In this moving, new two-part series, Robert Rinder helps the second and third generations of three families who have experienced the Holocaust to retrace their relatives’ footsteps and discover the full truth about what happened to them.
Robert also explores further his own family’s Holocaust stories, on both his mum’s and his dad’s sides.
In the first episode, Robert meets two different British Jewish families who have been affected by the Holocaust and want to investigate what happened to their relatives, as well as exploring his own family’s Holocaust story.
Sisters Natalie and Louisa Clein know that their Dutch Jewish grandparents survived but they have also been told that their grandmother’s sister Els “died in the War”. The sisters know nothing else about their great aunt Els’ fate. Natalie and Louisa travel to the Netherlands where they find out about their grandmother’s incredible work in the Dutch resistance, and how her sister Els was a famous dancer before the War.
Robert also embarks on his own journey of discovery. Visiting his paternal grandfather, Robert learns the name of the town his family came from in Lithuania. Travelling there, Robert finds out that his three-times great-grandfather and his two-times great-grandfather’s brother were living in the town when the Nazis invaded in 1941. First forced to live in a ghetto, Robert’s family were then sent to a nearby town called Voranava, in what is now Belarus.
In Voranava Robert speaks to an elderly eyewitness who reveals that the Jewish families were shot and buried in a mass grave on the edge of the town. Visiting the site Robert is visibly angry at what he has discovered, calling it “the most articulate expression of human evil I’ve ever come close to”.
The first episode airs Monday 9th November at 9pm on BBC One.