MAY 4, 2018 -- Director Jon Kean's documentary about survivors of the Holocaust tracks six women: Eva Beckmann, Rena Drexler, fashion designer Renee Firestone, Erika Jacoby Lili Majzner and Linda Sherman. They discuss briefly what it was like when they were liberated from the infamous concentration camp all the way to their new lives here in the United States.


The film does dwell very long on the one million Jews put to death, but it does briefly discuss how the Allies forced the German SS to bury the remaining bodies. The women, then all teenagers, were horrified that the SS were allowed to touch the bodies at all.

Each of the women describe what it was like to return to what used to be their homes only for it to sink in they really didn't have any homes. Most wound up returning to one of the Displaced Persons Camps the Americans set up for homeless Jews. For many it was the last stop in Europe as many chose to go to Palestine and others to the United States.


The women discuss the adjustments to living here, including the need to find a husband...because that's what they were supposed to do. One was surprised when she encountered the racial segregation here when she met a black woman who refused to go to an all white facility.


But all the women managed to cope and make new lives. Raising families. Working. But always with that memory that they were the only ones to survive their sometimes large family. They dealt with questions about the numbers tattooed on their arms, one coming up with a cute explanation when asked.


The discussion is enhanced with some of the countless footage from the camps, the liberation, the events of the 50's and even the commercialism the found in this country. But they also found it interesting that even after the holocaust, the world was still dealing with genocide in different parts of the world.


This film follows the release of the dark comedy "Bye Bye Germany" which also visits post holocaust Jewish living. It is a great opportunity to have two looks at tragedy.


"After Auschwitz" is a lovingly produced, well edited look at the strength of six women who survived the unthinkable. They all share one story but in different ways.   -- GRADE B+ --   GEOFF BURTON