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Anna’s silent struggle: deaf in war

Time period: 1925-2008

Project realisation:

Willy Lindwer, AVA Productions BV


Time frame: 1925-2008


Location: Auschwitz


Number of interviews: 10




Little has been published about the history of the deaf. Almost nothing is known about the experiences of deaf Jewish Dutch people during the years of German occupation. In this oral history project, deaf people who barely survived the war are interviewed. Because the deaf are also verbally handicapped, an interpreter for Dutch Sign Language was used to record their special and previously unrecorded wartime experiences. The interviews reveal, among other things, that for the deaf in the concentration camps it was of vital importance that they managed to keep their handicap hidden from the Germans. 


Director Willy Lindwer interviewed the deaf woman ‘Anna’, who survived Auschwitz in an extraordinary way and with the help of others, about her experiences. Of course, the help of a sign language interpreter was called in.


The Stichting DovenShoa from Amsterdam is closely involved in the project.