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Memories of a Child Survivor of the Holocaust


“Rediscovering” depicts my journey to the Netherlands to revisit people and places I remembered from my youth, including the old windmill where I once hid out.  The English-language presentation set a natural tone, letting witnesses talk without scripting.  Crisp editing brings out the essence of their testimony.

The English-language version is currently available on DVD and VHS tape. 

The Dutch-language version is also available on DVD and VHS under the title “Op zoek naar mijn kinderjaren.”

Both the English and Dutch versions are available free of charge for a trial viewing at public schools, religious schools, synagogues and church groups, Holocaust study programs, museums, and history repositories. Similarly, it is freely available for broadcast on local and national television.  Copies to be retained can be purchased through this web page (see below):


For myself, I wanted to produce this video to make sense of events that occurred when I was escaping the Holocaust as a pre-teen.  Reliving my rescue helped me uncover the truth hidden behind my memories. 

For others, I wanted to depict what life was like for Jews who succeeded in dodging the Nazis. Many aspects of my survival parallel the experiences of Anne Frank, whose hiding place (and former residence) on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam, is across the canal from where I lived as a child.  Like Anne’s diary, this video contrasts the everyday life of Jewish people in hiding with the potential devastation facing all Jews during the Holocaust.  


Near the start of the video, you see me walk down a long footpath toward a windmill where I once had been hidden during my escape from the Nazis. Guided by Jan Paarden-kooper, who coordinated our shoot in Holland, we are hailed by an old man. He lives along the path leading to a mill, and he recalls a young boy that had been hidden at the mill during the War:

"What luck he had," the old man says. "Is he still alive?"

Jan, a bit surprised that the old man Jan, a bit surprised that the old man doesn't recognize me anymore, responds: "That other boy, yes, that's he." And he points at me.

eah?" the old man says incredulously. "Yes, that's me," I confirm, as the old man keeps shaking his head in disbelief.


Ron Israel, Director, Cameraman, and Editor.  He is by trade an independent producer in Baltimore, MD., involved in film, video, and theater production since 1976.

Les Bradley, Post Production Editor.  He shaped the video into its current format, bridging elements from 16 rolls of video film.  He is a retired professor from Notre Dame University in Baltimore, MD and is still active in media production

Max Amichai Heppner, Facilitator, Script Writer, and Narrator.  I am a professional writer and lecturer.  I have spoken extensively on the Holocaust, notably at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Jewish Museum of Maryland in Baltimore, which house mementos from my escape (in part shown in the video).

Natalie Sibiski, Cover Design, done as a 6-year-old artist.  She has pictured my windmill hiding place, which is the theme of the video, the way I might have done it if I’d have had my art supplies with me at the time.


                            ORDERING INFORMATION


           TITLE                        HOW TO ORDER                   COST

“Rediscovering My Childhood”        Email Me                                     $25 (€15) plus postage

“Op zoek naar mijn kinderjaren”      Email Me                                    $25 (€15) postage