Destination Unknown: A Powerful Testimony of the Holocaust survivors

Other | Thursday 22nd June 2017 | Francesco

Destination Unknown is one of the most difficult documentaries I had the chance to watch. It tells the story of some survivors of the Holocaust. It is focused on how the lives of these survivors were affected and destroyed by the horrific events that happened during the second World War. 

Claire Ferguson directs this real and emotional depiction of innocent lives shattered by other human beings. It’s a documentary that gives a powerful testimony to the genre that has been established decades ago by Claude Lanzmann.

The survivors are now all nearly 90's, but they remember every detail, every face. Llion Roberts interviews these survivors that share their striking stories. One of the most difficult stories to tell is Pole Ed Mosberg’s past who was sent to Płaszów and Mauthausen camps. He shares his loss (he lost all of his family), his feelings and his wife’s story (she also lost her sisters and brothers in horrific ways). It’s heartbreaking.

A key figure of this massacre was Amon Göth who is described as evil and rotten through the testimonies of his captives.

"I met two people in power: one was Amon Göth and he took advantage of his power by being an evil murderer and killed innocent people. And the other one was Oskar Schindler who used his power to help people in crisis and he was a good human being. So we have a choice to make," Helen Jonas, one of the interviewees in the film went on to say. 

Destination Unknown still manages to balance these horrible events with the few positive glimpses of hope that emerged during these nightmarish five years. The factory owner Oskar Schindler saved almost 1100 people thanks to his stratagem.

There is so much to say, yet Destination Unknown speaks for itself.

One of the most devasting moments for me was witnessing Victor and Regina Lewis' return to the Belzec camps. Seeing their tears just reminds us how important it is to remember these events as part of human history so that we don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

DESTINATION UNKNOWN is in cinemas 16th June!