The first time he spoke to her, in 1943, by the Auschwitz crematory, David Wisnia realized that Helen Spitzer was no regular inmate. Zippi, as she was known, was clean, always neat. She wore a jacket and smelled good. They were introduced by a fellow inmate, at her request.
It was big-budget, American TV starring Meryl Streep. And in 1979 the mini-series Holocaust transformed how Germans saw their own history.
It brought the horrors of Nazi crimes into people’s living rooms and turned the word “Holocaust” into a commonly-used term in the German language.
This month the drama has been shown again on German TV – and it is as relevant as ever.
Georges Loinger used all his skill and cunning – and a large dash of chutzpah – to rescue Jewish children from deportation and near-certain death during the second world war.
The French Resistance hero, who has died at the age of 108, would set up ball games for children along the Swiss border in France. Having trained the children to run like the wind, he would throw the ball over the border and tell them to chase after it and then keep running.