Allan Siegel/René Lichtman

Allan Siegel/René Lichtman


Allan Siegel and René Lichtman (USA)
Hidden, 2003, 59:30
Documentary about Jewish children who were in Poland hiding during World War II.

“Hidden: Poland” is a film/document about Jewish child survival in Poland. It is about those individuals – children – who seemed to allude fate. Through interviews and recollections, it weaves the memory of survival together with archival footage, personal photographs and other documents of the period.

Hidden: Poland journeys into a world in which children had their identities camouflaged by false documents, memorized Catholic prayers and other means of self-preservation. Vividly and poignantly depicting the less visible dimensions of history, Hidden:Poland creates a tapestry that is both a testament to the human spirit and a record of its atrocities.

The film weaves together the remembrances of four child survivors from different backgrounds and cities in Poland. Ludwik is from Warsaw; one side of his family was poor and the other rich. When the war begins he flees to the East to join his father; after his father is murdered, he disguises his identity and joins the partisans. Lillian was born and raised in an intellectual Jewish middle class family in Warsaw. Her father was a lawyer. Her escape from the Warsaw Ghetto was facilitated by bribes. She hides in a small village outside of Warsaw. Janine is from Lwow. She flees into the countryside with her brother after her family is killed. He is murdered and Janine finds refuge with another family. Through the ingenuity of her aunt, she hides in a convent and is eventually adopted by a local family. Aaron is from a small town with a large Jewish population. His father was a butcher whose business catered to non-Jewish residents. As the ghetto is being liquidated, Aaron escapes. He and his sister spend the war in an attic.

Hidden:Poland is built around the remembrances of these four adults. Questions of history, ethics and identity permeate these stories; themes that have great bearing on contemporary society.