The Touch of an Angel – is a 2016 Polish documentary directed by Marek Tomasz Pawlowski of Zoyda Art Productions; http://www.zoyda.pl/. It is a Powerful and unbelievable testimony of Henryk Schoenker, a deaf man, the son of the last chairman of the Jewish Community Auschwitz town, who returns to the authentic places where he found refuge as a Jewish boy during WWII. He finds his hiding places and bunkers still standing, bringing back horrific memories. The film emphasizes the role of Poles in saving persecuted Jews and indifference of the international community at large in the face of Nazi threats. It’s not just a wartime story but an account of how even the smallest gesture can save a life. The picture’s language of the film is moving and very innovative.
Henryk Schoenker, a son of the last leader of the Jewish Community in Oswiecim reveals to the world an unknown story of Jews` legal opportunity to emigrate. Before the idea of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was conceived, the Office for Jewish Immigration to Palestine was established in Oswiecim in the fall of 1939. Leo Schoenker, the narrator’s father, was tasked to set it up by order of the German military authorities. Thousands of people from all areas of Silesia began to arrive in the commonplace town of Oswiecim in the hope of being saved.
When the elder Schoenker was called to Berlin to report to Adolf Eichmann, he did it enthusiastically, presenting a matter-of-fact plan of international action. Unfortunately, the idea of the legal emigration came to nothing because of the world’s indifference.
Completely deaf since the war, Henryk Schoenker comes back to his family’s ruined residence that still echoes those distant events. “The horrible sounds of my childhood got inside me as if I were a seashell. Perhaps that is why I became deaf: so I would never forget them,” he says in the film, following the footsteps of his six-year wartime ordeal.
AWARDS: The film won a Gold World Medal for documentaries from the New York Festivals add a Gold Remi Award from WorldFest Houston.
Territories Sold: China, Poland