unknown children

​(onbekende kinderen)
documentary, 70′, video, colour

on 13 september 1944, 52 toddlers of the westerbork orphanage were transported to bergen-belsen. because their identity was not known, they were registered in the camp records as ‘gruppe unbekannte kinder’ (group unknown children). except one, all children survived bergen-belsen and theresiënstadt. as adults, 8 of them tell how they experience their childhood years as a gap in their history and explain how they are trying to recover the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of their lives.

with: benjamin aandagt, hans van den broeke, sarina van dam-hekster, rudi ehrlich, elly montezinos, hans reens, chaja verveer, carla van west
script: daphne meijer, annette apon
photography: herman boogaerdt
sound: hens van rooij
interviews: daphne meijer
editing: dorith vinken
music: harry de wit
producer: flip nagler for ngn produkties www.ngnprodukties.nl

premiere international documentary filmfestival amsterdam 2000
worldmediaFestival hamburg 2004, intermedia-globe finalist diploma
included in yad vashem, jerusalem

Nothing seems to indicate that the Germans intended to spare the group, quite the contrary. For undernourished infants and toddlers, the eastbound journey in November 1944, with the winter in sight, almost definitely would become a journey to the domain of the dead. The children escaped by the skin of their teeth. Their rescue defies all logic. Over half a century later, they are still baffled about it. Director Annette Apon deserves the high praise that she allows the spectators of her thoughtful, restrained film to share in this bafflement. (Trouw)

more: ww II
category: docs