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The Hidden Child

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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(Apr 17, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Of the 1.6 million Jewish children who lived in Europe before WWII, only 100,000 survived the Holocaust. Most were hidden children, shuttered away in attics, cellars, convents or farms. This hour long documentary, is Maud Dahme's story of courage, hope and bravery in the face of evil and death. It chronicles the wartime experiences of Dahme, one of an estimated 5,000 Jewish children hidden from the Nazis by righteous gentiles in the Netherlands.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2007
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OCY65E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,984 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

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.
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"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.
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The movie The Hidden Child is an amazing movie. It is a documentary about a woman who was a Jewish child during the Holocaust. Her and her sister move in with a Christian family and they begin to start a new life, new religion, even new names. This movie is so great because it informs very well about what the girls went through and it also talks about the history of Germany in the Netherlands and Nazi Germany. It shows how important it is for different religions to be tolerant of each other and helpful in desperate times. I would recommend this movie for anyone who likes a good documentary and would like to learn more about the life of a Jewish child who survives the Holocaust.
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This is a high quality production that tells the story of Maud Dahme. She is still very active and living in New Jersey thanks to people who kept her hidden at a very dangerous time.
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