Surviving The Holocaust: Freddie Knoller's War, TV review: BBC documentary explores an incredible life story


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The Independent Culture

Growing old with verve was also a theme of Surviving the Holocaust: Freddie Knoller's War, in which we were privileged to hear the incredible life story of this 93-year-old Auschwitz survivor in his own words.

Seated in front of the camera in a red armchair, he began simply enough: "My name is Freddie Knoller, I was born in Vienna in 1921…" But there followed a story that included a daring escaping from an internment camp, working as a pimp in Paris's Pigalle district, derailing a Nazi train for the French Resistance and, when the SS finally caught up with him, a train journey to Auschwitz.

As an adventure story, it was thrilling enough, but it was Knoller's candour that really made this documentary stand out amid the BBC's Holocaust Memorial season. "I am fantastic guy, I must say!" he chuckled, in wonderment at his own story. And he really is.