What horrors must one have experienced in the days when being Jewish meant signing your own death sentence? The film takes us back to 1943, when Berlin was “cleansed” of Jews. Hundreds of people were herded into livestock cars and forced to undergo the journey from Berlin to Auschwitz under absolutely inhuman conditions, practically without food and water. We get to know several human fates – from boxer Henry Neumann to artist Jakob Noschik to Dr. Friedlich and their kin. Their former lives suddenly seem like distant dreams. Instead, the thought of a horrific, even unthinkable end becomes more realistic by the day. Fear, panic, and powerlessness pervade the minds of all. The prospects of escape do not die. Albert Rosen, a goldsmith’s son, smuggled onto the train a saw blade and axe. Combining forces, they manage to saw through the bars on the window. Attempting to open the rail car from outside, young Izzie Perles, however, falls to his death. Every day someone dies of thirst and hunger. Women, men, the elderly, the young, even infants are dying. At the last stop before Auschwitz, aided by resistance fighters, young Ruth Zilbermann and little Nina, the daughter of Henry and Ley Neumann, manage to escape. The film ends with Nina’s prayer, “Shema Israel”.
Cast / Gedeon Burkhard , Lale Yavas , Lena Beyerling , Sibel Kekilli , Juraj Kukura , Roman Roth , Nina Divíšková , Stanislav Zindulka , Vojtěch Kotek , Magdalena Sidonová , Csongor Kassai , Ludwig Blochberger , Sharon Brauner , Miroslav Táborský , Oldřich Navrátil Writer / Stephen Glantz DoP / Joseph Vilsmaier Editor / Uli Schön Sound / Jiří Kříž