Jonathan Farrugia’s short documentary captures the stories of a few former Auschwitz prisoners who were lucky enough to get out alive from the death camp. In this documentary, many of the aforementioned stories see the Second World War from inside, reason why they are crucial for any enthusiast out there who wants to better understand the whole picture in a more comprehensive way than they are used to. Though the topic has been explored before, we still must salute Farrugia’s effort to find the survivors and interview them in such a flawless, complex way, as no detail remains unexplained.
We want to take a minute and focus on the reconstructions of the road to Auschwitz sequences. The historical details are followed by the book – the clothes are perfect, the helmets, the guns, the badges, everything looks outstanding as if it was filmed back in the day. It is awkward for us to use gratifying words when we speak about that era, but in all fairness, 'Step by Step to Auschwitz’ is a historical documentary that through its preciseness (especially when it comes to the interview parts, which are both engaging and powerful) and through the overall message it delivers, it becomes a piece of history itself. What struck us the most is the story of Lily Ebert, the first woman to speak about her time in Auschwitz. The part that really stirred us up is the last one when she talks about her brother and the way he had retrieved the pendant that she is currently wearing and how that pendant is maybe the only jewelry that escaped from the death camp in the same family it came in.
‘Step by Step to Auschwitz’ is nonetheless a brilliant documentary that needs to be watched by everybody not as a film, but as a lesson for humanity.
Written by Vlad A. G