TV Highlights

Swimming in Auschwitz

PBS America - 10pm

Who's in it?

Six brave women tell the inside story of what life was really like in the most notorious Nazi concentration camp of them all in what's bound to be an unforgettable documentary.

In a nutshell

The very word "Auschwitz" is so darkly loaded, so weighed down by the universally known images of misery and depravity, that it's very easy to forget it was more than a factory of death. It was a place where prisoners called home, a world with its own daily rules and regulations, its own hours of work, its petty banalities, its network of friendships and rivalries, and the smallest flickers of human warmth amid the suffocating evil of the SS.

It’s this "everyday Auschwitz" that's laid bare here, thanks to the testimonies of women who were actually there. Hailing from places such as Poland, Hungary and the Netherlands, their tales are interwoven into a grim but poignant tapestry. It's a story of resistance on a core, spiritual level: strength concealed behind weak and tortured facades. It's a reminder that humour and hope can exist even in a situation that seems completely bereft of both.

What's the verdict?

We've all read about the Holocaust, and seen sober history documentaries about it, but here it's the grinding reality of Auschwitz that we'll discover, and it promises to be one of the most eye-opening TV experiences of the year.

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07-07-2011