.
[in Italian] I am Jewish, my mother
is Jewish, my father is Catholic.
More than 40 relatives of mine
never came back from the camps.
I believe that growing up
with this awareness
has always been
at the base of who I am.
I remember having a terrible crisis
in primary school
when I began to study history
at seven years old.
I realized that this matter
concerned me and my family
and the extent
of what human beings could do.
Had I been born 65 years earlier
I probably would have been
one of the victims.
-[sombre music]
[in French]
[Sarah] Everything can help you survive.
Reciting all the poems you know,
exchanging cooking recipes,
singing Edith Piaf's songs.
[sings "Le Disque Us"
by Edith Piaf]
[stirring orchestral music]
[in French]
Italians sang "Mamma" and cried,
cried while singing,
but it was nice.
[man singing "Mamma"]
[in French]
[Sarah] This was resistance.
[Helen] Sarah was arrested
during the largest raid
on French soil on the 16th
and 17th of July, 1942.
Thousands of Jews were locked up
in the Paris Winter Velodrome.
Yet Sarah managed
to escape from there.
She lived in hiding
with her mother
in the capital city
for two years.
Later on,
like it happened to Anne,
she was also arrested.
Anne was 15,
and she was one year older.
[Sarah] [in French] One day a friend
of my mother told me,
"Do you know that in my shack there
is a Dutch girl called Anne?"
The girl was standing at the front door.
She overheard what my friend said
and smiled at me.
She turned her head like this
and smiled briefly and timidly.
She was already very thin,
but she had this truly adorable smile.
[in Italian]
[man] The disaster in Bergen-Belsen
begins with the evacuations
of the camps in the East,
particularly the Auschwitz Birkenau camps.
Beginning in November 1944,
thousands of people arrive
in a situation where typhus,
from a certain point of view,
has the same function of the gas chambers.
Because people die,
and die in a terrible state.
So the only thing that the Nazis
are left to do is dig common graves,
which they have
the prisoners themselves dig.
They throw in the corpses without
even needing to dispose of them.
[church bells]
[Helen] Today,
the rooms of the secret house
on Prinsengracht 263
in Amsterdam are empty,
to honour the six million
victims of the Nazis.
Anne's father,
the only survivor
of the eight people
who were hidden here,
wanted them empty.
Yet we are in Anne's room
as it was in 1942,
with the traces of her life.
Saturday, July the 11th, 1942.
"Dearest Kitty,
the Annex is an ideal
place to hide in.
It may be damp and lopsided,
but there's probably not
a more comfortable hiding place
in all of Amsterdam.
No, in all of Holland."
Her teenager's room
was shared for two years
with one of the guests
in the house, Mr. Pfeffer,
a dentist, well into his 50s,
with whom
she never got along well.
Two beds facing each other,
and a desk.
All you have
are the walls for your dreams.
Deanne Durbin, Ginger Rogers
and Greta Garbo in Ninotchka,
and the German movie star
Heinz Rhmann, Ray Milland,
and then Anne's other passion,
Sonja Henie, an ice-skating
world champion from Norway.
of other people's lives
to give a flair to her own.
Anne looks
at clothes and hairdos.
There is a picture
of the Dutch Royal family,
and the face of young Elizabeth,
the future Queen of England.
A minuscule world,
yet it's been her entire world
since July the 6th, 1942,
the day the Frank family went
into their secret hiding place.
The Franks,
originally from Frankfurt,
left Germany in 1933,
the year Hitler came to power.
However, the atmosphere
for both local and migrant Jews
in Holland had become tough.
[muted male voices]
Later on came the first
and racial laws.
[speaking in German]
[Helen] In 1939, Hitler had
already declared his proposal
of the annihilation
of all the Jews of Europe.
And on January the 20th, 1942,
during the Wannsee Conference
in Berlin,
high-ranking Nazi
and German government officials
initiated what they called
the "final solution
of the Jewish question."
[sombre music]
[Michael] What makes the Shoah
distinct from other genocides
is, number one,
the perpetrator
is the most advanced society
in Western civilization,
who uses all of the tools
of that civilization
in order to destroy.
Secondly, Germany kept records.
So it's the most documented
genocide in history.
Thirdly, only Germany
had the idea
"We're going to eliminate
the Jews everywhere."
It involved 22 countries.
It evolved over 12 years,
in which the killing
took place in four.
Not in anger,
but in a systematic
program of annihilation.
[Helen] It was summertime
when Arianna was arrested.
Just when Anne was rejoicing
for the landing in Normandy,
and the coup of a group
of German soldiers
against Hitler.
Anne was optimistic,
and believed that by October
she would be sitting
at her school desk again.
She felt her freedom
was approaching.
Instead, Arianna,
who had already lost hers,
found herself
face to face with Irma,
that same good-looking woman
who was wearing
a spotless uniform
and was holding
a gun in her hand.
Arianna was only 11 years old.
[in Italian]
I sort of ran for a short distance
and then, almost in front of my block,
I slowed down,
because I saw coming towards me
three or four well-dressed Nazis.
Irma Grese was behind me.
And they were all in love with her.
Like children do, I suddenly turned
around, just because I was curious,
and Irma Grese had a gun pointed at me.
That was the only time
I realized I could die.
[church bells]
If you are not alone,
it's often easier to survive.
If you have a sister close
to you who can help you.
A mother ready to swap her own
life with a ladleful of soup.
A friend who teaches you
how to steal a piece of bread
from the pocket
of somebody who's dying.
In the camp, this was no sin.
In the camp,
one needed to grow up quickly,
to learn discipline, to survive
by being selfish and brutal.
Yet often you would survive
by mere chance.
I remember that this one person came,
he might have been Mengele,
and asked us if we wanted to go see mum.
[Helen] Joseph Mengele,
nicknamed Doctor Death
in Auschwitz,
was in charge of the children,
mostly experimenting on twins.
Andra and Tatiana
were four and six years old,
and one day they were
lined up outside a barrack.
They were sisters,
but they had been mistaken for twins.
That is why
they were still alive.
Their cousin, Sergio, was also
standing in the same queue.
[in Italian]
[Andra] A hack doctor from Neuengamme
who had carried out some experiments
on tuberculosis
and lymph glands on some adults
thought to experiment on children too,
and asked Mengele for these children.
[Helen] One of the guardians
who had become attached to them
had warned them.
"When they tell you
to take a step forward,
if you want to see your mum,
don't do it!"
[Andra] [in Italian] We warned Sergio
not to step forward,
but he did not listen to us.
And 20 children,
ten males and ten females
stepped forward.
[Tatiana] [in Italian] To think
that he left believing that he was going
to meet his mum,
and instead, walked to his death
on his seventh birthday,
still feels like such
a burden on my heart.
It's indescribable.
[Michael] Why the Jews?
Hitler was trying
to create the master race,
and he believed, essentially,
in the world
in which the powerful rule,
and if they do not rule,
they are weakened.
[Helen] For months, Otto Frank
had been preparing
a hiding place
in the back of his pectin
and spices factory.
[man] Otto Frank tried
several times to get a visa
for the family and himself
to leave the Netherlands,
for example, for the U.S.,
but it never worked out.
So on July 5th, 1942,
Margot got a call
to go to the work camp
in Germany.
If you don't go
within two, three days
to the police station
to present yourself,
they would pick you up.
[Helen] Anne and her parents
run without suitcases.
They were wearing
a yellow star on their chests,
their stigma of infamy.
[man] On the one hand,
we have an embarrassing figure
of 75% of the Jewish population
of the Netherlands
that was deported and killed.
By far the highest percentage
of any Western European country.
But we're also
the country and the city
where public transport
and striking in February 1941,
because what was done
to the Jewish population
of Amsterdam.
One single example
you could find
nowhere in Europe,
as a sign of resistance
from incredibly brave,
ordinary people.
[Helen] Once the Nazis decided
to physically eliminate the Jews,
they designed camps
exclusively built
for extermination
for all those living
in Eastern European ghettos.
[Marcello] [in Italian] Jews
in Western Europe were faced
with a different situation.
Here, there are too few Jews
to set up ghettos, like in the East.
Therefore, the Nazis work out
a different strategy.
They organize raids
based on the cooperation of local people.
At this point, they built transit camps.
The final destination is just one camp.
A place created to kill the Jews
and have a small minority of them work,
as if to grant them an extension
to just delay their death.
The only other people
who occasionally are mixed with them
are the Sinti and Roma.
[train horn]
[geese honking]
Outside, Europe is burning.
But news of starvation,
war and raids
reach the people in the house,
who are living
a slow-paced and muffled life.
Anne tells Kitty how she
manages to kill off boredom,
endless hours,
and having to live
together with the others,
as well as her little
jealousies with her sister
and her rows with her mum.
Monday, September 28th, 1942.
"Dearest Kitty,
they criticize everything,
and I mean everything, about me.
My behaviour, my personality,
my manners, every inch of me,
from head to toe and back again,
is the subject
of gossip and debate."
It is said that to grow up,
one must kill
one's father and mother.
Anne does it,
like all her peers do.
She rebels, she refuses
and she criticizes.
She is also sweet, ironic,
and funny.
[woman] [in French] She is
a very smart teenager, a very lively girl,
curious about the world,
full of ambition, feelings, love,
full of imagination.
The situation of confinement,
in which she finds herself,
develops her intelligence
and ability to think.
She glows with happiness
for a pair of red shoes
that she got from Miep,
one of the four employees
who works for her father, Otto,
and helped the people
in the hideout to survive.
It is Miep who will save
and preserve the girl's diary
after her arrest.
Anne studies, reads voraciously,
and her mood often changes.
One moment she is being
ironical about the bruises
on the foreheads of the members
of her family who can't get used
to the size
of their revolving door,
while the next minute,
she gets desperate
for the future of her people.
[Yves] I see her
through the words of her text.
In some parts, she is a young,
funny girl to me,
in some parts of the text,
she is a girl
which I would never
have had as a friend in class.
In some parts, I'm impressed
how she is describing
her environment,
but also the political situation
and she has an understanding
of what's going on in society.
So this view
from the hiding place,
from the Annex, into the world,
I am quite impressed.
Friday, October the 9th, 1942.
"Dearest Kitty,
Our many Jewish friends
and acquaintances
are being taken away in droves.
The Gestapo is treating
them very roughly
and transporting them
in cattle cars to Westerbork.
The people are given
almost nothing to eat,
much less to drink,
as water is available
only one hour a day,
and there's only
one toilet and sink
for several thousand people.
If it's that bad in Holland,
what must it be like in those
faraway and uncivilized places
where the Germans
are sending them?
We must assume that most
of them are being murdered.
The English radio says
they are being gassed.
Perhaps that's
the quickest way to die.
I feel terrible."
[train screeches]
Anne and her family
will leave Westerbork
on the last convoy
going to Auschwitz
on September the 3rd, 1944.
[melancholy music]
[Andra] [in Italian] I remember that
we used to play with snowballs.
But we were always surrounded by death.
Because in the camp,
among the barracks
there were heaps of corpses.
To see these corpses
that they tried to push inside
this barrack
had become normal to us.
[Helen] When the police
knocked on Helga's door
it was December the 4th, 1941.
the Moldova ran silently.
It was already dark.
For the Jews in Prague,
the curfew began
a few hours before.
Yet in her home,
there was great turmoil.
People were getting
ready to leave.
Transport orders
always came at night.
Helga was 12, like Anne.
Both were victims
of the racial laws.
They had already been expelled
from school,
and Anne had to leave
her Montessori institute.
[Helga] [in Czech] I did my first
drawing in Terezn
of children making a snowman.
Of course, it was very far
from being the real thing,
because in Terezn we couldn't do this.
It was, rather, a memory of my childhood.
In one way or another,
I was able to give it secretly
to my dad, and he said to me,
"Draw what you see."
So I started to draw
my daily life in Terezn.
And so this snowman
was my first drawing in Terezn,
but also the last drawing of mine
as a little girl.
[Arianna] [in Italian] They had us play
round and round.
We had to sing this song,
in German...
[speaking in German]
"Show your feet,
show your shoes."
My feet were already aching,
and I didn't have shoes.
I had only one with no sole.
And it bothered me to sing in German
and do a merry-go-round.
Also because my mother
was standing outside,
maybe waiting for her meal.
The kapo whipped me so much,
because she kept yelling at me,
"Sing, sing and turn around."
I had bruises all over my legs,
because those witches
had rubber lashes
with an iron wire inside.
I would have loved to play,
but not in that camp.
[in French]
[Sarah] We used to play with lice.
I feel like scratching my head
when I think about it.
There were maybe five or six of us.
Each of us took her lice,
we put them five centimetres
from the hem of a dress.
The one which reached the hem
was the winner.
There was nothing to win,
but it was a game.
November the 19th, 1942.
"Dearest Kitty,
It's like the slave hunts
of the olden days.
I don't mean
to make light of this,
it's much too tragic for that.
In the evenings when it's dark,
I often see long lines
of good, innocent people,
accompanied by crying children,
walking on and on,
ordered about by a handful
of men who bully and beat them
until they nearly drop.
No one is spared."
I think the moral perspective,
and the moral lesson
from this history
is very much about those moments
when you see
people making choices,
making the choice to help,
making the choice
to collaborate, to perpetrate,
but most people
didn't make any choice at all.
[stirring orchestral music]
[radio announcement in Dutch]
At night, the house guests
used to listen to Radio Orange,
the BBC's radio broadcast
from the exiled
Dutch Government.
Holding their breath,
they followed the progress
after the landing in Normandy.
And Otto hung a map on the wall
where every victory
is marked with a pin.
Next to it,
there are the signs of life.
The marks his daughters' height.
Thirteen centimetres
in two years for Anne,
one centimetre for Margot.
[in Italian] I began to find ways
of building barriers
to shield me through art.
Adorno said that after Auschwitz
poetry can no longer exist.
Actually, I believe that
it is perhaps the opposite.
What that creation
of beauty, art, music,
gives to human beings
is the only answer to the horror
that is human history.
[lively melody]
[in French]
[Nathalie] We, who have been in charge
of survivors and their families
for the last 30 years,
have seen an element
which can also be seen
in the fourth generation.
What is it?
It's the dead from the Shoah.
The dead of Shoah ask for revenge.
It is a burden for their descendants.
It is a mission.
The dead of the Shoah say,
"Avenge us even though
we are dead.
Say I am the son or daughter
of such and such, Jewish,
destroy what the Nazis did to us,
say Kaddish for us."
[man sings the Kaddish]
[Helen] The Mourner's Kaddish
is one of the oldest
Jewish prayers.
These are the words that
accompany every Jew who dies.
Yet in the concentration camp,
the words of mourning,
also for those
who no longer believed in God,
became meaningless.
[singing ends]
[Helen] Now their graves
are these walls
with their names on,
repainted with a care
not to let them fade away.
In all Shoah memorials,
people come to fill in a gap,
and to find their legacy.
[man singing in Hebrew]
[in French]
[man] My grandfather died in the camp.
My father was deported.
I believe that this trauma
can be passed on, definitely.
I passed it on to my daughters.
Although I believe that probably
more than a trauma,
I have passed on a story,
a legacy and a responsibility,
I created a magazine online.
It's called Jewpop,
and to my surprise,
the most read stories
are about Shoah.
[soft violin and piano music]
Fanny is four years old in 1942,
when her mother found
a nanny for her in Sucy-en-Brie,
close to Grenoble.
She was there, hidden
to escape the persecution.
Now she lives in Israel,
and she came to Paris
to the Memorial of the Shoah
accompanied by three
of her ten grandchildren.
[in French]
[Fanny] I am a hidden girl,
a bearer of remembrance
of my grandfather who died from starvation
in the d Ghetto,
of my father deported on board
of Convoy number four and who returned,
of my husband's father
who was savagely murdered
and drowned
by the kapos in Auschwitz.
When I speak about the Shoah,
I may even make children laugh.
"Madame," they tell me,
"you are telling us about the Shoah,
and yet we are not frightened."
I am not doing
it to frighten you.
I am telling you all this,
because you too can tell others
that this is no fiction,
there is no legend here,
it is the truth.
We saw the
pictures on the walls,
and saw all
of these people died,
and they were in your family,
but we did not know
how this is part of us.
And I think it was only
when I moved away from it,
to a different country,
and I grow up
and I had a family on my own
that we started
to find language,
and we started to actually
just talk to each other.
And then these stories
felt real for the first time,
and they weren't
so overwhelming,
because it wasn't
this six million,
it was my grandmother,
and her father and his sister.
They were real people.
It was a lot to take in,
as a young child.
And now that I am 30,
I'm able to decide for myself
how I would like
to actively take part
in the remembrance of this.
And this seemed like
a great step to come with her
and to see and to be with her.
She doesn't
take things for granted,
and that's what we
have learned from her.
[in French]
With Omer, who was a soldier,
we entered in Auschwitz
carrying the Israeli flag
and we left Auschwitz
carrying the Israeli flag.
[Helen] For many years,
the survivors have been silent.
Trauma, shame, the fear
have not to being believed.
[Alain] [in French] I believe that
there is nothing more terrible
than wanting to tell something
like the survivors went through
and have someone
who says to you,
"Okay, but you are not
the only one who suffered."
[Nathalie] [in French] There are people
who are 70 years old
who have decided to participate
in our meetings only today.
They say, "At last,
I emerge from anonymity
and I become Jewish once again."
My children were raised Catholic,
my husband is Catholic,
but now we don't need
to hide anymore.
I need to meet other Jews
and to say I'm Jewish.
[Helen] Monday evening,
November the 8th, 1943.
"Dearest Kitty,
I see the eight
of us in the Annex
as if we were
a patch of blue sky
by menacing black clouds.
The perfectly round spot
which we're standing on
is still safe,
but the clouds
are moving in on us,
and the ring between us
and the approaching danger
is being pulled
tighter and tighter.
We're surrounded
by darkness and danger,
and in our desperate
search for a way out,
we keep bumping into each other.
We look
at the fighting down below
and the peace
and beauty up above.
In the meantime,
we've been cut off
by the dark mass of clouds,
that we can go
neither up nor down.
It looms before us
like an impenetrable wall,
trying to crush us,
but not yet able to.
I can only cry out and implore,
'Oh, ring, ring, open wide
and let us out!'"
[gulls calling]
[Helen] After the war,
the Holocaust
remained in the background,
as if it were one
of the many crimes by the Nazis.
It was only during
Adolf Eichmann's trial
that began on April the 11th, 1961,
in Jerusalem,
that silence was broken.
Not only standing
before the jury
was one of the leading
people who was responsible
for what had happened
during the deportations
and extermination of the Jews,
but this was also the first time
that the story
of a genocide was being told.
It's during the trial that
the victims came to the fore.
[speaking in German]
The voices of the 111 witnesses,
after 15 years of silence,
day in and day out,
turn into memories
and accusations.
[in Italian]
[Laura] I was born in 1961,
during the Eichmann's trial.
I was born 20 days late.
And many years afterwards,
I came to know that this delay
was due to the fear that my mother
had of bearing children.
Therefore, I sense
that I had always known it.
I remember the stories she told me
when I was just a very, very little girl
I remember weird
answers from Mum,
like when I needed something,
she would typically answer:
"Do as if you were
all alone in the world."
She raised us
with great autonomy.
[Helen] In order
to retrieve her mother's past,
Laura had to take
a distance from it.
She then went to live in Paris,
and took on a psychological
exercise on herself.
She never talked
about it to her kids
and let Arianna do it
when they became teenagers.
[Lorenzo] [in Italian] The tattoo
has to do with identity.
I could not tell whether
this identity may mean
that I missed having
some of my family members
whom I never met.
First I talked about it with grandma,
since she really
was the only one
whose opinion counted for me.
At the beginning
she said "no" right away.
A protective "no."
I think she was afraid
that something
similar could happen,
but now I think
she is rather proud about it.
[in Italian] What hurt me the most
is knowing she was alone on the way back.
The terrible pain
of returning without her family.
Because this is a loneliness
that can't be filled.
It is a loneliness...
and maybe we, her children,
also feel
a little responsible for it.
That's it.
[choked laugh]
I'm getting emotional.
A son or a daughter
is there on the front row.
A baby born from a survivor,
and without a specific job
aimed at clearing up history,
his or her mission is to fill up
what can never be filled.
What can you fill up
after the camps?
I do not believe that she's
ever come out of the camps.
There is a part of her
that remained in the camps.
[Helen] The little blond girl
in the picture is Arianna.
Here she
is photographed during the day
she and her
seven brothers were christened
on May the 5th, 1935.
Her father is Jewish,
while her mother
is Christian Catholic.
For the Nazis, the Szrnyis
were a so-called mix.
Yet nine of them
ended up in the camps.
and her brother, Alessandro,
survived the extermination.
[in Italian] We were forced
to load the corpses.
Two girls had to hold the arms,
and two girls had to hold the legs
Yet four of us
were not strong enough.
So we had to drag those corpses along.
Until one day,
one of the Nazis realised
that we could not do it and beat us.
He punished us, made us stand for hours
holding a stone in our hand,
just to show that they were stronger,
and we absolutely had
to do what they wanted.
Outside, it is a tragedy for all.
Friday, January the 13th, 1943.
"I could spend hours telling
you about the suffering
war has brought,
but I'd only make
myself more miserable.
All we can do is wait,
as calmly as possible,
for it to end.
Jews and Christians
alike are waiting.
The whole world is waiting,
and many are waiting for death."
When you arrived at Auschwitz,
it was virtually impossible
to make sense of it.
In the words of Primo Levi,
"Here is no why,
and if there is no why,
then you cannot make sense
of what you're seeing."
[in French]
My number is 7142.
[she repeats the number in German]
Once in my grave,
the worms will eat it off me,
but for the time being,
this is my mark,
a mark of life,
and I'll keep it.
[Tatiana] [in Italian] My mother
had a very bright intuition,
which later turned out to be useful
to reunite our family.
She always reminded
us of our name, surname
and that we were from Italy.
Andra and Tatiana
are left alone
immediately after the tattoo.
But sometimes their mother
manages to visit them in secret.
Imprisonment, fatigue,
and daily deprivations
have already transformed her.
[Tatiana] [in Italian] We didn't dare
step closer to her,
because we were
probably frightened.
She wasn't any longer
our beautiful mum.
She was incredibly thin.
The fact that we
didn't want to hug her
came back to my mind
when I found myself
holding my eldest son, Stefano,
and my thought went
to my mum, in those days,
and to how much we must
have made her suffer.
And it's precisely
the thought of her mother
that kept Arianna alive,
who, in Auschwitz,
was separated from her mother
and five sisters.
[Arianna] [in Italian] Sometimes mum
was able to come to visit me
and when one afternoon
I saw her I said to her,
"I want to give you something nice."
And I gave her
a square of butter
and two boiled potatoes.
And then I ran away to cry.
My sister said to me,
"If we see you cry again
through the barbed wire,
I will never take mum
to see you again."
From that moment on I tried
to become stronger and smarter.
I mean, I pretended
not to cry.
But I always kept something
aside for my mum.
[Helen] Two hundred and thirty thousand
children and teenagers
were deported to Auschwitz.
Only 700 were found alive
when the Soviets arrived
on January the 27th, 1945.
Anne's generation
was devastated.
"Dear Kitty,
believe me, if you've been
shut up for a year and a half,
it can get to be
too much for you sometimes.
But feelings can't be ignored,
no matter how unjust
or ungrateful they seem.
Oh, I long to ride a bike,
dance, whistle,
look at the world, feel young,
and know that I'm free."
Anne's optimism and that
of thousands of other teenagers
had continued to fuel
the illusion
of possible freedom.
Girls like her, like Sarah,
in the Drancy camp in France,
wanted to believe
in the future at all costs.
[sombre music]
"Tell Jean that we are
leaving but we shall return,
tell Louis that we do not
know where they are taking us,
but we should see
each other again."
The words of hope flew
from the huge Drancy tenements,
the transit camp,
from which at least 700,000
French Jews went through.
A ticket, a cry for help
that those who were inside
were trying to get
to France and their relatives.
A letter, like the one
still in Sarah's hands,
written by her mother, Marie,
one day before their departure
on the sealed convoy that
will take them to Auschwitz.
[soft piano music]
[man] [in French] All the people
who were confined in Drancy
knew that they were going to be taken
eastward on a convoy,
they didn't know where,
and they started to say,
"We are going to Pitchipoi."
Pitchipoi is a mythical
place, undefinable.
There were 2,000 kilometres
between Drancy and Auschwitz.
This was the death corridor
for the French Jews.
[Simon] [in French] Together with my
friend, photographer Jean Francois Lami,
we wanted to make
the same death journey.
When you approach
Eastern Germany, or Poland,
it seems you
are going back in history.
If we talk about traces
or marks left behind until now,
there are places with graffiti,
with Nazi symbols.
It's really upsetting to still
see the marks of hatred.
We said to ourselves
it wasn't possible
for this form of hatred
to still be there now.
It's not possible for this barbarism
to still exist today.
[emotive music]
[in Czech]
[Helga] We see the Neo-Nazis,
we see attacks,
anti-Semitism, racism,
and all this actually tells me
that nothing was learnt
from what happened.
[man] [in French] With the actual
situation in France I'm afraid.
With certain movements
and rallies,
we are seeing
a very fast rise in racism.
[in French] I say to young people,
"We are the last witnesses
and you are my witnesses,
you must close the door
to deniers and Neo-Nazis,
because there are many
of them everywhere."
[Michael] We have a rise
of anti-Semitism in a climate
that allows
for the expression of hatred.
And now you have
a combination of that,
the internet offers
you a megaphone,
and social media offers you
a community of fellow haters,
and that's a dangerous part
of our phenomenon today.
[Helen] What images remain
of Anne are many photographs
and just one video.
Anne is leaning over the window
of her home in Amsterdam
where the Franks
used to live before hiding.
Beneath her are two newlyweds.
Her neighbour
is getting married.
Someone indoors calls her,
and she turns and smiles.
And then she goes back to watch
what's happening outdoors.
[in French]
Anne Frank, in spite of herself,
has become the icon of the Shoah.
It is true that Anne Frank
is being used by people
who are clearly
anti-Semitic or racist.
We saw that
in some Italian stadiums.
I believe that her
iconic status is behind it.
If you have to hurt
someone, be evil,
you have to find very strong
words, and strong pictures.
And what's more powerful
than Anne Frank's face to say
it's nothing, what happened
never really existed
and this is just a face.
[Helen] A face photographed
dozens of times.
Shots of cosy family moments,
of her father's sweetness.
They stop abruptly
when Anne is almost 13,
when the Franks go underground.
From that moment,
Anne's face disappears.
The words of her diary
remain a powerful legacy.
February the 23rd, 1944.
"My dearest Kitty,
but I also looked
out of the open window,
letting my eyes roam over
a large part of Amsterdam,
over the rooftops
and onto the horizon,
a strip of blue so pale,
it was almost invisible.
As long as this exists,
I thought,
this sunshine
and this cloudless sky,
and as long as I can enjoy it,
how can I be sad?"
Peter van Pels was 16 years old
when he arrived in the hideout
with his mother and father.
At the beginning, for Anne,
Peter was only a "rather shy
and boring beanpole."
Now, almost two years
have gone by.
She had her first period
and was discovering
her sexuality.
In her diary, now,
"Peter is a nice
and darling boy."
He is someone she can hug
and talk to for hours
secretly in the attic,
under a piece of sky.
Sunday, April the 16th, 1944.
"My dearest Kitty,
remember yesterday's date,
since, ah, it was
a red letter day for me.
Isn't it an important
day for every girl
when she gets her first kiss?
Well then,
it's no less important to me."
It's Peter
who takes the initiative,
even though he has
a clumsy approach,
which end up in a kiss
which lands half on her cheek
and half on her ear.
And then Anne writes,
"Oh, it was so wonderful.
[stutters] I could hardly talk,
my pleasure was too intense.
He caressed my cheek
and arm, a bit clumsily,
and he played with my hair.
Most of the time
our heads were touching.
I can't tell you, Kitty,
the feeling that ran through me.
I was...
...too happy for words,
and I think he was, too."
Twelve days later,
there's a real kiss,
and Anne takes the lead.
Friday, April the 28th, 1944.
"Dearest Kitty,
he came over to me,
and I threw
my arms around his neck,
and I kissed him
on his left cheek.
I was about to kiss him
on the other cheek
when my mouth met his,
and we pressed
our lips together.
In a daze, we embraced,
over and over again,
never to stop."
[sighs deeply]
[in Czech] Anne and I were born
on the same year, 1929.
We were 14,
and we experienced
our first love.
Anne Frank talks
about it in her diary.
And I mention it in my diary.
I had my first love there,
in Terezn.
I had hidden
two of Otto's shirts.
I do not know
why I had them for years.
I kept them as a memory.
I know he was in Dachau,
and he died
a few days after the liberation.
[soft guitar music]
[Helen] Helga has
a house full of butterflies
in memory of a poem
she heard in the camp,
recited by her friend, Hanush.
The poem said,
"There are no butterflies,
no more butterflies in Terezn."
Helga's drawings
made her endure all this,
as much as writing helped Anne.
[Francesca] [in Italian] I remember
I once read the story
of a cellist.
She says she survived,
she remained sane,
because she kept
on thinking about music.
She played
over and over in her mind.
Thinking about a musician
who held onto
her whole repertoire,
to all the music she knew,
really touched me.
Terezn was the largest ghetto
when Czechoslovakia
was occupied,
but it was also the anteroom
to the extermination camps.
From all the occupied countries,
the Nazis sent there
the war heroes,
the leading intellectuals,
the scholars, the musicians,
the actors...
whoever was famous,
Jews and mixed Jews.
[in Italian] The Nazis wanted
to show to the world
that while the Germans
are at war or under bombardment,
the Jews live
with no fears in a fortress city
where they can go as far
as organizing cultural events
and they show these Jews
who seem to be living in heaven.
[singing a lively tune]
[drum roll]
[Marcello] [in Italian]
And they even arrange to shoot a movie.
The Fhrer
gifts a city to the Jews.
They also organize
a visit by the Red Cross,
which sadly
will endorse this big hoax,
this gigantic camouflage.
[Helen] When Helga
was moved to Auschwitz,
her uncle took her drawings
and put them behind a wall.
They were spared.
No filming or pictures
were allowed in the camps.
Yet some small
traces of daily life there
cropped up now and then,
like these pictures,
taken in Terezn by a worker
who was called from outside
the camp to dig a ditch.
[soft orchestral music]
These pictures feature a girl
who's taking
her sheep to pasture.
The girl is Doris Grozdanoviov.
This was her duty in the camp.
She is now 93
and lives in Prague.
In her home, she keeps
more than 1,000 plush sheep.
They are all gifts
from all over the world.
[in Czech]
My mother died there at 50
and she was ill.
My grandma died
two weeks after arriving.
As for my father,
I knew that he was deported,
but I always hoped
that he would come back.
I never saw him again.
Come hell or high water,
Doris keeps making
her pilgrimage every week
to Terezn and tells her story.
A story of rebellion
and courage.
[in Czech]
[Doris] I can only visualize Terezn
with my eyes as a young girl.
I was there for almost
three and a half years
and I celebrated
four birthdays there.
I was 16, 17, 18, and 19,
and I was unable to experience
what living free meant.
[children singing]
[in Czech]
[Doris] There is an anthem of Terezn
written by Karel venk.
I'll quote it for you.
"Everything goes if one wants
United we'll hold our hands
And on the ruins of the ghetto
We shall laugh"
Poor Karel venk
didn't laugh at all,
since he died
during the death march.
[bright music]
[Helen] In the spring of 1944,
while Doris was left
alone in Terezn,
Anne is editing her diary.
She is making corrections,
and she rewrites it.
She heard on the radio
that the Minister of Education
of the Netherlands,
who was exiled in London,
promised that all testimonies
of the sufferings
of the Dutch people
would be published,
once the war
would come to an end.
Anne believes that
she can turn her work,
which was made
of several notebooks,
into an actual novel,
and she already
has a title in mind.
Het Achterhuis,
the Dutch for "Back House."
[soft orchestral music]
This is the title
that Otto Frank kept in 1947,
when, after much inner turmoil,
he decided to publish the diary.
Anne, she wrote,
"If God let live me
I want to work for mankind.
So you see,
I have a certain task."
[Yves] Otto Frank,
when he learnt that the diary
is becoming a success,
he immediately said
this is not my success,
this is the success
of my daughter,
and he wanted to fight
against discrimination,
against anti-Semitism,
in the meaning of the diary,
but also in his own
experience as a survivor.
[in German]
As a German,
I have thought a lot
about whether I should
have felt guilty or not.
I think I have the responsibility
to give back to the men who lost
their humanity here,
and to fight so that
their faces are not forgotten.
[in German] These destinies
remind me that today
there is a lot
of suffering in the world,
that so many children and adults
still suffer in war zones,
and I find this inconceivable.
[woman] It is so easy
to become a target of hate
when you're different.
How can we make sure
that we defend human rights,
that we make sure
that things that happened
here in Bergen-Belsen
don't happen again.
[in German]
[man] There are still people today
who are considered worthless,
expelled, killed and exiled,
simply because they are not understood.
[Yves] I wouldn't compare
a historical situation
between today and the past,
but what I would compare
is the situation of refugees.
People who are running away
from war,
from death, from threat.
It is not depending if they
are running away from the Nazis
or from anybody else.
It's still children are in need,
it's still children
are refugees,
the same way Margot and Anne
and all of their friends
were threatened at that time.
[Tatiana] [in Italian]
We tell our story to young people,
and we have always done it,
so that the memory
of the Holocaust is not lost.
But today,
this is beginning to feel like a duty,
because there are too many people
who do not accept
those who are different
and are looking for a better life here,
and end up drowning in our seas.
Tuesday, June the 6th, 1944.
"Oh, Kitty, the best part
about the invasion
is that I have the feeling
that friends are on the way."
That day, June the 6th, 1944,
Anne was excited,
and like an actual reporter,
she follows the war bulletins.
Yet the closer
the end of the conflict,
the faster
the extermination machine runs.
Sarah, the sisters
Andra and Tatiana,
and also Arianna,
had already been deported
to Auschwitz,
while Helga was
in the concentration camp
in Freiberg.
[soft piano music]
[soft orchestral music]
[Ronald] If you visit
the Anne Frank House,
you will visit an empty house.
And it's an emptiness
that in a way
serves as a mirror to us.
We look into the mirror
and we say, "This was us.
This was us,
this was done by human beings.
Maybe not even very
specific human beings,
maybe very much
human beings like...
like us."
[music continues]
[Michael] Anne Frank,
what would she have been?
What would she have
written about the world
in which she witnessed,
what she witnessed?
And you say to yourself,
imagine the talent
that Germany destroyed
by destroying all
of these Jewish children.
When you destroy children,
you destroy infinite possibility.
Saturday, July the 15th, 1944.
"Dearest Kitty,
it's difficult
in times like these.
Ideals, dreams
and cherished hopes
rise within us,
only to be crushed
by grim reality.
It's a wonder I haven't
abandoned all my ideals.
They seem
so absurd and impractical.
Yet I cling to them,
because I still believe,
in spite of everything,
that people are
truly good at heart."
Anne does not know it,
but the summer of 1944
will be her last.
On June the 12th,
she celebrates
her 15th birthday.
Tuesday, August the 1st, 1944.
"Dearest Kitty,
as I've told you many times,
I'm split in two.
One side contains
my exuberant cheerfulness,
my flippancy, my joy
in life and, above all,
my ability to appreciate
the lighter side of things.
By that, I mean not finding
anything wrong with flirtations,
a kiss, an embrace,
a saucy joke.
This side of me is usually lying
in wait to ambush the other one,
which is much purer,
deeper and finer."
And again on Tuesday,
August the 1st, 1944,
she writes,
"When everybody starts
hovering over me, I get cross,
and then sad,
and finally end up
turning my heart inside out,
the bad part on the outside
and the good part on the inside,
and keep trying to find a way
to become what I'd like to be,
and what I could be if...
if only there were
no other people in the world.
Yours, Anne Marie Frank."
These are Anne's last words
written in her diary.
Three days later,
the Nazis came
and took her away,
and her room
remained empty and silent.
For more than 70 years,
Anne's words have made
millions of young people
suddenly grow up.
They learnt not to give up.
Anne, such a lively girl,
became the symbol of the horror
of the 20th century.
What happened later
is told by Helga, Andra,
Tatiana, Sarah and Arianna.
Parallel lives that never cross,
and yet are so close
to almost touch each other.
They pass the baton
to new generations,
dreaming of the future.
Anne refused to stop
remembering and hoping.
Inside the cover of the diary,
Anne wrote,
[in French]
"Sois gentil et tiens courage"
"Be kind and have courage."
[soft piano music]
[music continues]