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The Hidden Child
The Hidden Child
Genres: Documentary
NR     2007     1hr 0min


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Pbs (Direct)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 04/17/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Suffer the little children to come unto me
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 05/21/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"By concentrating on two survivors who were children when the Reïch's armies rolled into the Netherlands, PBS's THE HIDDEN CHILD examines the effect Germany's death-dealing pogrom had on Jewish families living in Holland; people who weren't immediately caught in Nazïdom's "relocation" policy.

Jews fled Germany by the tens of thousands after the Nov. '38 events of Kristallnacht, when over 250 synagogues were destroyed, thousands of homes and businesses looted and nearly 30,000 arrested and sent to concentration camps. A majority of these refugees went to Holland, a country known for religious and political tolerance. The parents of six-year-old Maude Peper and her younger sister were among those who sought asylum on the other side of Germany's northwestern border.

Their safe harbor lasted only until a May '40 blitzkrieg crushed the Dutch state in just 6 days. Maude's parents chose to hide rather than flee the new Nazï dragnet. They entrusted their children with sympathetic Christians, courageous souls who risked execution by taking in the girls. Maude and Rita were given non-Jewish surnames, dressed in traditional Dutch garb and taught to lie about their ancestry and heritage. They also regularly attended mass and catechism classes.

After over two years in their new lives, Maude and Rita had so completely assimilated that when their real mom came for them after Germany's surrender of Holland, they saw her as a stranger. It took many months for the children to feel any sense of comfort around her. In Maude's case, her Lutheran indoctrination was permanent. After emigrating to New York she met and married a German Christian, and although Maude professes ease with both religions her two daughters were raised as Christians.

The latter part of this documentary has Maude retracing her European childhood by visiting her homes in both Germany and Holland. She's also reunited with a Dutch older "sister" who cared for the two Jewish girls while they hid from the enemy.

In a complete reversal of humanity and logic, children were the FIRST target of Hitler's death squads. That any survived at all is a miracle partly attributable to non-Jews who did the right thing by defying the Reïch and protecting these innocents. THE HIDDEN CHILD celebrates this small victory, yet never loses sight of the untold numbers who perished because they didn't have such guardian angels."
Interesting & touching documentary about the life of a hidde
z hayes | TX | 01/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The Hidden Child" is a poignant documentary that tells the story of Maude Peper [married name Dahme] who as a six-year-old child was hidden together with her four-year-old sister from the Nazis. The sisters and their parents went into hiding soon after the Nazis invaded Holland, and the siblings found themselves taken by members of the Dutch resistance and given to Dutch Christian couples to be kept safe from certain death at the hands of the Nazis.

It is a poignant retelling - we can see the psychological repercussions suffered by Maude, who in her own words, has a life-long fear of men in uniforms [after seeing the Nazis in their imposing uniforms], and we learn that after years in hiding with devout Dutch Christians, Maude and her sister Rita no longer realised they were actually Jewish and saw their own parents as strangers after they were reunited upon liberation.

I learnt some interesting facts whilst watching this production - the fact that after the war, the Dutch government made it difficult for Jewish parents to reclaim their children, favoring that the children remain with their foster parents instead - excuses such as the inability of the Jewish parents to provide for their offspring [the Holocaust having rendered them financially deprived] etc etc.

Maude is a strong woman indeed - not only did she survive the Holocaust, but she then went on to make a life for herself in the States [her family immigrated to the States not long after the war ended]. Maude has become a lifelong educator on the Holocaust and conducts yearly tours to Holland where she revisits the farm she and her sister were hidden as well as Holocaust memorial sites.

Besides Maude, we are also introduced to Max Arpels Lezer, who is the head of the Dutch Hidden Child Association. As a six-year-old, Max had been hidden in a remote village in Friesland and he too bears the emotional scars of a childhood spent in hiding, out of fear of the Nazis.

This documentary is another excellent Holocaust education tool and is suitable for students and adults alike. There are no graphic images of the horrors during the Holocaust, yet the message is clear - that we must remember, so that we do not forget man's capacity for brutality and hatred."