To Auschwitz and Back: The Joe Engel Story

color & b/w. 47+ min. Ron Small, dist. by Dreamscape Video, www.dreamscapeab.com. 2018. DVD UPC 818506023771. $25.95. Closed-captioned. BIOG/HIST
This film recounts the personal journey of Charleston, SC, resident and Holocaust survivor Joe Engel. Produced by Engel's nephew Michael Engel and directed by Small, the film weaves first-person narratives with archival film and photos for a fresh and immediate perspective on the Holocaust. A well-known citizen of Charleston, the Polish-born Engel came to the city after World War II. His warm and engaging personality draws viewers into his story and holds their attention through the twists and turns of his ordeal, from the Warsaw Ghetto, Birkenau, and Auschwitz to a death train and ultimately life as a Freedom Fighter. We know Engel survived; he makes us want to know how he did it. Ninety years old at the time of the filming, the charismatic Engel obviously loves people and his adopted country. His experiences will inspire viewers and remind us not to take our freedoms for granted.
VERDICT This moving documentary is a must-see for students of history and anyone interested in World War II and the Holocaust.
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