Anne's Silent Struggle
1 x 52 minutes, 2008
Filmed in High Definition
"Anna's Silent Struggle" tells the moving story of Anna, today
an 82 year old woman and how she managed to survive this death camp
despite her handicap. For the hearing, Auschwitz is characterized
as a place of horrible sounds; shouted commands, screaming, shooting
and cries of torture. For the deaf, the terror was silent.
"Anna's Silent Struggle" is the first film documenting the dramatic
story of a forgotten group that was able to survive, despite their
tremendous handicap. The film was shot on locations in Holland,
Belgium and Poland.
Her ability to read lips was a vital tool during her struggle
for survival. She survived not only because of tremendous luck but
also because she had a highly developed intuition, a kind of "sixth
sense". The personal strength she had developed in order to manage
as a deaf person in a hearing world helped her manage in an environment
that even most non-handicapped inmates could not cope with.
In the film, young deaf filmmaker Tom is in search of getting
an answer on the question how deaf people were able to survive the
horrors of the Nazi persecution. He also 'speaks' to deaf child
survivors in Holland. The film will also be an opportunity to tell
these untold stories.
Handicapped Jews had no chance to survive the Nazi horrors. The
survival of Anna Vos - van Dam, an 18 year old Belgian-Dutch deaf
girl in Auschwitz is a unique story. Anna was born in 1926 in Antwerp
of originally Dutch parents and deported from the Belgium nazi transit
camp (kazerne) in Mechelen to Auschwitz.
Tom, a 26 year old and deaf Dutch non-Jew, has chosen an exceptional
profession – filmmaking. He wants to document and reveal the story
of deaf people through film and sound. He sets out to uncover the
story of deaf people during World War II. He wants to know how they
managed to survive with their handicap under such harsh circumstances.
He chances upon the story of Anna Vos. Anna is one of the very few
deaf persons who survived the Nazi death camps. Tom wants to know
how she survived despite the seemingly insurmountable burden of
her handicap. He believes that Anna’s story will inspire other deaf
Soon after Adolf Hitler's rise to power, he began to implement
his obsession of creating the so-called "pure Aryan race". This
soon led to a policy of mass sterilization for Germans and others
with various handicaps and later to euthanasia programs. And while
much has been written about this aspect of Nazism, very little is
known about the fate of deaf people during the Holocaust.
Created & written by Willy Lindwer and Tom Linszen
A 2008 production of AVA Productions, The Netherlands