The Birnbaum's Children

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History Documentary hosted by cast themselves, published by NPO in 2013 - Dutch narration

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Image: The-Birnbaum-s-Children-Cover.jpg

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This is a documentary about the courageous couple Birnbaum, Otto and Hennie. During the war they took in children who stayed in the camps without their parents. The couple came to the Netherlands as German-Jewish refugees. Their eldest daughter Sonni was put on the train, together with her two brothers and two sisters. Later mother Birnbaum followed with the newborn brother and finally father. Already in 1939 the family ended up in Camp Westerbork, which at the time was a reception camp for Jewish refugees from Germany. After the occupation the Nazis turned it into a concentration camp. The Birnbaum couple soon took care of the Jewish children who arrived in the camp without their parents. An orphanage barracks was built in the camp, barracks 35, of which they were in charge. The Birnbaums tried with great tenacity to protect the children from being transported to the concentration and extermination camps in Germany and Poland. Their own children cooperated as long as they were old enough to do so. Elderly daughter Sonni puts it nicely: 'My parents said: you still have your parents, these children have nothing left at all, which is why we have to take care of them. In March 1944, the whole Birnbaum family had to be transported to Bergen-Belsen, a camp where many thousands of prisoners died of hunger and disease. There, too, they quickly took care of the children, who were not treated any better than the adult prisoners because of the camp leadership. Because many adults died, children lost their parents. In this hell too, the Birnbaums protected small children as best they could. In April 1944 the prisoners from Bergen-Belsen were put on several trains. The train with the Birnbaums, was liberated in Tröbitz by the Russians. In the Netherlands they had to hand over the orphans they had taken with them on their journey, but soon new orphans came under their care. When they were finally assigned a house in Bussum, it also became a home for many children who did not see their parents again after the war. With their six children and dozens of orphans, they lived in Bussum as a 'family' until the 1950s. Then they left for Israel, where they lived until well into the 1980s. All Birnbaum children are still alive and can be seen in the documentary. Two foster children also tell their story.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Duration: 20mn 11s
  • File size: 149 MB
  • Container: MKV
  • Width: 640 pixels
  • Height: 360 pixels
  • Display aspect ratio: 16:9
  • Overall bit rate: 646 kbs
  • Frame rate: 25.000 fps
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Channel(s): 2 channels
  • Sampling rate: 48.0 KHz
  • Credit goes to: MichelangeloAntonioni
  • Encoded by: Turbojugend
  • Source: WEB

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