Touched by Auschwitz: Episode 1: Introduction (01:11)
More than 1 million people were murdered at Auschwitz; survivors tried to build a new life after the war.
Auschwitz Main Camp (04:35)
The Nazis opened Auschwitz in 1940; over half of the Poles sent that year were dead within 20 months. Tadeusz Smreczynski recalls his first day at Auschwitz and his "trial." He spent six weeks in the main camp before being transferred to Linz; his experiences inspired him to become a doctor.
Return to Poland (02:20)
Smreczynski fell in love with Stanislawa and studied medicine at the Jagiellonian University. He refused to join the Communist Party and was forced to join the army.
Living near Auschwitz (02:00)
After six years in the army, Smreczynski practiced medicine in a coal mining town; he felt stressed every time he passed the camp. Smreczynski had a friend remove the tattoo the Nazis gave him in Auschwitz but his experiences are deeply rooted in his memory.
Smreczynski's Family (02:22)
Smreczynski and his wife moved to Krakow when he retired; his family is proud of how he copes with his experiences in Auschwitz. Smreczynski's son lives in his former surgery near the concentration camp. Smreczynski reflects on the surprises of life.
Effects of Auschwitz (03:59)
Smreczynski associates an aria from Tosca with Auschwitz; it makes him very emotional. Smreczynski stays close with his family; his grandson reflects on Smreczynski's principles.
Memories of Auschwitz (04:34)
Freda Wineman arrived in Britain in 1948. She initially tried talking about her experiences in Auschwitz but met with resistance; she has nightmares of the gas chamber. Wineman recalls the crematoriums at Birkenau and her desire to live.
Living in North London (02:09)
In 1949, Wineman fell in love and soon married. She revisits the home she shared with her husband and a home they almost purchased.
Effects of Auschwitz (04:17)
Wineman's husband died from hepatitis and left no will. Wineman's daughter recalls their lifestyle growing up and stories she heard about Auschwitz; cleanliness is important to Freda. Freda's granddaughter reflects on how Auschwitz affected Freda.
Publicly Speaking about Auschwitz (02:35)
At age 91, Wineman shares her war experiences with school children; she no longer experiences nightmares. Wineman's grandsons appreciate their grandmother. Wineman wants her family to be happy, tolerant, and mindful.
Defying Anger (04:00)
Auschwitz survivor Max Epstein lives in Highland Park, Illinois; he believes in kindness. Epstein recalls arriving in Auschwitz in 1944 and occasionally seeing his mother.
Kindness at Auschwitz (03:05)
Epstein met a compassionate German soldier while working at a factory. After the Allies liberated the camp, Epstein decided to forget his experiences; he recalls finding his mother.
Life after Auschwitz (02:48)
Epstein and his mother lived in Israel in 1948; he immediately integrated into society. Epstein fought in the Israeli Armed Forces; a crucial experience that helped him overcome his Auschwitz experiences.
Leaving Auschwitz in the Past (04:00)
Epstein and his mother moved to America in 1953; he became a professor of electrical engineering. Epstein and his wife moved to Highland Park and raised three children. Deborah Epstein reflects on how her father dealt with his past.
Epstein's Sense of Responsibility (02:30)
In the 1970s, the National Socialist Party of America wanted to march through a Jewish suburb of Chicago; the local community established a Holocaust museum. Epstein decided to publicly speak about his experiences in Auschwitz. Epstein reflects on his fulfilling life.
Credits: Touched by Auschwitz: Episode 1 (00:40)
Credits: Touched by Auschwitz: Episode 1
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