Surviving the Holocaust - Uncovering secret hideouts | Close up - The Current Affairs Documentary | DW | 24.01.2022

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Surviving the Holocaust - Uncovering secret hideouts

Natalia Romik has uncovered incredible Holocaust-era hideouts used by Jews in Poland. In one case, it was a 600-year-old oak tree, in another an underground bunker at a cemetery. Each one reveals amazing stories of survival against the odds.

Watch video 28:31

Researcher Natalia Romik is actively engaged in ensuring the past is not forgotten. Her work has focused on searching for hideouts used by Polish Jews during the Holocaust to escape deportation to the death camps. We watch as she uncovers the entrance to an underground bunker where up to 30 people are said to have taken refuge. 
In the Carpathian Mountains, she examines a 650-year-old oak tree dubbed "Józef” that was once printed on the Polish 100 Zloty bill. Two brothers are said to have spent several years living in the hollowed out trunk of the tree, all to escape the horrors of the Holocaust.
Through Natalia Romik’s research it becomes clear that these hideouts are like silent monuments to the trauma of the past, and to their former residents’ incredible will to survive, highlighting a resourcefulness borne out of desperation.