'The Last Ones': Listening to survivors of the concentration camps

Seventy-five years after the killing stopped at Auschwitz,  survivors still witness the horrors of the concentration camp.
Seventy-five years after the killing stopped at Auschwitz, survivors still witness the horrors of the concentration camp. © Grab picture France 24

FRANCE 24 commemorates the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with "The Last Ones", a series of portraits of the camp's last survivors by documentary film-maker Sophie Nahum. 


This week marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. From the 22th to the 26th of January, FRANCE 24 will be airing survivors' stories in Nahum's series "The Last Ones". Those who returned from the death camps recount their experiences there and their life afterwards - between the pain that is impossible to forget, the guilt of surviving and the need to remember the past.

"The Last Ones" presents five 8-minute portraits that provide a comprehensive picture of the horrors of deportation and its destination of Auschwitz.

• Henri, arrested with 13 family members

Henri was a child of Polish migrants and arrested in western France when he was fifteen years old for being a Jew. He was one of 878 people shipped on convoy "73"  to Kaunas, Lithuania. Only 22 would come back alive. Seventy-five years later, the only remaining survivor of that convoy, he speaks of the guilt he feels of having been one of the few to escape.

• Lucette, sent to Auschwitz on the last train from France

Lucette, 93 years old, had never left her Parisian neighbourhood of Montmartre until she was deported. Seventy-five years on, the pain remains, particularly as she recounts the story of her father being sent away. Now, she fears the rise of anti-Semitism in France, once again.

• Nicolas, deported at 16 years old

Born in Hungary, Nicolas sought refuge in France following the liberation. Alongside his son, he evokes the transgenerational trauma of the Holocaust. Can we recount everything? How much can we relate? Nicolas decided to tell everything, and recounted his experiences in his book, 'Being 16 in Auschwitz'.

• Esther, sent to Auschwitz at 15 years old

Though born in Poland, Esther grew up in Paris and was arrested during the infamous "Vél d'Hiv roundup" before being sent to Auschwitz at 15 years old. Her sole aim there was to survive. She speaks of having to face suspicion upon her return to France, and years of living with severe depression. 

• Armand, from the Polish ghetto to Buchenwald

Armand encountered the Nazis at a very young age. First, at 10, in the Polish ghetto of Piotrkow, the country's first, and later, when deported to the concentration camp of Buchenwald. Haunted by the nightmares, he spends his life collecting memories so that the horror of what happened shall not be forgotten.


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